Aurora Capital’s NTS acquires Wyle Labs’ testing business

National Technical Systems, a portfolio company of Aurora Capital Group, has acquired Wyle Labs‘ testing business. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

CALABASAS, Calif., March 19, 2014 — National Technical Systems, Inc. (“NTS”), the leading independent provider of environmental simulation testing, inspection, and certification solutions in the United States, today announced that it has acquired the testing business of Wyle Laboratories, Inc. (“Wyle Labs”). Operating out of three state-of-the-art facilities, Wyle Labs’ testing business is a leader in environmental, dynamics, structural, EMI/EMC, fluid flow, and acoustics testing solutions, primarily serving the nuclear, space, and defense end markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Wyle Labs’ testing laboratories are located in Huntsville, Alabama, El Segundo, California, and San Bernardino, California and provide a diverse array of testing services, bringing significant new capabilities and geographic coverage to NTS’s national network of 25 laboratories.
· NTS Huntsville is the single largest independent environmental simulation testing lab in the country, boasting a strong presence in the aerospace, defense, nuclear, and voting systems industries for more than 50 years.
· NTS El Segundo is a renowned leader in the space and civil aviation markets and possesses a unique portfolio of highly customized equipment.
· NTS San Bernardino offers a highly specialized suite of testing, primarily for aerospace propulsion development, and specializes in rocket firing and high flow, high pressure fluid and cryogenic testing.
· These facilities will allow NTS to create “centers of excellence” with truly exceptional capabilities for nuclear and space testing in support of NTS’s mission to be the natural first choice for independent testing solutions.
NTS President and Chief Executive Officer William C. McGinnis said, “The addition of Wyle Labs’ testing business to the NTS network will enable us to exceed our customers’ needs and deliver the world-class independent solutions they deserve. Add-on acquisitions have always been an integral component of our strategy, and adding the Wyle testing assets to our portfolio of solutions is the latest example of the significant technological, personnel, and capital investments we are making to support our customers. We are confident that this combination enhances our position as the preeminent independent environmental simulation testing, inspection, and certification provider in North America, and we welcome the Wyle team to NTS.”
Keith Wilson, General Manager of the Huntsville, Alabama facility, said, “We are excited to join the NTS family of testing labs. This is a terrific opportunity for our employees, customers, and our company as NTS is a recognized leader that allows us to enhance our testing capabilities and breadth of service offering for both new and existing customers. NTS has an excellent reputation in many of the industries we currently serve, and we look forward to working as a team to provide best-in-class testing solutions to our customers across the country.”
NTS is a portfolio company of Aurora Capital Group, which acquired NTS in a take-private transaction in November 2013. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal advisor to NTS.
About National Technical Systems
National Technical Systems, Inc. (“NTS”) is the leading independent provider of environmental simulation testing, inspection, and certification services in the United States, principally serving the civil aviation, space, defense, nuclear, and telecommunications end markets. During its more than 50 years in business, NTS has built the broadest geographic presence and sole national footprint in the United States, an unparalleled breadth of capabilities, and has fostered continuous innovation, making NTS a unique one-stop resource to meet its clients’ demanding and evolving requirements. Operating through a network of 25 technologically advanced testing laboratories across the United States, this geographically diverse footprint puts NTS facilities in close proximity to its more than 4,000 clients, allowing NTS to serve the nation’s most innovative companies with industry-leading accessibility and responsiveness. NTS offers testing in more than 70 distinct categories, including environmental, structural, dynamics, fluid flow, EMI/EMC, lightning, product safety, acoustics, and other industry-specific tests, allowing it to handle its clients’ most demanding needs. Additionally, the company is accredited by numerous national and international organizations, which allows NTS to have its test data nearly universally accepted worldwide. For additional information about NTS, visit our website at www.nts.com or call 800-270-2516.

VC-backed Ensighten buys TagMan

Ensighten, which is backed by Insight Venture Partners, Volition Capital, LeadEdge Capital and FLOODGATE, has acquired TagMan. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in London and New York, TagMan is a tag management and marketing data platform.

PRESS RELEASE

CUPERTINO, CA — (Marketwired) — 03/18/14 — Ensighten, the fastest-growing enterprise data and tag management provider and company behind the Agile Marketing Platform, today announced it acquired TagMan, the pioneer tag management and attribution company. On the heels of a recent Series B fundraising of $40 million, the acquisition of TagMan, headquartered in London, establishes Ensighten as the clear market share leader by expanding its global customer base, which now represents companies generating over $1.9 trillion in revenue. The acquisition takes place as digital marketers race to leverage enterprise data and tag management platforms to collect, own and act on their customer interactions across every digital touchpoint.
“The acquisition of TagMan accelerates Ensighten’s growth on a global scale and represents our collective vision to redefine the marketing cloud,” said Josh Manion, Ensighten founder and CEO. “Anytime the top two players in a market unite the playing field dramatically shifts. We are very excited to deliver one-to-one marketing capabilities for the mutual benefits of our customers and partners worldwide.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Ensighten acquired TagMan’s Tag Management, Marketing Data and Attribution platform to help accelerate the next generation of open platform marketing solutions. TagMan has a robust customer base of more than 400 leading brands, including Virgin America, Travelocity, John Lewis, Marriott and DirecTV. TagMan customers will not need to make changes as a result of the acquisition, and will now have the added power of the Ensighten Agile Marketing Platform available to them.
The new combined entity provides a strategic platform for digital marketers to leverage the foundation of tag management to unlock the full potential of their data. Ensighten leverages an open, patented hybrid-tagging architecture for its Agile Marketing Platform. This solves performance challenges, and enables marketers to leverage and easily switch among best-of-breed, third-party vendors. In contrast, other major cloud marketing platforms, such as Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce have closed platforms, which limit marketers’ choices.
Ensighten also enables brands to collect, own and act on data from everywhere — on-site, off-site and offline — so that digital marketers can provide personalized web experiences in real-time to consumers on any device or marketing channel. Ensighten’s technology is uniquely architected to help digital marketers have a unified view of consumers as they move across devices.
“As the first Tag Management System in the market, TagMan significantly expanded capabilities for digital marketers at the cusp of the Big Data age,” said Wolfgang Allisat, global Chief Revenue Officer of TagMan, who will now serve as Senior Vice President for International at Ensighten. “By merging with Ensighten, we will continue executing on that vision with robust, innovative technology that further redefines the marketing cloud and provides marketers with the next generation of open platform marketing solutions.”
In February 2014, Ensighten launched Activate, a new product family that further boosts marketing agility and delivers revolutionary one-to-one marketing across all channels and devices. Activate was unveiled during Agility 2014, Ensighten’s annual user conference held in San Francisco and attended by over 350 global customers and partners.
ABOUT ENSIGHTEN
Ensighten, the global leader in omni-channel data and tag management, is changing the face of digital marketing by transforming the way enterprises collect, own and act on their customer data across all marketing channels and devices. The Ensighten Agile Marketing Platform (AMP) enables enterprises to achieve true one-to-one marketing, while accelerating the execution and optimization of their marketing initiatives and delivering superior user experiences. Powered by its unique hybrid-tagging technology, the Ensighten platform processes tag requests from over 150 countries for companies generating over $1.9 trillion in revenue. The world’s leading brands (Microsoft, Capital One, United Airlines, T-Mobile and Walmart) achieve marketing agility by implementing Ensighten’s single line of code. Ensighten is headquartered in Cupertino, CA, and is funded by leading investors, including Insight Venture Partners, Volition Capital, LeadEdge Capital and FLOODGATE. Visit us to learn more at www.ensighten.com, and join the conversation on LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/ensighten and Twitter @ensighten.
ABOUT TAGMAN
TagMan is the pioneering global Tag Management System, Marketing Data and Marketing Attribution provider. Since 2007, digital marketers have relied on TagMan to improve website performance and harness third party vendor tags. TagMan’s industry-first Marketing Data Platform (MDP) provides access to TagMan’s marketing data layer collected in real-time and unified by tags to reveal the true impact of advertising spend and drive revenue.

 

JPMorganChase agrees to sell physical commodities business to Mercuria for $3.5 bln

JPMorgan Chase said Wednesday that it has agreed to sell its physical commodities business to Mercuria Energy Group Limited for $3.5 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2014.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its physical commodities business to Mercuria Energy Group Limited, a global energy and commodities trading company, for $3.5 billion. The all cash transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.
“Our goal from the outset was to find a buyer that was interested in preserving the value of”J.P. Morgan will work closely with Mercuria to ensure a smooth transition of commodities assets, transactions, physical trading operations and employees to Mercuria at the close of the transaction.
“Our goal from the outset was to find a buyer that was interested in preserving the value ofJ.P. Morgan’s physical business,” said Blythe Masters, head of J.P. Morgan’s global commodities business. “Mercuria is a global leader in the commodities markets and an excellent long-term home for these businesses.”
Following the sale, J.P. Morgan will continue to provide traditional banking activities in the commodities markets, including financial products and the vaulting and trading of precious metals – businesses that the firm has been a leader in for years. The firm will also continue to make markets, provide liquidity and risk management, and offer advice to global companies and institutions around the world.
The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on JPMorgan Chase’s earnings.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

 

Highlander Partners’ SensoryEffects makes acquisition

SensoryEffects has acquired the Sleepy Eye, MN manufacturing facility of Anderson Custom Processing. SensoryEffects is a portfolio company of Highlander Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

SensoryEffects, a portfolio company of the Dallas-based private investment firm Highlander Partners, L.P., announces that it has acquired the Sleepy Eye, MN manufacturing facility of Anderson Custom Processing. Included in the acquisition are Anderson Custom Processing’s two spray dryers and other dry blending equipment and technology. SensoryEffects will maintain the existing employee base of the Sleepy Eye site.

Charles A. Nicolais, President and CEO of SensoryEffects said, “We are looking forward to adding another spray drying facility to our business which will not only support the continued growth of our company, but will further enhance our processing capabilities for customers. The Sleepy Eye site has a long and successful track record of satisfying broad processing requirements with outstanding customer service. We intend to continue and build upon these strengths and we welcome the great workforce in Sleepy Eye to our company. Our spray drying capabilities will now include eight spray dryers that span across five production sites: Defiance, OH; Bridgeton, MO; Reading, PA; Marshfield, WI and now Sleepy Eye, MN.”

Alex Guiva, Partner of Highlander and Board Member of SensoryEffects, added, “The addition of the Sleepy Eye manufacturing site is consistent with our business model and provides the company with additional capacity to facilitate SensoryEffects’ organic growth plans. This is SensoryEffects’ thirteenth acquisition since the company’s inception, and we continue evaluating other potential acquisitions.”

About Highlander Partners
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with partners that have committed over $500 million of principal funds for direct private equity investments in North America and Central Europe. The firm focuses on making investments in middle market businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience, including basic manufacturing, food, building materials and others. Highlander Partners uses a “buy and build” investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow organically and through acquisitions.

About SensoryEffects®
SensoryEffects is a supplier of customized food and beverage ingredients and products with three business units: SensoryEffects Powder Systems in Defiance, OH, Reading, PA, Marshfield, WI and Sleepy Eye, MN, SensoryEffects Flavor Systems in Bridgeton, MO, and SensoryEffects Cereal Systems in Lincoln, NE.

SOURCE Highlander Partners, L.P.

Security firm Trustwave buys VC-backed Cenzic

Security company Trustwave has acquired Cenzic. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Silicon Valley, Cenzic is a provider of security testing solutions for mobile, web and cloud apps. Cenzic’s backers include Mohr Davidow Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Advanced Technology Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – Mar 18, 2014) – Trustwave today announced the acquisition of Cenzic, Inc. The acquisition brings together Cenzic’s dynamic application security testing technologies with Trustwave’s cloud-based application, database and network penetration testing and scanning services. The combination will create one of the industry’s broadest, integrated security testing platforms designed to help businesses rapidly identify and address security weaknesses, thereby significantly helping to reduce threats and risks.
Powered by its patented Hailstorm technology, Cenzic enables organizations to continuously assess cloud, mobile and web applications for vulnerabilities. As a result of the acquisition, Trustwave will deliver both static and dynamic security testing as integrated, subscription-based services that will help secure those applications throughout their lifecycle. Integration of Cenzic solutions with web application firewalls and security information and event management systems, including those from Trustwave, offers additional layers of protection.
MORE SECURITY INSIGHTS
“This acquisition brings together two security leaders who understand the power automation brings to managing the aggressive and evasive threats we’re seeing today,” said Robert McCullen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Trustwave. “Cenzic’s highly automated and scalable security testing platform supercharges our ability to deliver integrated testing across a high volume of applications. This acquisition marks another milestone in Trustwave’s strategy to deliver comprehensive, automated and integrated security, compliance and threat intelligence solutions to the industry — all delivered through the cloud.”
Testing today’s cloud, mobile and web applications requires a combination of static and dynamic application security testing techniques. “The market for application security testing is changing rapidly. Technology trends, such as mobile applications, advanced web applications and dynamic languages, are forcing the need to combine dynamic and static testing capabilities, which is reshaping the overall market,” wrote industry analysts in a recent report about application security testing.
Static application security testing (SAST) examines non-running applications by looking at source code or binaries — often before business-critical applications are launched. Dynamic application security testing (DAST) is focused on continuously probing running applications to look for vulnerabilities on an ongoing basis.
Businesses and governments increasingly rely on cloud, mobile and web applications to interact with customers, partners and suppliers, and those applications are constantly at risk from hackers who exploit security vulnerabilities. Cenzic research found that 96% of all applications tested in 2013 had one or more serious security vulnerabilities with a median of 14 per application.
Cenzic automates security testing across all applications types — cloud, mobile and web. Cenzic solutions scale from a single application to enterprise-level deployments, and its intelligent technology uses behavioral, stateful and learning algorithms to help ensure the highest accuracy for automated assessment of even the most complex applications.
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Cenzic tests more than half a million online applications and helps secure trillions of dollars of commerce for Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, universities and small and medium businesses.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
About Trustwave
Trustwave helps businesses fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce security risks. With cloud and managed security services, integrated technologies and a team of security experts, ethical hackers and researchers, Trustwave enables businesses to transform the way they manage their information security and compliance programs while safely embracing business imperatives including big data, BYOD and social media. More than two million businesses are enrolled in the Trustwave TrustKeeper cloud platform, through which Trustwave delivers automated, efficient and cost-effective data protection, risk management and threat intelligence. Trustwave is a privately held company, headquartered in Chicago, with customers in 96 countries. For more information about Trustwave, visit www.trustwave.com.

Lotame buys VC-backed AdMobius

Data management platform Lotame has acquired AdMobius. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in San Mateo, Calif., AdMobius is a mobile audience management platform. It is backed by Opus Capital and Storm Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Lotame, the world’s leading independent data management platform (DMP), today announced it has acquired AdMobius, the industry’s first mobile audience management platform. This strong combination will give marketers and publishers the power to engage with relevant audiences, at scale, across devices and marketing channels.
“This acquisition will empower our clients to engage with unique and relevant consumer audience segments across devices at a deeper, more accurate level than ever before,” said Andy Monfried, founder and CEO of Lotame. “We will continue to create value for our clients and support their cross-platform data management needs.”
Founded in 2012 and based in San Mateo, California, AdMobius brings to Lotame an experienced data science and technology team and strong partnerships across the mobile ad-tech ecosystem. AdMobius helps these partners target large cross-device audiences by demographics and interests through standard, custom and private audience segments.
“Marketers and publishers around the world use Lotame’s unifying DMP to organize and convert data from multiple sources into actionable insights,” said Ray Duong, CTO of AdMobius. “Similarly, AdMobius merges data from multiple fragmented sources into an easy-to-use, universal audience targeting system. Together, Lotame and AdMobius will be offering an unparalleled platform for both marketers and publishers to discover and target relevant audiences across devices.”
Both AdMobius and Lotame are privacy progressive companies, adhering to strict industry standards for consumer privacy and providing choice solutions. Lotame will continue to ensure consumer privacy across devices and provide an easy way for consumers to opt out of interest-based ads.
About Lotame
Lotame is the DMP for Maximum Audience Impact— helping marketers, publishers and agencies maximize the way they collect, unify, protect, and activate audience data. Leveraging the industry’s most robust audience management engine, they’re able to intelligently monetize data, create premium properties, target more efficiently, and drive higher campaign performance and revenue. We’re dedicated to constant innovation, and helping our clients take full advantage of big data. Together, we’re doing things that others haven’t thought of yet. To learn more, visit www.lotame.com.
About AdMobius
AdMobius, the first mobile Audience Management Platform, enables publishers and advertisers to discover and target relevant audiences at scale. By organizing and interpreting unique demographic and interest-based information, AdMobius unlocks the rich value of mobile data. Based in San Mateo, Calif., AdMobius has strong partnerships with mobile advertising technology companies to improve the performance and reach of mobile ad campaigns. AdMobius is backed by Opus Capital and Storm Ventures. For more information, visit http://www.admobius.com.

Liquidnet buys Octopus-backed bond trading platform Vega-Chi

Institutional trading network Liquidnet has acquired Vega-Chi. No financial terms were disclosed. Backed by Octopus Investments, Vega-Chi is a bond trading platform.

PRESS RELEASE

Liquidnet, the global institutional trading network, announced today that it will enter the fixed income market with its acquisition of bond trading platform Vega-Chi. This partnership, subject to regulatory approval, will combine Liquidnet’s experience, scale and global reach within the institutional investment community with Vega-Chi’s proven corporate bond trading platform and sector expertise to accelerate efficiencies within the corporate bond market.
“There has been a massive increase in corporate bond issuance and at the same time a depletion of capital that dealers can use to facilitate trading. The result has been increasing difficulty among investment managers and dealers in accessing liquidity. To fix this liquidity drought over the long term, it’s important for market participants to come together and establish new systems and processes and an open platform that will facilitate the flow of liquidity within the corporate bond market more efficiently,” commented Seth Merrin, Founder and CEO of Liquidnet. “Vega-Chi has already built an efficient way to trade high yield and convertible bonds. By combining this platform with Liquidnet’s institutional network and our track record for making institutional markets more efficient, we can create trading opportunities worldwide while building out the largest institutional sized liquidity pool dedicated to corporate bonds.”
Initially, Vega-Chi’s trading platform will continue to operate separately from Liquidnet’s core equities business. The platform is currently available to all approved market participants who trade U.S. and European high yield bonds as well as European convertible bonds. Through a single platform, market participants are able to source liquidity in one place to execute their institutional, large-scale bond orders. Liquidnet will leverage its extensive network—which includes more than 740 asset managers and relationships with many exchanges and broker dealers around the globe—to create a critical mass of liquidity focused on the corporate bond market. In addition, Liquidnet and Vega-Chi expect to introduce the trading of US investment grade corporate bonds during 2014.
“We launched Vega-Chi to enable our clients to access better liquidity and achieve best price execution in an anonymous, secure and conflict-of-interest-free marketplace. By partnering with Liquidnet, we will be able to bring to the market an industry-wide solution with the aim of building a large pool of institutional sized corporate bond liquidity. We strongly believe that the market will benefit immensely from a neutral “all-to-all” electronic order book which combines the distribution, relationships, technology and expertise of Liquidnet and Vega-Chi,” commented Constantinos Antoniades, Founder and CEO, Vega-Chi.
According to a recent research report issued by the TABB Group, there is high demand for a corporate bond market structure that allows diverse sources of liquidity to connect more easily. More than three-quarters of the buy side firms TABB spoke with said that now is the time for an alternative trading system to emerge to help provide greater transparency and support for the liquidity-strained corporate bond market.
“We have heard from both the sell side and buy side communities about the need to evolve the way bonds are traded. The current market structure for corporate bonds is facing a number of significant hurdles, primarily due to the current dealer-focused business model. The market is crying out for new alternatives to source liquidity. The time may be ripe for a new corporate bond trading platform or protocol to emerge that will challenge the status quo,” commented Larry Tabb, Founder and CEO, The TABB Group.
ABOUT VEGA-CHI
Vega-Chi is a world leader in electronic trading facilities dedicated to high yield bonds and convertible bonds. Vega-Chi launched the first central limit order book dedicated to the US high yield market in October 2012, Europe’s first multilateral trading facility dedicated to convertible bonds in February 2010, and Europe’s first high bond yield central limit order book in February 2012. They currently have more than 150 participant firms, including some of the largest institutional investors in the relevant asset classes. Since inception, Vega-Chi received more than 36,000 client orders with notional value in excess of $73 billion. Investors in Vega-Chi include Octopus Investments.

Roark Capital acquires Central Jersey Waste and Recycling

Roark Capital‘s environmental services platform Synergy Environmental Corp. has acquired Central Jersey Waste and Recycling and sister companies, Premier Food Waste Recycling and Central Repairs. No financial terms were disclosed. Headquartered in Ewing, NJ, CJW is a provider of waste and recycling services for the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets.

PRESS RELEASE

ATLANTA, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, announced today that its affiliate, Synergy Environmental Corporation (“Synergy”), has acquired Central Jersey Waste and Recycling, Inc. and its sister entities, Premier Food Waste Recycling, Inc. and Central Repairs Inc. (collectively, the “Company” or “CJW”).
CJW is a leading provider of waste and recycling services to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets. Headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey, CJW provides non-hazardous solid waste collection, hauling and processing services to nearly 30 municipalities and approximately 1,000 commercial customers. The Company also collects and transports organic and food waste products for commercial and residential customers.
Roark formed Synergy to serve as a growth platform with the goal of building a scalable and integrated solid waste focused environmental services operation. Synergy will be led by Ed Apuzzi (CEO) and Joe LoVerde (COO), who previously ran Progressive Waste’s operations in the northeastern United States. Roark has committed substantial additional equity capital to Synergy to fund organic and acquisition based growth.
“We are excited to partner with Ed, Joe and the team at CJW to support their goal of continued growth and high standards of quality customer service. We believe New Jersey represents an ideal market to build a high quality, diversified environmental services provider,” said Jeffrey Keenan, President of Roark Capital Group and head of Roark’s environmental services team.
According to Apuzzi, “Roark’s dedicated environmental services team and operational experience will provide us with the additional resources needed to accelerate CJW’s organic and acquisition growth, while continuing to provide superior service and environmentally-friendly solutions throughout the region.”
LoVerde added, “Ed and I are excited to begin this new partnership with CJW. The company has an outstanding reputation for delivering superior service to its customers. We look forward to working with Roark to support the company’s growth initiatives.”
Synergy Environmental represents Roark’s fourth environmental services platform and 52nd transaction in this sector. Roark’s other environmental services investments include: Waste Pro USA, Inc. (www.wasteprousa.com); GFL Environmental Corporation (www.gflenv.com); and Quala Holdings LLC (www.qualawash.com). Waste Pro provides solid waste collection, disposal and recycling services to more than two million residential and 40,000 commercial customers in the southeastern United States. GFL provides solid waste and liquid waste collection, transfer and disposal services to more than 875,000 residential and 16,000 commercial customers. GFL also provides soil remediation services in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Quala provides industrial cleaning, maintenance, wastewater treatment and repair services to the tank trailer and transport container industry, with a nationwide footprint of 59 locations.
About Roark Capital Group
Roark Capital Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in franchise, brand management, environmental services and marketing services companies with attractive growth prospects. Roark focuses on middle-market investment opportunities through family-owned business transfers, management and corporate buyouts, recapitalizations, going-private transactions and corporate divestitures. The firm has $3 billion of equity capital under management. For more information, visit www.roarkcapital.com.
About Central Jersey Waste
Headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey, CJW is a leading solid waste and organics collection, hauling and recycling provider to municipalities, commercial customers and residential customers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. CJW services nearly 30 municipalities and approximately 1,000 commercial customers. For more information, visit www.centraljerseywaste.com.

 

PE-backed Netchemia completes SchoolSpring acquisition

Netchemia, which is backed by Mainsail Partners, has closed its buy of SchoolSpring. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Burlington, VT, SchoolSpring is a provider of online recruiting and application management solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (PRWEB) March 17, 2014
Netchemia, LLC, has completed the acquisition of online recruiting and application management provider SchoolSpring, Inc. The acquisition builds on Netchemia’s commitment to deliver the most comprehensive and user-friendly talent management resources to K-12 districts and institutions nationwide.
The acquisition, which includes the retention and integration of the entire 20-employee SchoolSpring team, will help Netchemia meet the ever-evolving needs of educators and education leaders. The acquisition provides Netchemia with expanded and enhanced software, services and support capabilities to its rapidly growing customer base.
SchoolSpring’s application tracking software is implemented in more than 600 K-12 districts and institutions, while hundreds more rely on its education job board services. Since the South Burlington, Vt.-based company’s inception in 2000, more than 140,000 jobs have been posted and 3.4 million applications submitted to SchoolSpring’s job board.
As the importance and value of talent management has become evident in K-12 education, Netchemia has moved to expand on its vision of empowering districts and institutions with the most comprehensive, customizable and user-friendly talent management software available, starting with the TalentEd K-12 Strategic Talent Management Suite.
“SchoolSpring is a complementary fit, as we share the same values and a similar vision of how to positively affect student achievement,” said Carlos Antequera, co-founder and CEO of Netchemia. “Together, we believe we can have a greater impact on K-12 talent management, including sourcing, recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining the best teachers and school leaders.”
With the acquisition, Netchemia now serves more than 2,000 K-12 districts, schools and organizations (public, charter, private and non-profit) of all sizes – impacting more than 5 million students – with its TalentEd Suite of talent management software for K-12 that includes the job board (SchoolSpring), applicant tracking and hiring (TalentEd Recruit & Hire),performance evaluation (TalentEd Perform) and personnel processes and records management (TalentEd Records).
“We believe that comprehensive talent management is paramount to future success for K-12 schools,” said Jim Fitzpatrick, SchoolSpring’s co-founder and president. “This is an exciting opportunity for both SchoolSpring and Netchemia customers to expand services, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and achieve positive educational impacts.”
About Netchemia
Netchemia is the leading provider of cloud-based talent management software specifically developed for K-12 educational organizations. We believe that by providing school districts with intuitive software to recruit, hire, develop and retain the best teachers and school leaders, we can help them dramatically affect student achievement.
Netchemia’s TalentEd K-12 Strategic Talent Management Suite delivers simple, innovative and affordable management solutions for applicant tracking and hiring (TalentEd Recruit & Hire), performance evaluation (TalentEd Perform), and personnel processes and records management (TalentEd Records) to more than 2,000 educational organizations across the nation. TalentEd frees school leaders to focus on what’s important – finding and developing the best teachers and staff and helping them grow. To learn more, visit http://www.netchemia.com.

 

Clearview Capital’s Active Day/Senior Care completes Young at Heart acquisition

Active Day/Senior Care, a portfolio company of Clearview Capital, has closed its buy of Young at Heart. No financial terms were disclosed for the the transaction, which was completed on March 3, 2014. Based in Brick Township, NJ, Young at Heart is a provider of adult day health services.

PRESS RELEASE

Old Greenwich, CT, March 17, 2014 — Active Day/Senior Care, Inc. (“Active Day/Senior Care” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Clearview Capital, LLC, has completed the acquisition of Young at Heart of Brick Township, NJ. The transaction closed on March 3.
Active Day/Senior Care is the premier provider of adult day health services in the United States with more than 75 centers in eleven states.
Designed to be a cost effective alternative to home health services, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the Company’s state-of-the-art centers offer a daytime program of nursing care, social services, meals and recreational activities to elderly and disabled adults.
Consistent with its branding process, the name of the newly acquired center has been changed to Senior Care of Brick. With this acquisition, the Company now operates 12 adult day health centers in New Jersey, with its first center in County.
“Young at Heart has been serving the community for many years and Senior Care looks forward to continuing this mission with the same level of care and commitment to those needing these valuable services. We are excited and pleased to be a part of the future of Senior Care of Brick” said Jim Donnelly, CEO for Senior Care.
“Senior Care’s twelfth acquisition cements the Company’s dominant position in New Jersey”, said James G. Andersen, Clearview Capital’s Co-Managing Partner. “As the pipeline of targets continues to grow Management expects growth by acquisition to remain an important part of the Company’s strategy.”
In addition to its investment in Active Day/Senior Care and the adult daycare market, Clearview Capital is actively seeking opportunities to add to its other health care services investments in St. Croix Hospice, LLC, a leading provider of high quality, end-of-life palliative care for patients suffering from a life-limiting illness or terminal disease; Child Health Holdings, Inc. d.b.a. Pediatric Health Choice, the country’s largest operator of Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care centers for medically complex children; and Pyramid Healthcare, Inc., a rapidly growing provider of substance abuse and mental health treatment programs for adults and adolescents, as well as to establish new platform companies in the health care services arena.
Clearview Capital’s other holdings include Novik, Inc., a leading designer, manufacturer and distributer of innovative polymer exterior siding, roofing coverings and accessories that replace traditional materials; QC Supply, LLC, a leading wholesale distributor to the swine and poultry markets; Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., a leading designer, developer and supplier of branded shooting and hunting accessories to the outdoor sporting goods industry; GCR, Inc., a professional services firm delivering consulting services and technology solutions to governmental and commercial clients; The Results Companies, LLC, a provider of customized inbound and outbound customer support services and management solutions; and QualSpec Group (f.k.a. All Tech IESCO), a provider of mechanical integrity inspection and non-destructive examination services for the refining, petrochemical, power generation and other industries.

Houston energy tech company Glori completes oil assets acquisition for $40 mln

Houston-based energy technology company Glori has closed its buy of producing oil assets in Wood County, Texas for $40 million. The seller was Petro-Hunt. Glori recently said it would merge with Infinity, which is backed by private equity fund Infinity Group and Hicks Equity Partner.

PRESS RELEASE

HOUSTON and TEL AVIV, Israel, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –
Infinity Cross Border Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq: INXB) (“Infinity”), a special purpose acquisition company, and Glori Energy Inc. (“Glori”), an energy technology company that deploys its proprietary AEROTM System to significantly increase oil production from mature oil fields, announced today that Glori has completed the previously announced acquisition of producing oil assets in Wood County, Texas from Petro-Hunt LLC (“Petro-Hunt”) for $40 million. Glori and Infinity, which is co-sponsored by Infinity Group and an affiliate of Hicks Equity Partners LLC, recently announced that they will merge in a $185 million transaction.
Highlights of the acquired assets include:
Current net production of approximately 500 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day from 28 wells
Reserves with a production ratio estimated to be 19 years
Estimated net proved reserves of approximately 2.8MMBoe, of which 56% are proved developed producing (PDP) and 44% are proved undeveloped
Proved reserves with an average working interest of 98.6%
Overriding royalty and fee interests which result in high per well net revenue interests
The $40 million purchase price was funded with $24 million in debt facilities, including $2 million in a 6% convertible promissory note issued to Petro-Hunt, which may be converted into common stock of the post merger entity at $8.00 per share subsequent to the consummation of the merger and share exchange agreement between Glori and Infinity, and $16 million from Glori’s cash on hand.
About Glori Energy Inc.
Based in Houston, Texas, Glori Energy Inc. is a technology focused energy company that deploys its proprietary Activated Environment for the Recovery of Oil (AEROTM) System in waterdrive oilfields to increase production. The AERO technology stimulates the native microorganisms that reside in the reservoir to improve the recoverability of trapped oil. Glori provides its AERO System as a service to third party E&P companies, and also uses its technology to increase oil production in fields that it acquires and redevelops in the United States. For more information visit: http://www.GloriEnergy.com.
ABOUT INFINITY CROSS BORDER ACQUISITION CORPORATION
Infinity Cross Border Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: INXB) is a blank check company co-sponsored by Infinity Group and Hicks Holdings LLC. Infinity Corp. held its IPO on July 25, 2012 and was established for the purpose of acquiring a growing business via a reverse merger. On January 8, 2014, Infinity and Glori Energy Inc. entered into a merger and share exchange agreement whereby Glori will become a publicly listed company through a merger with Infinity, in a transaction valued at approximately $185 million.
ABOUT INFINITY GROUP
Infinity Group is a cross-border platform and private equity fund known for its strong roots in China. Infinity Group currently manages $800 million. It has 100 portfolio companies and 17 RMB joint venture funds throughout China, making Infinity the owner of more RMB funds than any other foreign PE fund in China. Infinity to date has made 100 deals and 30 successful exits. Sectors of focus include: medical, agricultural, water, energy and high end manufacturing. Infinity is led by managing partners Mr. Amir Gal-Or and Mr. Avishai Silvershatz. For more information, please visit http://www.infinity-equity.com.
ABOUT HICKS EQUITY PARTNERS
Hicks Equity Partners (HEP) is the private equity arm for Hicks Holdings LLC, a holding company for the Thomas O. Hicks family’s assets. With 35 years of private equity experience, Mr. Hicks pioneered the “buy and build” strategy of investing and founded Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, which raised more than $12 billion of private equity across six funds and completed over $50 billion of leveraged acquisitions. HEP looks for established companies with proven track records, strong free cash flow characteristics, a strong competitive industry position and an experienced management team looking to partner with long-term capital.

 

Vodafone to buy Spain’s Ono – Reuters

Reuters – Britain’s Vodafone has agreed to buy Spanish cable operator Ono for 7.2 billion euros ($10.03 billion) in a deal that is set to be announced on Monday, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The purchase of private equity-backed Ono will be Vodafone’s third European fixed-broadband acquisition in two years as the company seeks to improve its networks and shore up its European businesses after the $130 billion sale of its U.S. arm.

Vodafone declined to comment.

(Reporting by Kate Holton in London and Richa Naidu in Bangalore)

VC-backed Wix buys Israeli startup Appixia

Wix.com, a provider of free software for building websites, has acquired Appixia. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Israel, Appixia is a mobile commerce native app builder. Wix, which recently went public, is backed by Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Venture Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

TEL AVIV, Israel, March 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wix.com Ltd. (Nasdaq:WIX), a leading global web development platform, announced today its acquisition of Appixia, a platform for building native mCommerce apps. This acquisition supports the company’s plans to continue strengthening its technological advantage and the depth of its product offering.
There is a natural correlation between the two companies as both provide code-free solutions empowering small businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals to build their online presence. Appixia lets every retailer profit from the benefits of having a native mobile app by making a complex and costly development process accessible and affordable. Wix’s comprehensive cloud-based platform provides user-friendly solutions for all of a business’s online needs – website creation, eCommerce capabilities, business management tools, third party app integration, mobile solutions and much more. Appixia’s technology adds another layer to the Wix product suite and perfectly complements the company’s philosophy and offering.
Appixia’s platform allows users to build and launch feature-rich native mCommerce apps on iOS and Android, enabling them to capitalize on features such as push notifications, barcode scanning, location-based services (GPS), credit card scanning and much more. In October 2013, Wix launched an innovative mobile adaptive solution, and at year’s end, more than 1.6 million mobile websites had been created on the Wix platform. Wix users are creating over 30,000 new mobile sites every day, making it one of the fastest growing mobile site builders in the world. Wix is continuously expanding its platform, and Appixia’s capabilities in the native apps sphere will help drive Wix’s mobile offering even further.
“Appixia is the perfect addition to the Wix platform. It truly embraces our mission of bringing the most function-rich and innovative technological solutions to users, regardless of their technical ability or budget,” said Avishai Avrahami, Wix’s CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman. “Native mobile apps are a huge part of managing and promoting a business online. Expanding the range of mobile solutions we provide our customers with is a strategic focus for Wix, and by integrating Appixia’s technology we can more quickly boost and further diversify our mobile offering.”
“We were in the midst of our first funding round when the Wix opportunity came up, and we immediately saw the natural fit,” said Yigael Berger, CEO and Co-Founder of Appixia. “Wix is a household name, and the idea that the technology we built can serve over 42 million users is thrilling. It’s a huge opportunity that will let us fast-track our dream and expand our offering in new and exciting directions. We’re proud graduates of the Microsoft Ventures Israel Accelerator program, and the first participating startup to get acquired. We couldn’t be more grateful for this program’s contribution to our success.”
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The acquisition is not expected to have an impact on the Company’s non-GAAP operating results.
About Wix.com Ltd.:
Wix.com (Nasdaq:WIX) is a leading cloud-based web development platform with over 42 million registered users worldwide, as of December 31, 2013. Wix was founded on the belief that the Internet should be accessible to everyone to develop, create and contribute. Through free and premium subscriptions, Wix empowers millions of businesses, organizations, professionals and individuals to take their businesses, brands and workflow online. The Wix Editor and highly curated App Market enable users to build and manage a fully integrated and dynamic online presence. Wix’s headquarters are in Tel Aviv with offices in San Francisco, New York, Vilnius and Dnepropetrovsk.
For more information, visit: http://www.wix.com/
About Appixia
Appixia was founded by Yigael Berger and Tal Kol. The Appixia technology delivers easy to use and complete HTML5 and native (iOS and Android) mobile solutions to small businesses and individuals around the world. Through their cutting edge technology Appixia provides users with an intuitive and integrated HTML5 and native app building environment that leverages the specific advantages of native mobile platforms.

Thoma Bravo’s Embarcadero agrees to buy CA Technologies’ data modeling business

Embarcadero Technologies, a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo, has agreed to acquire software firm CA Technologies‘ CA ERwin data modeling solution. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO – March 13, 2014 – Embarcadero Technologies, a leading provider of software solutions for application and database development, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CA Technologies industry-leading CA ERwin® Data Modeling solution. The acquisition will give Embarcadero a broader route to market through additional channel partners and a set of employees who stand to thrive in an organization that is closely aligned with CA ERwin’s core strengths.
The combination of Embarcadero and CA ERwin will bring together two highly complementary technologies and create an organization uniquely qualified to meet companies’ needs for a more robust, secure data architecture.
“Data architecture is now the biggest part of Embarcadero’s business and represents our significant commitment to the category,” said Wayne Williams, CEO at Embarcadero Technologies. “Every aspect of IT – from application development and business intelligence to security and user experience – is defined and driven by data architecture. With the addition of CA ERwin’s strong technical team and deep data modeling expertise, Embarcadero will drive greater investment, innovation and momentum in this critical technology segment.”
CA ERwin is the most-used data modeling tool among data professionals, and is sold almost exclusively through more than 500 partners in over 70 countries.
Embarcadero is a leading provider of software solutions for application and database development. Headquartered in San Francisco, Embarcadero is a privately held company with over 500 employees, a global presence with offices in 29 countries, and over three million users worldwide. Its acquisition of CA ERwin will make Embarcadero the world’s leading data architecture company.
“We are very pleased with this transaction, which will ensure a smooth transition to a strong partner for CA ERwin customers and employees,” said Jacob Lamm, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development of CA Technologies. “We are actively managing our portfolio and investments, and the sale of CA ERwin further sharpens our focus on core capabilities, such as IT Business Management, DevOps and Security across mainframe, distributed, cloud and mobile environments.”
For Embarcadero customers, the benefits of the combined assets will mean greater investment, innovation and momentum in data architecture technology. Furthermore, Embarcadero’s intensified commitment and focus for business functions, R&D and support will equate to higher levels of customer service and satisfaction. This transaction brings ERwin customers into Embarcadero’s data modeling focused business, which is part of a rich database tools ecosystem that includes data modeling, data management, database development and app development.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Embarcadero Technologies
Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of award-winning tools for application developers and database professionals so they can design systems right, build them faster and run them better, regardless of their platform or programming language. Ninety of the Fortune 100 and an active community of more than three million users worldwide rely on Embarcadero products to increase productivity, reduce costs, simplify change management and compliance, and accelerate innovation. Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices located around the world. To learn more, please visit www.embarcadero.com.

Exclusive: Charterhouse in the lead to buy Skillsoft: Reuters

European buyout firm Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP is nearing a deal to acquire education software provider Skillsoft Ltd for more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The deal, which is expected to be announced in the coming days, will likely value Skillsoft at around $2.3 billion, including debt, one of the people said.

This would mean that Skillsoft’s current private equity owners – Berkshire Partners LLC, Advent International Corp and Bain Capital LLC – stand to make around three times their money on the sale of the company, that person added.

Charterhouse emerged as the lead contender for Skillsoft following an auction that also drew a binding bid from Providence Equity Partners LLC, the people said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are private.

Charterhouse, Providence Equity, Berkshire Partners, Advent and Bain declined to comment. Representatives for Skillsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Skillsoft provides electronic learning solutions to more than 6,000 customers globally, including companies and governments. It uses cloud computing, which allows clients to reduce costs by ditching bulky local servers for network-based software and storage in remote data centers.

The Nashua, New Hampshire-based company was taken private by Berkshire Partners, Advent and Bain in 2010 for $1.1 billion. It reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $139.2 million for the 12 months ended January 31, 2013, up from $111.1 million the year before.

The corporate education and training market is highly fragmented and competitive, with low barriers to entry. One of Skillsoft’s competitors, Cengage Learning, which is also a major textbook publisher, filed for Chapter 11 protection last summer and won court approval on Thursday to emerge from bankruptcy.

Renaissance Learning Inc, another cloud-based educational software firm geared toward school children, said on Thursday it would be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC for $1.1 billion, just one month after Google’s late-stage investment arm, Google Capital, invested in the same company at a $1 billion valuation.

Berkshire Partners, Advent and Bain committed at least $510 million in equity when they acquired Skillsoft in 2010, according to a credit research note at the time by Moody’s Investors Service Inc.

Skillsoft’s owners had tapped Deutsche Bank AG to run an auction for the company, Reuters reported in January.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, Greg Roumeliotis and Nadia Damouni. Editing by Andrew Hay and Lisa Shumaker)

Bill Gates-backed EcoMotors buys Katech

Motor technology developer EcoMotors has acquired Katech. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Michigan, Katech is a maker of advanced engines and powertrains. Also, EM has named Tony Mannarino as CEO of Katech. EM is backed by Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates and Braemar Energy Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

Allen Park, Mich., March 12, 2014 – EcoMotors, Inc., (EM) announced today the purchase of Katech, Inc., the Michigan-based manufacturing company known for developing advanced engines and powertrains, adding additional expertise, manufacturing and testing capabilities to an already growing company.
EM will use Katech’s proven testing, research and development, and manufacturing capabilities to continue to research, design and build advanced engine technologies that seek to redefine the internal combustion engine, while maintaining Katech’s core business and providing new paths for growth.
“The purchase of Katech will significantly grow EM’s ability to bring things from design to life at a rapid pace, taking us further down the path of redefining how the world is powered,” said Amit Soman , EM president and chief operating officer. “With this, we are adding a remarkable team with a long-standing reputation for high quality and a proven track record in the space.”
EM has appointed Tony Mannarino as CEO of Katech and to oversee day-to-day operations. Former Katech CEO John F. (Fritz) Kayl will maintain a consulting role with the company. Under EM, Katech will continue to operate as the Katech brand, maintaining its current business operations and staff.
“It’s great to see another Michigan company taking advantage of what we’ve built at Katech during the past 37 years,” said Kayl. “This new relationship will accelerate change in the engine industry and will allow both companies to realize their full potential.”
Mannarino said, “Katech and EM have a shared goal to develop ground-breaking technology. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together.”
EM is a privately held company, founded in 2008, whose primary investors are Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates and Braemar Energy Ventures. EM is challenging the conventions about the size, efficiency and versatility of the internal combustion engine, starting with the EM’s opposed-piston opposed-cylinder (opoc®) engine. The opoc engine architecture is smaller and lighter than conventional engines, with 50 percent fewer components. The engine is highly versatile, offers unprecedented power density and has a broad range of applications in both vehicles and machines.
EM Founder, Chairman, Chief Technical Officer, and inventor of the opoc technology, Professor Peter Hofbauer, said, “Katech has an exemplary reputation in engine development and I’m confident we can learn from each other to make both companies even stronger.”
Founded in 1977 and based in Clinton Township, Mich., Katech specializes in design, prototyping, testing, research and development, and manufacturing of engines and engine technology.
Katech has developed and produced technology for multiple automakers, including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Katech engines have also powered the famous GM Corvette Racing team that has dominated the U.S., and global GT racing circuits by capturing six championships and winning the legendary 24 Hours of LeMans six times.
This announcement comes on the heels of news of EM’s $200+ million joint venture with First Auto Works Jingye Engine Company to develop, manufacture, sell and service the opoc engine technology in China.

Crowdfunding platform Fundable buys VC-backed LaunchRock

Business crowdfunding platform Fundable has acquired LaunchRock. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Walnut, Calif., LaunchRock helps startups launch their businesses. Its backers include 500 Startups, Venture51, Quotidian Ventures and Trinity Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) March 13, 2014
Fundable.com, a business crowdfunding platform, has acquired LaunchRock.com, a tool used by early stage startup companies and entrepreneurs preparing to launch their businesses. The combined companies will make it easier for entrepreneurs to create businesses, by connecting business ideas to business crowdfunding.
With the acquisition, Fundable will offer crowdfunding opportunities to 10 million users, including 500,000 startup companies, with 15,000 new company registrations each month. Wil Schroter, Founder and CEO of Fundable, explains, “we’ve quietly helped businesses crowdfund over $87 million in commitments and we’re excited to bring crowdfunding to entrepreneurs in the early stages of creating a business.”
12X Greater Than Kickstarter:
The average raise amount on Fundable is $175,000, which is 12 times the average raise amount on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that recently announced $1 billion in crowdfunding commitments. Different from Kickstarter, Fundable is 100% dedicated to helping entrepreneurs create businesses. Successfully crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo often turn to Fundable when they’re ready to create a scalable business. Techstar’s Ube, Cregle, and Uncharted Play all moved to Fundable to raise expansion capital.
The addition of crowdfunding also creates a powerful opportunity for current LaunchRock users. Founder Jameson Detweiler explains, “the most consistent request we’re getting from our startup companies is how to take the large followings they have created and turn that demand into a crowdfunding opportunity. The companies already have millions of followers who love their ideas. The next logical step is to turn them on to business crowdfunding, where Fundable is clearly the leader.”
The cash and stock deal includes the purchase of all of LaunchRock assets, as well as the addition of 42 prominent venture capital and angel investors including 500 Startups, Trinity Ventures, Venture51, and Quotidian Ventures. Fundable is privately funded by its founders. LaunchRock’s current employees will join the Fundable team.
Dave McClure, Founder of 500 Startups, who has served as an advisor and shareholder for both companies, said “Crowdfunding is taking off. 500 Startups is psyched to see companies like Fundable and LaunchRock work together to make it even more awesome.”
About Fundable:
Fundable.com is the largest business crowdfunding platform with over $87 million in commitments and exclusively dedicated to helping businesses. Different from any other crowdfunding platform, Fundable offers both rewards and equity business crowdfunding options. Founded by veteran entrepreneurs who have raised countless venture capital and angel investment rounds of financing, Fundable seeks to empower startups by providing access to early stage growth capital.
Key Facts:
Fundable.com has acquired Launchrock.com. Fundable is privately funded by its founders. Fundable has raised $87 million in crowdfunding commitments to businesses.
Fundable’s average raise amount is 12X greater than Kickstarter ($175,000 Fundable vs. $15,035 Kickstarter) . The top crowdfunded companies such as Techstar’s Ube, UnchartedPlay, and Cregle have all moved to Fundable to raise expansion capital after Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Combined Fundable and LaunchRock will have:
10 million registered users
500,000 registered startups
15,000 new startups per month
2 million visitors per month
42 venture capital and angel investors join Fundable including 500 Startups, Trinity Ventures, and Quotidian Ventures

Cupcake Digital buys VC-backed Zuuka

New York-based mobile games and app developer Cupcake Digital has acquired Zuuka. No financial terms were disclosed. Graham Farrar and Woody Sears, founders of Zuuka, will join Cupcake Digital’s senior management staff. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif., Zuuka, which is backed by CFP Investments, is a children’s media company.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cupcake Digital, Inc., a leading developer of award-winning children’s enhanced storybook, interactive play and gaming apps, has acquired zuuka Inc., developers of the popular iStoryTime Library. This strategic acquisition effectively positions Cupcake Digital as one of the largest independent children’s app developers, with a combined app library of over 250 titles and a download base of over 8.5 million.
“The synergies that are created by bringing Cupcake and zuuka together are ideal,” said Cupcake Digital Chairman & CEO Brad Powers. “Both companies have been focused on creating top-ranked, innovative apps featuring well-known entertainment characters that kids and parents love. The acquisition expands our entertainment license portfolio and will leverage Cupcake’s proprietary technology platform, enabling us to launch new interactive apps and storybooks that give children, parents and caregivers even more choices from a brand they trust.”
Investment Manager Lukas Bennemann from venture capital group CFP Investments/venturecapital.de commented: “I loved the idea of combining zuuka and Cupcake Digital from the start. Both companies share the same spirit and vision and surely make a perfect fit. As a shareholder of this newly combined entity, CFP Group foresees a major impact on the market and looks forward to welcoming many more consumers to a great world of kids’ apps.” venturecapital.de was started in 2008 in Frankfurt/Germany and is a leading growth equity investment firm with a clear focus on technology companies in the field of software, the internet, mobile telecommunications and IT business services.
zuuka Founders Graham Farrar and Woody Sears, will hold senior management positions at Cupcake Digital, adding a combined 12 years of app building experience to the company.
About Cupcake Digital
Founded in 2012, Cupcake Digital, Inc. gives kids the opportunity to interact with the characters they love by transforming children’s entertainment properties into award-winning apps. The Company’s apps are consistently top-ranked on the Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore for Android, Google Play and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store. Cupcake’s licensed IP portfolio includes Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock, Strawberry Shortcake, VeggieTales, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Animal Planet, The Smurfs, Sid the Science Kid, Barney, Mike the Knight, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Puss n In Boots, How To Train Your Dragon, Madagascar, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda.
For more information about Cupcake Digital Inc., please visit www.cupcakedigital.com.

 

PE-backed NRC completes Sureclean acquisition

National Response Corp., a portfolio company of J.F. Lehman & Company, has completed its acquisition of Sureclean Limited. No financial terms were disclosed. BNP Paribas Securities Corp arranged senior debt financing for the deal while Ernst & Young served as financial advisor to NRC. Based in the UK, Sureclean is a provider of specialty environmental and industrial solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — National Response Corporation (“NRC”), a portfolio company of J.F. Lehman & Company, announced today the completion of a deal which adds UK-based Sureclean Limited (“Sureclean”) to the NRC group of companies.
NRC is a leading global provider of diversified environmental, industrial and emergency response solutions. Headquartered in Great River, New York, with regional offices throughout the U.S. and internationally, NRC has approximately 800 employees.
Operating both in the UK and internationally, Sureclean is a provider of specialty environmental and industrial solutions to the oil & gas, petrochemical, renewables, utilities, civil engineering and construction sectors. The company is headquartered in Alness, Scotland with additional offices in the Aberdeen area and employs a permanent staff of 135.
Steve Candito, CEO of NRC, commented, “NRC has experienced significant growth in its international business in recent years and the addition of Sureclean to the group further strengthens and broadens our service offering. We believe the combination of NRC’s global footprint and Sureclean’s quality personnel, cutting edge technology and proven track record makes for a strong strategic fit. We are very happy to welcome the Sureclean team in to the fold and look forward to further growth in NRC’s international activities.”
John Barron, Managing Director of Sureclean, stated, “We are excited about moving forward as part of the NRC group. Sureclean has developed a great reputation as a provider of superior, solution-driven services through the hard work and dedication of our staff, and we believe the global strength and financial resources of NRC will allow us to continue with our international expansion and add new services while ensuring the continuation of high quality services to our customers wherever we operate.”
“Since our acquisition of NRC in 2012, the company has demonstrated strong growth and we are delighted to be able to announce the addition of Sureclean to the group, bringing with it expansion into new geographies and a range of new, complimentary service capabilities,” said Alex Harman, Partner.
Senior debt financing for the acquisition was arranged by BNP Paribas Securities Corp. (as sole lead arranger). Ernst & Young LLP served as financial advisor to NRC and Jones Day LLP provided legal counsel to NRC.
About J.F. Lehman & Company, Inc.
J.F. Lehman & Company is a leading middle-market private equity firm focused primarily on the maritime, defense, and aerospace sectors.
For more information about J.F. Lehman & Company, please visit www.jflpartners.com.

Water Street and JLL Partners completes merger of CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica

Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners said Wednesday that they have completed the merger of CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica. No financial terms were disclosed. Both Water Street and JLL Partners have named Jeffrey McMullen to serve as chairman of the combined company, which will provide specialty outsourced clinical services.

PRESS RELEASE

CHICAGO and NEW YORK, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Water Street Healthcare Partners, a strategic investor focused exclusively on the health care industry, and JLL Partners, a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced today that they have merged their companies CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica, Inc. The combination creates a leading global provider of specialty outsourced clinical services.

JLL Partners and Water Street invested in BioClinica and CCBR-SYNARC in 2013 and reached an agreement earlier this year to combine the two companies. The firms recruited Jeffrey McMullen, an executive with 40 years of experience in the drug development industry, to serve as chairman. Together, BioClinica and CCBR-SYNARC offer a comprehensive suite of services that support the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with reducing the cost and time of global clinical trials.
“This merger creates a market leader uniquely positioned to support pharmaceutical companies with managing key components of their clinical trials,” said Peter Strothman, partner, Water Street. “Together, CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica offer the industry’s most comprehensive clinical imaging program across all major therapeutic areas that can interact with any contract research organization. In addition, they offer complementary services and software solutions in the high-growth areas of patient recruitment and clinical development.”
Dan Agroskin, partner, JLL Partners, added, “Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are increasingly turning to outside specialists to help them manage the cost and complexities of drug development. As one entity, CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica offer a combination of scientific expertise, clinical trial experience and advanced technologies that solve challenges across the drug development continuum. Their solutions are proven to reduce clinical trial costs, shorten drug development time, and improve data quality and compliance.”
Together, CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica support pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with a portfolio of specialized outsourced services that include:
Medical Imaging analysis and consultation that track the effectiveness of new drugs and medical devices across major therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, musculoskeletal and cardiology;
Patient Recruitment through a global network of 26 dedicated research centers that enroll and retain qualified patients from targeted geographies to participate in trials;
Software Solutions and consulting services that improve the efficiency and management of the drug development process, including EDC, CTMS and IVR/IWR solutions;
Cardiovascular safety and efficacy that measure the effects of compounds under development on cardiac health, and;
Central Lab Services that analyze biological samples originating from Phase I-IV trials.
Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
About JLL Partners
JLL Partners is a middle-market private equity firm with a 25-year track record of adding value to complex investments through financial and operational expertise. Since its founding in 1988 by Paul S. Levy, JLL Partners has committed approximately USD 4.2 billion across six funds, and developed significant expertise in the healthcare and other sectors. JLL is a control investor and sources its deals from its deep network of industry contacts, applying its proven, value-oriented and growth driven investment approach to provide limited partners with attractive risk-adjusted returns throughout all investment cycles. The firm is headquartered in New York. For more information about JLL Partners, visit jllpartners.com.
About Water Street
Water Street is a strategic investor focused exclusively on health care. The firm has a strong record of building market-leading companies across key growth sectors in health care. It has worked with some of the world’s leading health care companies on its investments including Gentiva, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Smith & Nephew. Water Street’s team is comprised of industry executives and private equity professionals with decades of experience investing in and operating global health care businesses. The firm is headquartered in Chicago. For more information about Water Street, visit waterstreet.com.