Journalism startup Byliner acquires VC-backed Seesaw Decisions

According to a post on its website, mobile developer Seesaw Decisions has been acquired by Byliner. No financial terms were disclosed. Byliner is a subscription-based service that offers readers short stories by top authors. Seesaw’s investors include Freestyle Capital, Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital and Betaworks. To read Seesaw’s announcement of its purchase by Byliner, click here.

KRG’s Convergint buys China-based ICD

Convergint Technologies, a portfolio company of KRG Capital Partners, has acquired ICD Security Systems. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in China, ICD is a provider of security solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Convergint Technologies (“Convergint” or the “Company”), a KRG Fund IV (“KRG”) portfolio company and leading independent provider of integration services for electronic security, fire and life safety, and building automation systems in North America, has announced its acquisition of China-based ICD Security Systems (“ICD”). Founded in 1997, ICD is a leading value-added security solutions provider serving global Fortune 500 companies by providing world class security services including system design, integration, support, and training. ICD possesses a highly skilled workforce of over two hundred professionals located in ten offices and operating in seven countries throughout the Pacific Rim.
“ICD is an important acquisition for Convergint. It is a significant step in the ongoing execution of the Company’s strategic plan which was created by the management team and KRG at the time of our initial investment in 2012”
Convergint continues to experience rapid growth and is dedicated to continuing its acquisition strategy that includes bolstering its geographic coverage and partnering with strong integrators that allow Convergint to better serve the needs of its multi-national customers. “Today a significant portion of our business involves servicing global customers, so the integration of ICD will allow us to better serve this important client base,” said Dan Moceri, CEO of Convergint Technologies.
“ICD is an important acquisition for Convergint. It is a significant step in the ongoing execution of the Company’s strategic plan which was created by the management team and KRG at the time of our initial investment in 2012,” said Ted Nark, Managing Director of KRG.
KRG made an investment in Convergint in August 2012, representing the 12th of 14 platform company investments to date in KRG’s $1.96 billion Fund IV. ICD is KRG’s 186th acquisition since inception.
About Convergint Technologies: Convergint Technologies is an industry-leading organization that designs, installs and services integrated building systems including electronic security, fire alarm and life safety, and building automation solutions. To learn more about Convergint visit www.convergint.com.
About KRG Capital Partners: Founded in 1996, KRG is a Denver-based private equity buyout firm with $4.4 billion of cumulative capital either deployed or available for future investment, which includes approximately $1.1 billion deployed since inception by institutional equity co-investors. The Firm seeks investment opportunities for its partners where KRG can work in concert with owners and operating managers who are committed to expanding their companies and becoming industry leaders. The result is a partnership that focuses on creating a significantly larger enterprise through a combination of internal growth and complementary add-on acquisitions. For more information on KRG, please visit www.krgcapital.com.

Men’s Wearhouse turns tables with bid for Jos. A. Bank-Reuters

(Reuters) – Men’s Wearhouse Inc struck back at Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc with a $1.5 billion bid to acquire the suit and tuxedo retailer, only weeks after rejecting a takeover offer from its smaller rival.

Men’s Wearhouse, under pressure from activist shareholders to merge, offered $55 per share in cash for Jos. A. Bank, an unusual counter-offer that values the smaller retailer’s stock at a 9 percent premium to its close on Monday.

Jos. A. Bank’s shares rose as much as 12 percent on Tuesday to a two-and-a-half year high of $56.91, topping the offer in a sign investors might be expecting a higher bid. Men’s Wearhouse shares rose as much as 7 percent to a year-high.

“For the shareholders of Men’s Warehouse and for Joseph A. Bank, Christmas has come early. They will see huge benefits to the merging of these two companies,” said Jerry Reisman, an M&A expert at law firm Reisman Peirez Reisman and Capobianco LLP.

The combined company would have 1,700 stores that hire tuxedos and sell suits, a scale that has in the past raised antitrust questions about a merger.

The retaliatory offer from Men’s Wearhouse, which the company says implies an enterprise value of about $1.2 billion for Jos. A. Bank, follows pressure from its largest shareholder, New York-based hedge fund Eminence Capital LLC. Eminence, along with other hedge funds that hold about 30 percent of Men’s Wearhouse shares, had tried to persuade other investors to pressure the company into accepting the takeover offer from Jos. A. Bank.

“We are pleased to see that the board of Men’s Wearhouse agrees with us and recognizes the substantial benefits of merging with Jos. A. Bank,” said Eminence Capital Chief Executive Ricky Sandler.

The last person to push Men’s Wearhouse to sell itself was its founder, George Zimmer, known to U.S. television audiences for his advertising catch phrase, “You’re gonna like the way you look – I guarantee it”.

Zimmer was ousted by the board in June after arguing for a sale of the company to an investment group. At the time, he accused the board of trying to silence him for expressing concerns about the direction of a company he founded 40 years ago.

Jos. A. Bank was not immediately available for comment. As of August 3, the company had cash and cash equivalents of about $333.2 million and no long-term debt.

PAC-MAN DEFENSE
The unusual tactic of a target firm turning around to try and buy a previous suitor is known as a Pac-Man defense, named after a 1980s video game where Pac-Man turns on the ghosts trying to kill him.

Men’s Wearhouse swiftly rebuffed Jos. A. Bank’s offer in October to buy it for $2.3 billion, or $48 per share. Jos. A. Bank walked away from the bid on November 15, although it did not rule out another bid.

In a statement on Tuesday, Men’s Wearhouse said it had the “advantage in scale, growth and performance” to combine the two chains.

“We believe we are the right acquirer for this combination and that our experienced management team is best positioned to execute the integration of our companies,” said Bill Sechrest, lead director of the board of Men’s Wearhouse.

Men’s Wearhouse, based in Fremont, California, operates more than 1,100 stores under the Men’s Wearhouse, Moores and K&G banners. Jos. A. Bank, a century-old seller of men’s tailored and casual clothing, has more than 600 stores in the United States.

“Men’s Wearhouse’s leadership was not only personally offended by the efforts of Jos A. Bank to try to take them over, but they see this as an opportunity to strengthen their business by eliminating the competition,” said Reisman.

After rejecting the October offer, Men’s Wearhouse also adopted a poison pill to prevent a hostile takeover. It also said at the time that a combination of the two companies raised anti-trust issues.

Men’s Wearhouse shares were trading up 5.5 percent at $49.72 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Russia’s Sistema considers buying into e-commerce firm Ozon-Reuters

(Reuters) – Russia’s Sistema is considering buying into Ozon, a fast-growing e-commerce and internet shopping company backed by private equity firm Baring Vostok, the oil-to-telecoms group said on Tuesday.

The comments partly confirmed a report by the Vedomosti daily newspaper which cited sources saying that Sistema was in talks with Baring Vostok to buy a stake in Ozon, which runs a similar model to U.S. online retail pioneer Amazon.

According to Vedomosti, Ozon is valued at up to £494,773,950 by Baring Vostok, a private equity partnership founded by American Michael Calvey that invested $3 million together with a partner to buy a 51 percent stake in Ozon in 2000.

“We are looking at it as part of a new funding round (for Ozon) but without any obligations so far,” said Sistema spokeswoman Ekaterina Tsukanova. Sistema also owns the Detsky Mir children’s store chain and some online retail franchises.

Ozon’s revenues have grown more than 200-fold over the past decade, from $2 million in 2002 to 15.3 billion roubles ($464 million) in 2012, when they grew by 73 percent year-on-year.

Ozon declined comment. Baring Vostok, also an early investor in search engine Yandex that floated on the U.S. Nasdaq exchange in 2011, was not available for comment.

Alchemy Partners exits InterGlobal

Aetna has agreed to buy InterGlobal from a group of investors led by majority shareholder Alchemy Partners. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction, which is expected to close during the first half of 2014. Based in the UK, InterGlobal is a provider of medical insurance for groups and individuals in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

PRESS RELEASE

HARTFORD, Conn, November 25, 2013 ― Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that it has agreed to acquire United Kingdom-based InterGlobal from a group led by its majority shareholder Alchemy Partners. InterGlobal has more than 65,000 medical members worldwide, and specializes in international private medical insurance for groups and individuals in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.
The terms of the transaction, which are not material to Aetna, were not disclosed. Aetna expects to finance the acquisition from available resources. The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2014 and be neutral to Aetna’s financial results in 2014.
“The addition of InterGlobal to Aetna’s international business will expand our footprint in fast-growing geographies, increase our membership and enhance our international penetration with individual, small and mid-sized business customers,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman, CEO and president. “This acquisition will increase our presence in the marketplace for international private medical insurance where growth is being driven by dynamics such as the continued globalization of companies of all sizes, the growing population of high net worth individuals in emerging economies and reform efforts by governments around the world to increase access to health care.”
Richard di Benedetto, president of Aetna International, added, “InterGlobal is well-established in the high-growth private medical insurance regions of the Middle East, Asia and Africa through a distribution model that incorporates local strategic partners and its own licenses. These strategic arrangements will allow us to offer our health care solutions locally to customers in about a dozen additional countries in those regions. InterGlobal also shares our commitment to customer focus and service excellence.”
Stephen Hartigan, CEO of InterGlobal, said, “Aetna’s position in the United States as a leading diversified health care benefits company is impressive. Their commitment to international development in the health insurance sector is shared by InterGlobal. We are looking forward to becoming part of the Aetna family.”
InterGlobal’s customer base includes individuals and families; employers; diplomatic staff; international schools and affinity groups. The company has approximately 300 employees primarily based in its operation centers in the U.K., Dubai and Singapore. InterGlobal also has a network of more than 3,000 providers, composed largely of outpatient and ancillary providers. InterGlobal has been honored by U.K.’s Cover magazine with the award for “International Private Medical Insurance Provider of the Year” for the past five years.

Tailwind Capital’s Cumberland closes buy of Mindlance Life Sciences

Cumberland Consulting Group, a portfolio company of Tailwind Capital, has completed its acquisition of Mindlance Life Sciences. No financial terms were disclosed. Clearsight Advisors served as the strategic and financial advisor to Mindlance in the transaction. Mindlance Life Sciences is a provider of advisory and tech services to pharmaceutical companies specializing in contract and revenue management, compliance and data analytics.

PRESS RELEASE

Clearsight Advisors, Inc. (“Clearsight”) is pleased to announce the completion of another highly successful transaction in their Professional Services Practice. Clearsight served as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Mindlance Inc., on the sale of its Life Sciences Consulting business, Mindlance Life Sciences, to Cumberland Consulting Group, LLC, a portfolio company of Tailwind Capital.
The Mindlance Life Sciences Consulting division provides advisory and technology implementation services to pharmaceutical companies specializing in contract and revenue management, compliance, and data analytics solutions. The company serves eight of the top 15 global pharmaceutical manufacturers. The Mindlance Life Sciences Consulting team will operate as a separate practice within Cumberland under the Cumberland brand and will continue to be led by its former Managing Partner Jeff Lee.
“Clearsight was the clear choice for us as we evaluated investment banks to guide us through this mission critical transaction. Clearsight’s unmatched industry knowledge and strategic relationships across both the consulting and life sciences spectrum allowed us to find the perfect partner in Cumberland. We couldn’t have chosen a better team to advise us on this transaction”, said Jeff Lee, Managing Partner, Mindlance Life Sciences.
With over 550 market participants in the United States alone, the life sciences industry represents one of the largest and most dynamic end-markets for software and consulting services globally. The life sciences industry continues to undergo a period of unprecedented competitive pressure and regulatory change, driving spending across mission-critical functional areas where measurable efficiencies and returns can be achieved. With a significant proportion of all sales and prices in the United States regulated by commercial or government contracts, contract/revenue management has emerged as a critical focus area for life sciences organizations to maximize revenues and reduce compliance risk.

Templar Energy and Le Norman Fund close buy of Texas Panhandle oil and gas assets

Templar Energy and Le Norman Fund I have completed its acquisition of Forest Oil Corp‘s oil and gas assets based in the Texas Panhandle. No financial terms were disclosed. Le Norman Fund is backed by First Reserve, Trilantic Capital Partners and Cohesive Capital Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Templar Energy LLC and its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Le Norman Operating LLC, (the “Company”) and its joint venture partner Le Norman Fund I LLC, announce the closing of the acquisition of Texas Panhandle Assets from Forest Oil Corporation. The Company financed the acquisition with a combination of equity from its financial sponsors First Reserve, Trilantic Capital Partners, Cohesive Capital Partners and the Company’s management team, and borrowings from its new 1st lien and 2nd lien debt facilities. Le Norman Fund I LLC financed the acquisition with proceeds from Le Norman Properties, LLC, David D. Le Norman, and Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund, L.P.

 

Henry Schein to buy 60% of BioHorizons

Henry Schein said Tuesday it has agreed to buy a 60 percent stake in BioHorizons. Financial terms were not disclosed. Henry Schein said it will lend approximately $145 million to BioHorizons to fund, among other uses, a distribution to shareholders, which will occur before the deal closes. Then, Schien will provide an equity investment. Birmingham, Ala.-BioHorizons makes advanced dental implants sold internationally. BioHorizons is a portfolio company of Healthpoint Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

MELVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today plans to make a strategic investment in dental implant manufacturer BioHorizons, Inc., advancing the Company’s goal of expanding its position in the dental specialty market.
Henry Schein reached an agreement to acquire a 60% interest in BioHorizons, a U.S.-based manufacturer of advanced dental implants sold internationally. Under the agreement, BioHorizons, with revenue of approximately $115 million, will continue to operate as an independent company. Financial terms of the proposed transaction were not disclosed. The transaction with BioHorizons involves a two-step process: A recapitalization through which Henry Schein will lend approximately $145 million to BioHorizons to fund, among other uses, a distribution to shareholders, which will occur prior to closing, followed by the equity investment. Pending regulatory approval, Henry Schein expects to complete the transaction by the end of the year.
The agreement with BioHorizons strengthens Henry Schein’s position in a critical and growing market that also includes the company’s investment in CAMLOG Biotechnologies AG, a leading manufacturer of implants in Europe. With these two investments, Henry Schein will have important positions in two of the largest implant markets – the U.S. and Germany – as well as a growing presence in the rest of the world. BioHorizons and CAMLOG, which will each operate independently, are strong brands with unique features and benefits that offer customers a broad range of treatment options. The investment in BioHorizons also strengthens Henry Schein’s position and product portfolio in the biologics market, a critical adjunct to the implant market. Henry Schein offers customers a wide array of the products and services associated with implant dentistry, thereby providing a complete solution for the benefit of the dental practice.
“Henry Schein’s strategy includes advancing our position in dental specialty markets, an integral part of which is to support those practitioners who perform oral surgery involving implants,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein. “Implant dentistry is a critical element of the profession’s transition to digital dentistry. More and more abutments for implants are being digitally designed and fabricated, which increase patient comfort and esthetics and reduce patient visits. Customer demand for implants and the associated materials are expected to increase as digital processes are adopted and the dental experience for the patient is enhanced.”
The value of the global implant market is expected to reach approximately $4.2 billion in 2016, up from approximately $3 billion in 2012. In the U.S. and Canada, the market is expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2016, up from approximately $1 billion in 2012.
Based in Birmingham, Alabama, BioHorizons employs approximately 325 people and markets its products in 85 markets. Its revenue has been growing on average by more than 10 percent annually, and more than half of that revenue is derived in the U.S. Founded in 1995, the company offers a broad spectrum of innovative products, including implants featuring its proprietary Laser-Lok® microchannel surface technology, designed to minimize bone loss and maximize esthetics.
“On behalf of the shareholders and management of BioHorizons, we are delighted with this partnership, which combines BioHorizons’ record of global growth and clinical excellence in the implant dentistry field with Henry Schein’s strengths worldwide,” said Mortimer Berkowitz III, Chairman of BioHorizons. “Having known the Henry Schein management team for some years, we look forward to working closely with them to build the business into a global leadership position by delivering outstanding patient results through differentiated products.”
BioHorizons benefits from a long-serving management team. The company will continue to be led by its President and CEO, Steve Boggan, who has held that position since 1999; Todd Strong, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, who joined BioHorizons at its founding in 1995; and David Wall, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. BioHorizons will be a part of Henry Schein’s Global Dental Surgical Group, and its revenue will be reported as part of the Company’s Global Dental Group.
“We believe our partnership with Henry Schein will further enhance our growth prospects in the implant and biologics market,” said Mr. Boggan. “The strength of Henry Schein and its deep relationships in the marketplace create an ideal combination. We are looking forward to advancing the goals of both organizations, and are very pleased to be part of Team Schein.”
2014 Guidance
Henry Schein expects the BioHorizons transaction to be dilutive to earnings per share in 2014 by $0.03 to $0.05, and accretive to earnings per share in 2015 by $0.03 to $0.04. The 2014 dilution is primarily due to a one-time inventory revaluation as required under U.S. GAAP accounting rules for business combinations. Together with the previously announced definitive agreement to acquire 80% of Poland’s Medivet S.A., the Company has revised its 2014 financial guidance, as follows:
For 2014, the Company now expects diluted EPS attributable to Henry Schein, Inc. to be $5.32 to $5.42, which represents growth of 9% to 11% compared with the midpoint of the 2013 guidance range.
Guidance for 2014 diluted EPS attributable to Henry Schein, Inc. is for current continuing operations as well as completed or previously announced acquisitions, and does not include the impact of potential future acquisitions, if any.
About BioHorizons
BioHorizons is a leader in advanced dental implant technologies and tissue regeneration products in the dental implant industry. The company, based in Birmingham, Alabama, offers a broad spectrum of products for the replacement of missing teeth including dental implants, restorative and laboratory components, soft and hard tissue biologic products, and surgical planning software. BioHorizons’ unique dental implant designs are recognized for intuitive design, excellent primary stability, and high-end, esthetic outcomes through the use of BioHorizons’ proprietary Laser-Lok® microchannel surface technology. With 25 years of research and 30 published studies, Laser-Lok has been shown to uniquely achieve both bone and soft tissue attachment for long-term tissue maintenance. The company has six international subsidiaries and more than 50 distributors around the world. For more information, visit www.biohorizons.com.
About Henry Schein, Inc.
Henry Schein, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. The Company also serves dental laboratories, government and institutional health care clinics, and other alternate care sites. A Fortune 500® Company and a member of the NASDAQ 100® Index, Henry Schein employs nearly 16,000 Team Schein Members and serves more than 775,000 customers.
The Company offers a comprehensive selection of products and services, including value-added solutions for operating efficient practices and delivering high-quality care. Henry Schein operates through a centralized and automated distribution network, with a selection of more than 96,000 branded products and Henry Schein private-brand products in stock, as well as more than 110,000 additional products available as special-order items. The Company also offers its customers exclusive, innovative technology solutions, including practice management software and e-commerce solutions, as well as a broad range of financial services.
Headquartered in Melville, N.Y., Henry Schein has operations or affiliates in 25 countries. The Company’s sales reached a record $8.9 billion in 2012, and have grown at a compound annual rate of 17% since Henry Schein became a public company in 1995. For more information, visit the Henry Schein Web site at www.henryschein.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
In accordance with the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we provide the following cautionary remarks regarding important factors that, among others, could cause future results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, expectations and assumptions expressed or implied herein. All forward-looking statements made by us are subject to risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance and achievements or industry results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These statements are identified by the use of such terms as “may,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “project,” “anticipate” or other comparable terms. A full discussion of our operations and financial condition, including factors that may affect our business and future prospects, is contained in documents we have filed with the SEC and will be contained in all subsequent periodic filings we make with the SEC. These documents identify in detail important risk factors that could cause our actual performance to differ materially from current expectations.
Risk factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current and historical results include, but are not limited to: effects of a highly competitive market; our dependence on third parties for the manufacture and supply of our products; our dependence upon sales personnel, customers, suppliers and manufacturers; our dependence on our senior management; fluctuations in quarterly earnings; risks from expansion of customer purchasing power and multi-tiered costing structures; possible increases in the cost of shipping our products or other service issues with our third-party shippers; general global macro-economic conditions; disruptions in financial markets; possible volatility of the market price of our common stock; changes in the health care industry; implementation of health care laws; failure to comply with regulatory requirements and data privacy laws; risks associated with our global operations; transitional challenges associated with acquisitions and joint ventures, including the failure to achieve anticipated synergies; financial risks associated with acquisitions and joint ventures; litigation risks; the dependence on our continued product development, technical support and successful marketing in the technology segment; risks from rapid technological change; risks from disruption to our information systems; certain provisions in our governing documents that may discourage third-party acquisitions of us; and changes in tax legislation. The order in which these factors appear should not be construed to indicate their relative importance or priority. We caution that these factors may not be exhaustive and that many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Accordingly, any forward-looking statements contained herein should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual results. We undertake no duty and have no obligation to update forward-looking statements.

PE-owned Winchester Electronics Corp completes Haverhill Cable and Manufacturing acquisition

Winchester Electronics Corp., a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, has closed its buy of Haverhill Cable and Manufacturing. No financial terms were disclosed. Headquartered in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Haverhill is a producer of semi-rigid coaxial cable and cable assemblies.

PRESS RELEASE

MIDDLEBURY, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Winchester Electronics Corporation (“Winchester”), a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity (“Audax”), announced it has completed the acquisition of Haverhill Cable and Manufacturing, Corp. (“Haverhill”). Headquartered in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Haverhill is a producer of semi-rigid coaxial cable and cable assemblies. Its products are utilized in a variety of microwave and RF systems in commercial, military, and satellite equipment. The acquisition of Haverhill enhances Winchester’s product and manufacturing capabilities.
Winchester, based in Middlebury, Connecticut, is a designer and manufacturer of connectivity solutions, including both connectors and cable assemblies, for diversified end markets including medical, military, energy & power, broadcast, and ruggedized industrial, among others. Since Audax’ acquisition in June 2006, Winchester has completed eight add-on acquisitions, including: Advanced Interconnect, Inc. of Franklin, Massachusetts in April of 2007; Kings Electronics Corporation, Inc. of Rock Hill, South Carolina in May of 2007; Electrical Specialty Products, Inc. of Spartanburg, South Carolina in July of 2012; Clements National Company of Broadview, Illinois in August of 2012; Continental Connector Company of Hatfield, Pennsylvania in May of 2013; Bomar Interconnect Products of Ledgewood, New Jersey in August of 2013; and SRC Cables, Inc. of Santa Rosa California in October of 2013.
Oliver Ewald, Managing Director of Audax Private Equity, said “Winchester is a leading provider of interconnect technologies. The Haverhill acquisition expands Winchester’s manufacturing capabilities, and we look forward to working with Kevin Perhamus and Tom Kneeland to integrate the businesses. We intend to continue to build Winchester through new product introductions, global expansion, and strategic add-on acquisitions, both domestically and abroad.”
Kevin Perhamus, CEO of Winchester, said “The acquisition of Haverhill is an exciting development for Winchester and our customers. We look forward to working with Tom Kneeland and the Haverhill team to share best practices as we continue to grow the company.”
Tom Kneeland, President of Haverhill, said “This acquisition is a positive outcome for our customers. In joining Winchester, Haverhill will now be able to provide additional services and capabilities, while maintaining the quality and reliability our customers have come to expect.”
ABOUT AUDAX GROUP
Audax Group, founded in 1999, is a leading investor in lower-middle market companies. With offices in Boston and New York, Audax has over $5 billion in assets under management in its Private Equity, Mezzanine, and Senior Debt businesses. For more information visit the Audax Group website www.audaxgroup.com.

VC-backed Livefyre buys Realtidbits

Livefyre has acquired Realtidbits. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in San Diego, Realtidbits is a provider of engagement solutions for publishers and media companies. Livefyre is a real-time conversation and social curation platform. It is backed by Greycroft Partners, Hillsven Capital, Zelkova Ventures, ff Venture Capital, Cue Ball and U.S. Venture Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwired) — 11/21/13 — Livefyre, provider of the leading real-time conversation and social curation platform, today announced that it has acquired the assets and team of Realtidbits one of the top enterprise social application providers. This is the second acquisition by Livefyre in two months, having acquired social storytelling platform Storify in September.
Realtidbits provides a suite of real-time applications including Analytics, Comments, Forums, Social Bridge, Pinboard and Image Galleries. The company powers real-time engagement across 180 million page views a month, analyzing over 2 billion interactions and social shares around the world. Realtidbits customers include The CW Network, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones Local Media Group, The Irish Times and The Toronto Star.
“This is a win-win for Realtidbits and Livefyre,” said Kelly Abbott, Co-Founder and CEO of Realtidbits. “We both share a commitment to helping publishers and brands succeed by providing them with the best real-time applications and top-notch customer support. We saw an opportunity to join a leader in this space, providing us with the resources that we need to take our analytics product to the next level and are excited to join their rapidly growing team.”
Realtidbits offers an analytics product that tracks real-time engagement, including replies, likes, social sharing and custom metrics, through integrations with popular analytics packages including Adobe Omniture, Google Analytics and Mixpanel. Customers can use Realtidbits Analytics to track engagement across all Realtidbits products, third-party plugins, Backplane-enabled products and third-party JavaScript on a webpage. With this acquisition, Livefyre will also be opening a San Diego office and plans to expand hiring in that region.
“We are excited to welcome the Realtidbits team to Livefyre,” said Jordan Kretchmer, founder and CEO of Livefyre. “They have built a fantastic analytics product, which we plan to integrate into Livefyre StreamHub and offer to our over 550 Enterprise customers. Our goal at Livefyre is to provide complete solutions for everything our customers need to create innovative social experiences for their audiences. This acquisition brings key product capabilities to our customers and strengthens our position as the leading social conversation, curation, and community platform provider.”
Livefyre plans to integrate Realtidbits Analytics product into its platform and will migrate customers of their Comments, Forums, Gallery and Pinboard products to Livefyre products over the coming weeks, consistent with existing agreements. All members of the Realtidbits team will be joining Livefyre as part of the product, engineering and design teams, with a focus on Analytics.
About Livefyre
Livefyre helps companies engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising. With Livefyre’s social CMS, brands can integrate real-time social content into their websites, mobile apps, advertisements and television broadcasts to increase viewer engagement, boost website traffic and drive revenue. As the fourth largest network online, Livefyre is powering real-time social experiences for over 550 leading brands including American Idol, AOL, Bravo, CBS, Conde Nast, Cox Media Group, Dow Jones/WSJ, FOX Sports, Mashable, NASCAR, Showtime, Sony Playstation, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and Universal Music Group. Livefyre also acquired social storytelling platform Storify in September 2013.
Founded in 2009 with offices in San Francisco, New York and London, Livefyre was named one of the best places to work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times and 2013 Corporate IT Software Company of the year by the World Technology Network. For more information, visit www.livefyre.com or follow us Twitter and Instagram at @livefyre or @storify.
About Realtidbits
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in San Diego, Realtidbits provides a suite of real-time applications designed to increase engagement for publishers and media companies. The company powers real-time engagement across 180 million page views a month, analyzing over 2 billion interactions and social shares around the world. Realtidbits customers include The CW Network, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones Local Media Group, The Irish Times and The Toronto Star. For more information, visit realtidbits.com.

GTCR-owned AssuredPartners closes acquisition of Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates

AssuredPartners, a portfolio company of GTCR, has completed its buy of Monticello, Florida-based Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

LAKE MARY, Fla. (PRWEB) November 22, 2013
AssuredPartners, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates, Inc., an independent insurance firm located in Monticello, Fla. The agency offers a range of property and casualty insurance options for forestry industry clients, including workers’ compensation, general liability and commercial auto.
“With more than 30 years of experience insuring loggers and forest industry specific companies, we are excited to take this next step for our business and join with AssuredPartners,” said Ric Stoutamire, President of Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates. “Our goal is to always protect our clients, whether they work in logging, with raw lumber or with the finished product. Partnering with AssuredPartners gives our staff access to more insurance services and resources to benefit our clients and their businesses.”
The Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates specialization in property and casualty insurance complements the AssuredPartners portfolio of offerings.
“Our acquisition strategy includes identifying and seeking out agencies with a specific niche focus. In this case, the Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates team brings a thorough understanding of the forestry industry to AssuredPartners,” said Jim Henderson, Chairman and CEO of AssuredPartners, Inc. “We welcome the Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates agents and staff to the AssuredPartners family of agencies.”
As part of the acquisition, 10 Stoutamire-Pavlik & Associates employees will join AssuredPartners. Operations will continue under the local leadership of Ric Stoutamire and Ryan Pavlik. For more information, please visit: Stoutamire-Pavlik and Associates.
ABOUT ASSUREDPARTNERS, INC
Headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida and led by Jim Henderson and Tom Riley, AssuredPartners Inc., a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR, acquires and invests in insurance brokerage businesses (property and casualty, employee benefits, surety, MGA/wholesalers) across the United States and in London. From its founding in March of 2011, AssuredPartners has grown to approximately $280 million in annualized revenue and continues to be one of the fastest growing insurance brokerage firms in the United States with more than 80 offices in 24 states and a London office. For more information, please contact Dean Curtis, CFO, at 407.708.0031 or dcurtis(at)assuredptr(dot)com, or visit http://www.assuredptr.com.

VC-backed Livefyre buys Realtidbits

Livefyre has acquired Realtidbits. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in San Diego, Realtidbits is a provider of engagement solutions for publishers and media companies. Livefyre is a real-time conversation and social curation platform. It is backed by Greycroft Partners, Hillsven Capital, Zelkova Ventures, ff Venture Capital, Cue Ball and U.S. Venture Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwired) — 11/21/13 — Livefyre, provider of the leading real-time conversation and social curation platform, today announced that it has acquired the assets and team of Realtidbits one of the top enterprise social application providers. This is the second acquisition by Livefyre in two months, having acquired social storytelling platform Storify in September.
Realtidbits provides a suite of real-time applications including Analytics, Comments, Forums, Social Bridge, Pinboard and Image Galleries. The company powers real-time engagement across 180 million page views a month, analyzing over 2 billion interactions and social shares around the world. Realtidbits customers include The CW Network, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones Local Media Group, The Irish Times and The Toronto Star.
“This is a win-win for Realtidbits and Livefyre,” said Kelly Abbott, Co-Founder and CEO of Realtidbits. “We both share a commitment to helping publishers and brands succeed by providing them with the best real-time applications and top-notch customer support. We saw an opportunity to join a leader in this space, providing us with the resources that we need to take our analytics product to the next level and are excited to join their rapidly growing team.”
Realtidbits offers an analytics product that tracks real-time engagement, including replies, likes, social sharing and custom metrics, through integrations with popular analytics packages including Adobe Omniture, Google Analytics and Mixpanel. Customers can use Realtidbits Analytics to track engagement across all Realtidbits products, third-party plugins, Backplane-enabled products and third-party JavaScript on a webpage. With this acquisition, Livefyre will also be opening a San Diego office and plans to expand hiring in that region.
“We are excited to welcome the Realtidbits team to Livefyre,” said Jordan Kretchmer, founder and CEO of Livefyre. “They have built a fantastic analytics product, which we plan to integrate into Livefyre StreamHub and offer to our over 550 Enterprise customers. Our goal at Livefyre is to provide complete solutions for everything our customers need to create innovative social experiences for their audiences. This acquisition brings key product capabilities to our customers and strengthens our position as the leading social conversation, curation, and community platform provider.”
Livefyre plans to integrate Realtidbits Analytics product into its platform and will migrate customers of their Comments, Forums, Gallery and Pinboard products to Livefyre products over the coming weeks, consistent with existing agreements. All members of the Realtidbits team will be joining Livefyre as part of the product, engineering and design teams, with a focus on Analytics.
About Livefyre
Livefyre helps companies engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising. With Livefyre’s social CMS, brands can integrate real-time social content into their websites, mobile apps, advertisements and television broadcasts to increase viewer engagement, boost website traffic and drive revenue. As the fourth largest network online, Livefyre is powering real-time social experiences for over 550 leading brands including American Idol, AOL, Bravo, CBS, Conde Nast, Cox Media Group, Dow Jones/WSJ, FOX Sports, Mashable, NASCAR, Showtime, Sony Playstation, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and Universal Music Group. Livefyre also acquired social storytelling platform Storify in September 2013.
Founded in 2009 with offices in San Francisco, New York and London, Livefyre was named one of the best places to work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times and 2013 Corporate IT Software Company of the year by the World Technology Network. For more information, visit www.livefyre.com or follow us Twitter and Instagram at @livefyre or @storify.
About Realtidbits
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in San Diego, Realtidbits provides a suite of real-time applications designed to increase engagement for publishers and media companies. The company powers real-time engagement across 180 million page views a month, analyzing over 2 billion interactions and social shares around the world. Realtidbits customers include The CW Network, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones Local Media Group, The Irish Times and The Toronto Star. For more information, visit realtidbits.com.

Tailwind Capital Partners exits Optimal Solutions Integration

NTT DATA has agreed to acquire Optimal Solutions Integration from Tailwind Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Irving, Texas, Optimal is a provider of SAP solutions and services.

PRESS RELEASE

Plano, TX – November 21, 2013– –NTT DATA, Inc,  a leading IT services provider, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Optimal Solutions Integration, Inc. (Optimal) an award-winning SAP® services partner headquartered in Irving, Texas, and one of the largest firms in North America focused exclusively on SAP solutions and services. The acquisition further strengthens NTT DATA’s ability to accelerate the near and long-term value companies can gain from their SAP investments.NTT DATA is a leading global provider of SAP lifecycle services spanning key industry segments for both mid-size and large enterprises. As part of NTT DATA’s strategy to continue accelerating its global business growth, the acquisition of Optimal will fortify NTT DATA’s existing North American SAP consulting, deployment and application management business which has been experiencing double-digit growth.
“Optimal complements and brings further innovation to support the growing market demand for emerging technologies in the SAP space such as HANA, big data, analytics, mobility, and cloud, areas where NTT DATA is heavily focused today,” stated Robb Rasmussen, President of NTT DATA’s Enterprise Services. “Optimal is well-respected in the SAP ecosystem and brings business process expertise in industries such as Consumer, Retail, Wholesale and Distribution, Mining, Public Sector, and Manufacturing.”
Optimal offers a broad range of planning, implementation, and maintenance services for the SAP product suite. These services, in addition to a diverse collection of SAP-based accelerated implementation solutions, serve to enhance NTT DATA’s existing portfolio of SAP lifecycle management, technical and functional expertise, experienced offshore capabilities, accelerators, and industry solutions. Clients of both companies gain enhanced SAP-related innovation through the unique combination of Optimal’s Lab in Irving, NTT DATA’s Solution Lab in Hyderabad, India, and the new NTT Group Innovation Institute in Silicon Valley. Optimal clients will be able to leverage NTT DATA’s extensive global reach and gain access to the expanded set of IT services from NTT DATA and its sister NTT Group companies.
“We are very excited to bring our expertise and award-winning solutions to NTT DATA to strengthen its leadership position in the market,” said Gurvendra Suri, CEO of Optimal. “This combination strengthens an already robust SAP services portfolio, providing more options for our clients and opening up new opportunities to expand and innovate in ways others cannot.”
Today, NTT DATA boasts SAP-related revenues exceeding $1B annually, which expands further with Optimal’s 2012 fiscal year revenue of $153M. With the acquisition expected to close in early 2014, NTT DATA will have approximately 7,500 SAP professionals, including more than 950 from Optimal. About NTT Data NTT DATA is your Innovation Partner anywhere around the world, with operations in more than 35 countries. NTT DATA emphasizes long-term commitment and combines global reach and local intimacy to provide premier professional services from consulting, application services, business process and IT outsourcing to cloud-based solutions. Visit NTT Data(NTT DATA) to learn how our consultants, projects, managed services, and outsourcing engagements deliver value for a range of businesses and government agencies.NTT DATA was supported by Sagent Advisors in the Optimal transaction.
About Optimal Solutions Integration Inc.
Optimal Solutions Integration is a new breed of consulting firm dedicated to driving business transformation for companies and public sector organizations of all sizes. As an award-winning SAP services partner, Optimal provides a comprehensive offering of SAP solutions and services, a proven methodology for accelerated delivery of SAP solutions, deep industry expertise, and a flexible onsite/offshore delivery model that accommodates the reality of business today. Optimal specializes in helping companies maximize ROI of their SAP applications by planning, deploying and maintaining world-class solutions in a timeframe they require, and at a cost they demand. For more information about Optimal Solutions Integration, visit Optimal.

 

Redshift Capital launches Teva Alternative Energy, also buys two solar energy companies

Chicago investment firm Redshift Capital has launched TEVA Alternative Energy, a new solar power conglomerate. The firm has also acquired TEVA Energy and Superior Solar Systems. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Altamonte, Florida, TEVA Energy is a provider of solar water heating technologies. Orlando-based Superior Solar is a producer of solar energy solutions for residential and commercial applications throughout the southeastern U.S.

PRESS RELEASE

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Redshift Capital, LLC, a Chicago-based investment group, announces creation of new solar power conglomerate, TEVA Alternative Energy, LLC, then immediately acquires 100% of TEVA Energy, LLC and Superior Solar Systems, LLC. “The two companies dovetail perfectly together,” said Roger Hruby, CEO of Redshift Capital. “Having common ownership of both companies with complementing resources provides vast opportunities for growth.” Fueled by the prospect of grid parity and rising market demand for financially-viable solar-energy solutions, strategic acquisitions in this sector are on the rise again. “For the first time in history, TEVA’s team of experts managed to break through historical barriers to large-scale thermal systems,” said Dennis Lakomy, CFO of Redshift, “these systems are becoming financially viable even without incentives.” Remo Eyal, CEO of TEVA Alternative Energy said, “with over 20,000 installations under its belt, the Superior team has the brick & mortar resources needed for scalability, and it doesn’t hurt that the team is made up of genuinely good people.”
In recent years, TEVA has broken several solar records including an installation of the largest solar system at a meat processing facility in California (Cargill Fresno), and the Florida installation of the largest polymer system in North America. Harry Gordon, Senior Project Manager for TEVA said, “Our solid legs in the food-processing and life-science industries are providing strong growth, but we needed a reliable team of solar professionals to scale implementation; Superior Solar fits the bill perfectly.”
“It’s an honor to work with the experienced and insightful team at Redshift Capital and Redshift Energy,” said Eyal, “with their support and Superior’s infrastructure, the future is exceptionally bright.”
About Redshift Capital, LLC
Founded in 2006, Redshift Capital is a Chicago-based private equity sponsor targeting leveraged control growth investments of companies in growth markets where ownership and leadership dynamics provide an opportunity to create significant value through improving operational, financial and strategic decision making.
About TEVA Energy, LLC
Altamonte, Fla.-based TEVA Energy provides cost-effective solar water heating technologies that enable it to provide renewable energy to commercial and industrial facilities at rates below equivalent fossil fuel energy rates. At its own expense, TEVA designs, builds and maintains its systems on the client’s site, “greening” their facility. TEVA services large industrial and commercial facilities. http://tevaenergy.com/
About Superior Solar Systems, LLC
Based in the Orlando area, Superior Solar is a leading provider of solar energy solutions for residential and commercial applications throughout the southeastern U.S. With a portfolio of over 20,000 installations, the company is one of the largest solar contracting firms in America, specializing in solar electric, water heating and pool heating applications. http://www.superiorsolar.com/

 

VC-backed Boku buys India-based Qubecell

Boku said Thursday that it has acquired Qubecell. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in India, Qubecell is a provider of direct carrier billing. Boku, which is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and NEA, is a carrier billing and cross-platform mobile payment company.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Boku, Inc., the global leader in carrier billing and cross-platform mobile payments, today announced the acquisition of India’s leader in direct carrier billing, Qubecell. The acquisition of Qubecell provides Boku with direct carrier billing connections with four of the largest carrier networks in India along with a number of key local merchant relationships. This enables Boku’s carrier billing technology to reach more than 75% of the country’s mobile subscribers, roughly 550 million users. The acquisition also makes Boku the largest provider of direct carrier billing in India, and greatly expands Boku’s footprint in Asia and the Middle East.
“India is a tremendously important market for direct carrier billing. What Qubecell has built and the market leadership position they’ve acquired in such a short period of time is extremely impressive,” said Jon Prideaux, Chief Business Officer for Boku. “This acquisition is truly the joining of a market leader with a global leader to benefit customers and merchants throughout the region. Our plan is to leverage the resources built by Qubecell to create a regional hub for our company’s global operation that will provide support for our merchant and carrier customers across Asia, the Middle East, and Australia while helping to continue our expansion into the emerging markets.”
The acquisition provides Boku merchant partners with direct access to the large and growing market of online consumers in India. The agreement includes the purchase of all shares in Qubecell. All of Qubecell’s employees will be joining the existing Boku organization with the Founder & CEO of Qubecell, Ranjan R. Reddy, joining as part of the leadership team in Asia.
“Boku is a company we’ve long admired at Qubecell and there is no greater compliment that can be given to our team than to be asked to join the global leader in carrier billing,” said Ranjan R. Reddy, CEO of Qubecell. “We have poured everything into building India’s first pure-play carrier billing provider and look forward to continuing our commitment to expanding mobile payments in India and the surrounding regions under the banner of Boku.”
About Boku
Boku, the leading operator billing and cross-platform mobile payments company, brings bank-grade payments technology and mobile users together, creating a trusted, accessible platform for consumers, merchants and operators alike. Based in San Francisco with offices in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, Boku reaches nearly 4 billion consumers worldwide, across 70 different countries with more than 270 operators. Leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists fund Boku including Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and NEA.
For more information visit: www.boku.com

HgCapital’s Kallisto agrees to buy P&I from Carlyle

Kallisto, which is backed by private equity firm HgCapital, has agreed to acquire P&I Personal & Informatik AG from The Carlyle Group. According to terms of the agreement, Kallisto will buy 91.85% of the outstanding shares of P&I. Based in Germany, P&I is a payroll and transactional HR software provider.

PRESS RELEASE

Kallisto Neunzigste Vermögensverwaltungs-GmbH (“Kallisto”), a company established in Germany and wholly owned by funds managed by HgCapital, the Manager of HgCapital Trust plc, has today agreed to the acquisition from The Carlyle Group of 91.85% of the outstanding shares of P&I Personal & Informatik AG (“P&I”), a leading payroll and transactional HR software provider in Germany; the acquisition is subject to German and Austrian competition clearance. Additionally,Kallistohas announced its intention to make a tender offer for the acquisition of the balance of shares in issue of P&I.
HgCapital Trust plc will participate in the proposed acquisition of P&Ialongside other institutional clients of HgCapital’s HgCapital 7 fund. The Trust, whose shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange, gives private and institutional investors the opportunity to participate in all HgCapital’s investments. It is estimated that the Trust will invest approximately £23m.
Based on the 31 October 2013 reported Net Asset Value, the impact of this acquisition, on completion, will be to reduce the Trust’s liquid resources to an estimated total of £110.4 million (25.6% of the 31 October 2013NAV). The transaction will reduce the Trust’s outstanding commitments to participate in investments (all of which are managed by HgCapital) to an estimated £292.4 million.

OMERS Ventures-backed PasswordBox buys Legacy Locker

PasswordBox, which is backed by OMERS Ventures, said Wednesday that it has acquired Legacy Locker. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in San Francisco, Legacy Locker is a service that provides friends and relatives access to the online accounts of their recently departed loved ones.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — PasswordBox today announced its acquisition of Legacy Locker, the first-to-market digital legacy solution. The acquisition follows the recent announcement that PasswordBox has raised $6 million, led by OMERS Ventures and several Silicon Valley angel investors, including two Facebook executives.
The acquisition of Legacy Locker gives PasswordBox a deeper reach into providing its digital life management services to estate planners and existing Legacy Locker customers. According to a recent McAfee survey, online consumers have $55,000 on average in digital assets, including photos, projects, hobbies, personal records, work info, entertainment, social media and email. PasswordBox is the only free service to manage your online accounts during life and after.
“Digital death is a growing pain point most of us don’t want to think about, yet we are storing more of our lives online each day,” said Dan Robichaud, PasswordBox CEO. “We came to market four months ago with a product that not only remembers your passwords for you, but one that offers secure one-click login and the ability to collaborate with co-workers and friends without divulging passwords. Our biggest differentiator is our ability to name a digital heir so your digital assets are always protected if anything happens. This acquisition allows us to gain market share and cements our position as the most comprehensive digital management solution on the market.”
Even during a legacy transfer, the user’s data is always encrypted and never accessible even by PasswordBox employees. PasswordBox has a patent-pending end-to-end encryption sharing system with a trigger release process, so the only time a user can view a readable version of their data is on their device after they’ve logged in to their PasswordBox.
“Over the past four years, we have taken the market by storm with our online safety deposit box for internet passwords,” said Jeremy Toeman, Founder of Legacy Locker. “Since our entrance into the market, the adoption of smartphones, iPads, online banking and social media has expedited the accumulation of digital assets. We helped fill a growing unmet need in the market then. Now our customers will benefit from the next wave of technology that will allow them to manage their current digital life, while ensuring their digital afterlife is still being protected too.”
PasswordBox allows you to securely store, retrieve, create and share passwords with ease and efficiency on any device. The PasswordBox mobile app includes one-tap log-in capabilities to quickly access websites and apps without having to memorize or enter your passwords. With complete end-to-end encryption, people can safely collaborate with friends, family or co-workers and share accounts from any device. You can also create secured notes, while keeping track of passport, credit card or other sensitive data in a digital wallet anytime, from anywhere without having to worry about identity theft.
“We hear a lot about identity theft and cyber-crime, but we are just scratching the surface with the issue of the digital afterlife,” said Legacy expert Richard Bruno. “While no one really wants to face their mortality, it’s worse for our families when we don’t pre-plan. The beauty of PasswordBox is it takes care of securing your passwords now and later.”
About Legacy Locker Legacy Locker (www.legacylocker.com) is the safe, secure way to pass online accounts to friends and loved ones. Founded in 2008 by Jeremy Toeman and Adam Burg, Legacy Locker Inc. is a privately held company based in San Francisco, CA. In April, 2009, the company publicly launched to consumers and professional estate planners to include digital assets as an effective part of estate planning.
About PasswordBox With more than one million active users, PasswordBox is the only free password manager that helps people securely store, retrieve, create and share passwords anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Keep your online identity safe and say goodbye to multiple user names and passwords that are impossible to remember. Your PasswordBox master password is the only one you’ll ever need. PasswordBox includes secure one-click sharing, a strong password generator and a legacy feature to entrust your digital life to a loved one after you pass. For more info, go to www.passwordbox.com.

Blackstone and GeoSouthern sell Eagle Ford shale for $6 bln

Blackstone and GeoSouthern Energy Corp. said Wednesday that they have sold their Eagle Ford shale joint venture to Devon Energy Corp. for $6 billion. The Eagle Ford shale is based in South Central Texas.

PRESS RELEASE

New York, New York, November 20, 2013. Blackstone (NYSE:BX), alongside its affiliates’ corporate partner and operator GeoSouthern Energy Corporation (“GeoSouthern”), today announced the sale of the principal subsidiary of GeoSouthern for a total transaction value of $6.0 billion to Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN). In connection with the sale to Devon, the stake in the enterprise of private equity funds managed by Blackstone, Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners V, will be valued at approximately $1.54 billion. The sale to Devon is subject to customary terms and conditions for transactions of this type.
The acquired assets include current production of 53,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day and 82,000 net acres with 1,200 undrilled locations. The risked recoverable resource is estimated at 400 million barrels of oil equivalent, the majority of which is proven reserves. The transaction is, to date, the largest domestic oil and gas transaction of 2013.
In January 2011, the two private equity funds of Blackstone and affiliates of GeoSouthern formed a joint venture partnership to significantly accelerate the expansion, drilling and development of its position in the Eagle Ford shale in South Central Texas. Since the formation of the partnership, GeoSouthern has made tremendous progress in developing its position in the eastern window of the Eagle Ford shale, an area that has since become known as the core of the play. The acquired Eagle Ford acreage is located in DeWitt and Lavaca counties in Texas and is largely contiguous, with most of the position now held by production. The acreage position is located in the best part of the play, as evidenced by the highest average initial production rates in the entire play and average estimated ultimate recoveries in DeWitt County exceeding 800,000 BOE per well.
Since 2011, GeoSouthern has become one of the most active drillers and oil producers in the basin and has achieved significant milestones. The Company has increased its employee base tenfold, increased horizontal drilling rigs from 5 active rigs to 18, and net production from approximately 5,000 BOE per day to over 50,000 BOE per day. By virtue of the work the GeoSouthern team pioneered in the Eagle Ford and the milestones the joint venture partnership has achieved, production is enabled to continue to grow at an anticipated compound annual growth rate of 25 percent over the next several years, reaching a peak production rate of approximately 140,000 BOE per day.
Angelo Acconcia, a Managing Director with Blackstone Energy Partners, commented, “GeoSouthern was one of the pioneers of the Eagle Ford, having identified DeWitt county early on as one of the most attractive areas of the play. The company has done a world class job of not only putting together a significant, core acreage position, but of accelerating the drilling, development and production of this strategic position and has realized some of the most attractive well results across the Eagle Ford. We are pleased to have been a part of the GeoSouthern story.”
Added David Foley, Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone Energy Partners, “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide the equity capital GeoSouthern needed at an early stage in its development and honored to have worked in partnership alongside their exceptional management team to build GeoSouthern to become one of the top ten largest privately owned oil producers in the United States. The vision and determination of entrepreneurs in the energy industry, combined with growth equity capital, have provided tremendous job growth, made energy more affordable for everyone and put America on a path to energy independence.”
About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world, with more than $248 billion in assets under management and is a leading global private equity firm and energy private equity franchise. Blackstone is currently investing out of Blackstone Capital Partners VI (“BCP VI”), a $16.7 billion diversified general purpose private equity fund and Blackstone Energy Partners (“BEP”), a $2.5 billion energy focused private equity fund. Blackstone’s private equity investments in the energy sector are funded jointly by BEP and BCP VI, which together represent over $5 billion of equity capital allocated to energy.
Over the last decade, Blackstone has built a leading energy sector private equity investing franchise with an extensive, successful track record of investing in partnership with exceptional management teams seeking to capitalize on their growth opportunities and realize the full potential of their assets. Led by David Foley, the Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone Energy Partners, this dedicated team of professionals has committed and invested more than $7.5 billion of equity in 25 energy transactions, throughout the energy value-chain on a global basis: upstream, midstream, services & equipment, downstream and power. Oil and gas companies represent a significant share of Blackstone’s capital commitments to the energy sector and remain a key focus area for new investments.

Sofinnova Partners exits Ethical Oncology Science

Sofinnova Partners said Wednesday that it is selling its portfolio company Ethical Oncology Science to Clovis Oncology for $420 million. Based in Milan, Italy, EOS is a biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs that treat cancer.

PRESS RELEASE

Paris, France. November 20th, 2013. Sofinnova Partners, an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France, announced today the sale of portfolio company Ethical Oncology Science (EOS), an emerging biopharmaceutical company based in Milan, Italy, developing novel targeted medicines to treat cancer, to Clovis Oncology for up to $420 million (€310M).
Under the terms of the deal, Clovis is acquiring EOS for an up-front payment of $200 million, which includes $190 million in Clovis common stock (3,713,731 shares) and $10 million in cash. Clovis will pay an additional $65 million in cash upon the initial approval of lucitanib, the drug developed by EOS, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pursuant to a license agreement that EOS signed with Les Laboratoires Servier in 2012, Clovis is entitled to receive up to €350 million (approximately $470 million) upon the achievement of development and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on sales of lucitanib in the Servier territories. Clovis will also pay the EOS shareholders up to an additional €115 million in cash (approximately $155 million) upon the receipt by Clovis of certain of the milestone payments pursuant to this license agreement.
Sofinnova Partners was a seed investor at EOS’ inception in 2006. It further financed the company over the years, helped bring other international investors Aescap Venture and Principia SGR into the company and remained its majority shareholder until today. The company was formed by Silvano Spinelli, Gabriella Camboni and Ennio Cavalletti, three repeat entrepreneurs that previously were the founders of Novuspharma, a spin off from Hoffmann La Roche that Sofinnova Partners also backed from the start. Novuspharma went public in Italy in 2000 and was then successfully sold to CTI, a Nasdaq listed biotech company.
EOS develops novel targeted therapies that address significant unmet medical needs for cancer patients. It owns the exclusive global (excluding China) development and commercialization rights for lucitanib, an oral, dual-selective inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase activity of fibroblast growth factor receptors 1 and 2 (FGFR 1/2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors 1-3 (VEGFR1-3). Lucitanib aims to treat FGF-aberrant breast cancer patients as well as other FGF-aberrant or angiogenesis-sensitive tumors, such non small cell lung cancer. A Phase II program has been initiated to further explore lucitanib in multiple indications. Clinical development of lucitanib will be accompanied by development of a diagnostic test designed to identify a selected patient population most likely to benefit. The acquisition by Clovis follows a 2012 sublicensing agreement with Les Laboratoires Servier over the rights in Europe and the rest-of-world markets of lucitanib. Clovis intends to collaborate with Servier on the global clinical development of lucitanib and maintains exclusive rights for lucitanib in the U.S. and Japan.
“Funding repeat entrepreneurs is a key theme for Sofinnova Partners, and Ethical Oncology Science is a perfect example of that strategy. After the sale of Novuspharma, the three founders were keen to start a new adventure and we were delighted to fund them again”, said Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners.
“It was natural for us to go to Sofinnova to seed EOS, on the back of our first positive experience. Sofinnova Partners has been a real partner and has helped us build the company until this day”, said Silvano Spinelli, Chairman and CEO of EOS.
“After striking a large partnership with Les Laboratoires Servier in 2012, the sale of the company to Clovis should give lucitanib the best chance to continue its clinical development and be one day available as a new innovative treatment for many cancer patients”, said Gabriella Camboni, MD, founder and Chief Operating Officer of EOS.

Jostens agrees to acquire PE-backed American Achievement

Jostens has agreed to acquire American Achievement, a portfolio company of Fenway Partners. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction, which is expected to close no later than the second quarter of 2014. Goldman, Sachs & Co. advised American Achievement in the transaction. Ropes & Gray and Wilmer Hale served as legal advisors to American Achievement and Fenway. Headquartered in Austin, American Achievement is a provider of commemorative jewelry and recognition products such as class rings, yearbooks, letter jackets and other jewelry.

PRESS RELEASE

MINNEAPOLIS, ARMONK, N.Y. and AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ – Leading yearbook and scholastic affinity company, Jostens, Inc., and American Achievement Group Holding Corp. jointly announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Jostens will acquire American Achievement, a premier provider of commemorative jewelry and recognition products such as class rings, yearbooks, letter jackets and other jewelry, including military and family products. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review, is expected to close not later than the second quarter of 2014, and to be accretive to the company’s free cash flow in the first year of combined operations.
Jostens is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visant Corporation. American Achievement’s products and brands include Balfour®, Taylor, ArtCarved® and Keepsake®. Fenway Partners, American Achievement’s majority stockholder, purchased the company in 2004.
Mr. Marc Reisch, CEO and President of Visant, commenting on the transaction, stated, “American Achievement is an excellent company. Bringing American Achievement and Jostens together will enhance the combined business’ core capabilities and create a great platform to even better serve our customers, in addition to generating significant operating efficiencies for the company.”
Mr. Jim Simpson, CFO of Jostens, added, “The transaction brings together the talents of the two great companies and will enhance our opportunities to continue to provide the best products and services to our industry.”
Mr. Steven Parr, American Achievement President and CEO, commented, “American Achievement and Jostens are a natural fit and by bringing together our strong brands and capabilities, we will help ensure a bright future for both companies. With our complementary product lines and shared cultures of excellence, the combined company will be better positioned to maximize sales opportunities and capture operating efficiencies while better serving a growing customer base. Jostens is the ideal partner to help preserve American Achievement’s rich history while simultaneously facilitating continued growth, and I am looking forward to working with the Jostens team to complete this compelling transaction.”
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has acted as legal advisor to Visant and Jostens in connection with the proposed transaction. Credit Suisse has provided committed loan financing to Visant in connection with the proposed transaction and is acting as sole lead arranger and bookrunner for the debt financing. KKR Capital Markets LLC assisted in placing the financing. Ropes & Gray LLP and Wilmer Hale LLP have acted as legal advisors to American Achievement and Fenway. Goldman, Sachs & Co. has acted as financial advisor to American Achievement in connection with the proposed transaction.
About Jostens
Minneapolis-based Jostens supports schools and educators through a variety of products, programs and services that help people tell their stories, celebrate important traditions and recognize achievements. The company’s products include school yearbooks and other memory book products, scholastic products such as class rings and graduation products, and products for athletic champions and their fans. For more information on Jostens, please visit the company’s web site at www.jostens.com.
About American Achievement
American Achievement provides products that forever mark the special moments of people’s lives. As the parent company of brands such as ArtCarved®. Balfour®, Keepsake® and Taylor Publishing, American Achievement’s legacy is based upon the delivery of exceptional, innovative products, including class rings, yearbooks, graduation products, achievement publications and affinity jewelry through in-school and retail distribution. American Achievement’s products are available through a variety of distribution methods, including direct sales to students in high schools and college, national jewelry retailers, independent jewelry stores and mass merchandisers. For more information on American Achievement, please visit the company’s web site at www.balfour.com.
About Visant
Visant Corporation is a leading marketing and publishing services enterprise servicing the school affinity, direct marketing, fragrance and cosmetics sampling and packaging and educational publishing markets. Visant is controlled by affiliates of KKR and DLJ Merchant Banking. For more information on Visant, please visit the company’s web site at www.visant.net.
About Fenway Partners
Fenway Partners is a middle market private equity firm based in New York with approximately $2.1 billion in originally committed capital. With significant knowledge and success investing in the branded consumer product and specialty distribution industries, Fenway has built a strong reputation for its hands on approach to supporting portfolio companies. For further information about Fenway Partners, please visit www.fenwaypartners.com