Sepracor Snatched up for $2.6B, EMC Acquires FastScale and Kazeon, Biogen Makes Bid For Facet, & More Boston-Area Deals News

9/8/09

The pace of New England tech and life sciences deal making was swift over the last week and a half—and there was noticeable bump in M&A transactions.

—Boston-based RockPort Capital Partners participated in a $47 million financing round for Norwegian electric vehicle maker Think.

iWalk of Cambridge, MA, picked up an undisclosed amount of new financing in a deal led by General Catalyst. The startup, a spin-off of MIT’s Media Lab, makes an actively powered prosthetic foot and ankle.

–Goffstown, NH-based WoodPellets.com, an aptly named supplier of wood pellets for the home heating market, raised $11 million in a Series B financing round led by Cambridge, MA-based Monitor Clipper Partners and joined by return investor .406 Ventures of Boston. Wade explains how the startup is bringing advanced software to bear on the traditionally low-tech industry.

—IT storage and management giant EMC (NYSE: EMC) of Hopkinton, MA, acquired Santa Clara, CA-based software maker FastScale Technology for an unspecified sum.

EMC also inked a deal to acquire Mountain View, CA-based Kazeon Systems, a maker of litigation-support software; terms of the deal were not disclosed.

—Waltham, MA-based defense behemoth Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) revealed a deal to acquire Cambridge-based BBN Technologies for an undisclosed sum. http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2009/09/01/raytheon-to-acquire-bbn/ Wade took a fascinating look at BBN’s long history of innovation, including the firm’s role in sparking the Internet almost 40 years to the day before the announcement.

—Video-on-demand technology provider SeaChange International (NASDAQ:SEAC) of Acton, MA, acquired its Dutch counterpart EventIS Group for $45 million.

—Lab equipment and diagnostics maker Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) of Waltham acquired Hennigsdorf, Germany-based diagnostics maker B.R.A.H.M.S. for €330 million (US $470 million).

—Marlborough, MA-based drug maker Sepracor (NASDAQ:SEPR) agreed to a $2.6 billion buyout offer from Japan’s Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma. Sepracor would maintain its Massachusetts and Canadian operations, as well as its name, after the close of the deal.

Daktari Diagnostics of Cambridge raised $2.8 million in a Series A round of financing from Norwich Ventures, Partners Innovation Fund, Hub Angels, Mass Medical Angels, Launchpad Venture Group, Boston Harbor Angels, and others; the startup is out to develop a handheld device for performing blood tests crucial to the management of HIV disease in remote areas.

—Cambridge-based Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) made an unsolicited bid worth more than $350 million to acquire Redwood City, CA-based Facet Biotech (NASDAQ: FACT). Biogen and the California firm have a partnership focused on developing a new antibody drug for multiple sclerosis.

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