GreenFuel Strikes A Deal, Sirtris Teams with Bayer on Crops, Salient Files for an IPO, & More Deals News

3/17/08

A new IPO filing, a few solid venture financings, and a decent assortment of new partnerships… Dare we call it an uptick it dealmaking? You be the judge.

—GreenFuel Technologies, a Cambridge, MA firm developing algae-based fuel-production systems, struck a deal worth up to $92 million to build a plant in Europe. It’s an important milestone for the firm, which laid off half its staff and replaced its CEO last summer.

—Salient Surgical Technologies of Dover, NH, filed for an IPO worth up to $86.25 million. Just before the filing, the company changed its name from TissueLink Medical to Salient Surgical Technologies to emphasize that it’s a medical device firm (it makes tools for sealing blood vessels during surgery) and not a biologics firm or tissue bank.

—Hydra Biosciences of Cambridge, MA, raised $34 million in a Series C funding round led by Advanced Technology Ventures and joined by Polaris Venture Partners, BioVentures Investors, Abingworth, Lilly Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates. The company is developing pain medications and other drugs based on ion-channel-targeting technology.

Sumitomo Heavy Industries upped its offer for semiconductor manufacturer Axcelis (NASDAQ: ACLS) of Beverly, MA. The new offer values the Massachusetts firm at $630 million; Sumitomo’s earlier bid, which Axcelis rejected late last month, put the figure at $544 million.

—MA-based Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SIRT) struck a licensing deal with Germany’s Bayer CropScience. Wade explains what a biopharmaceutical company can contribute to the development of more robust crops.

—Market research firm Invoke Solutions of Waltham, MA, raised $7 million in new venture funding in a round led by North Atlantic Capital, and joined by Bain Capital and BEV Capital. Invoke focuses on online and mobile alternatives to traditional phone surveys and focus groups.

—Bain Capital Ventures of Boston led an $8.6 million Series B financing round for TargetSpot of New York, which develops tools for advertising on internet radio stations. Union Square Ventures, CBS Corporation, and Milestone Venture Partners joined the round.

—And finally the one that got away: Hopkinton, MA-based EMC’s (NYSE: EMC) $180 million offer for Iomega (NYSE: IOM) was rejected by the San Diego-based maker of storage drives and disks. Iomega said that the EMC offer was not superior to a deal with companies registered in China and the Cayman Islands that Iomega worked out late last year.

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