Follow the Money: OncoNano Series A Funding Reaches $35.4M; ECi Acquires UK Software Reseller

You’ll find news about more than $6.4B in deals. Trive Capital, Cresco Capital Partners, Prologis, WatchGuard, Rent-A-Center, Comstock Resources, Covey Park Energy, Interstate Restoration, and Temperature Control Systems also are included in this roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity in North Texas.

funding acquisition

What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants to acquisitions, Dallas Innovates tracks what’s happening in North Texas money every Thursday. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.

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OncoNano’s Series A funding reaches $35.4M

Southlake-based biotech startup OncoNano Medicine announced that it has raised $23.7 million in the second portion of Series A funding, bringing its total Series A round to $35.4 million. 

The funding round was arranged by Salem Partners, which also participated as a principal investor, according to a statement. The money will fund OncoNano’s cancer imaging clinical trials as well as support an expansion of its technology into candidates for therapeutic applications.

Last year, the company announced it had closed on $11.7 million in the  Series A round. That funding was also arranged by Salem Partners. It supplemented a $6 million grant that OncoNano received from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. 

OncoNano is a spin-out from the UT Southwestern Medical Center with technology invented by Dr. Jinming Gao, professor of pharmacology and otolaryngology, and Dr. Baran D. Sumer, associate professor of otolaryngology. The biotech company develops nanotechnology-enabled fluorescent probes to help cancer surgeons visualize tumors during surgery, allowing them to excise tumors more precisely. The fluorescent sensor targets the different pH signals, thus making them glow so they are easier to distinguish from normal tissue.

It’s developing a new class of pH-activated compounds that digitalize and exploit the variability of pH in disease.

Trive Capital portfolio company gets $160M credit facility

A portfolio company of Dallas-based Trive Capital has entered into a new $160 million credit facility led by Bain Capital Credit.

The credit facility will support Trive’s recapitalization of AEVEX Aerospace, a California-based airborne ISR company that provides highly specialized services to the intelligence and special operations communities.

According to a statement, the recapitalization will help facilitate its continued expansion and investment in capabilities for its customers.

Cresco leads $7.7M Series A round for Arcview Group

Dallas-based cannabis-focused private equity firm Cresco Capital Partners and Trivergance Investments led a $7.7 million Series A funding round for Arcview Group, a leading cannabis industry investor network.

Marijuana Business Daily reported that the investment gives Cresco Capital Partners and Trivergance a controlling interest in Arcview.

Arcview Group connects accredited investors with cannabis-related businesses seeking funding, publishes industry-related research, and produces cannabis industry events, according to PE Hub.

Cresco was founded in 2014 and focuses on investing capital in strategic geographic areas within the cannabis industry through a combination of opportunistic equity, convertible notes, and senior secured debt with warrant protection.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

ECi Software makes second international acquisition this month

ECi Software Solutions, the Fort Worth-based provider of cloud-based business management solutions, has acquired Spruce Computer Systems Ltd.

UK-based Spruce is a reseller of ECi’s Spruce software for organizing timber, hardware, and building materials businesses in the United Kingdom. It will become part of ECi’s LBM and Hardlines (LBMH) division, which is led by John Maiuri, according to a statement.

ECi has been selling its merchant software solutions in the United Kingdom for nearly 20 years through its successful partnership with Spruce Computer Systems Ltd. The acquisition will create an official UK presence for ECi’s LBMH division and continue ECi’s global expansion.

Earlier this month, ECi acquired Pacsoft, a provider of inventory management and point of sale software solutions for hardware retail and trade businesses in Australia.

Prologis to buy Denver REIT Property Trust Inc. in $4B deal

Denver-headquartered Industrial Property Trust Inc., a sponsored investment platform of Black Creek Group, has entered into a definitive merger agreement calling for an affiliate of Dallas-based property developer Prologis Inc. to buy the REIT for just under $4 billion in cash, according to Commercial Property Executive.

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, but will be completed by March 31, 2020, at the latest.

Under the agreement, IPT will sell its entire 37.5 million-square-foot portfolio of industrial real estate assets to Prologis. The portfolio contains 236 properties that cross 24 geographic areas in the U.S. that are 97 percent leased.

The portfolio focuses on leading high-barrier-to-entry industrial markets offering easy access to major thoroughfares.

IPT will retain its minority ownership interests in two unconsolidated joint venture partnerships.

Motorola acquires mobile video provider WatchGuard

Allen-based WatchGuard Inc., a mobile video solutions provider, has been bought by Illinois-based Motorola Solutions Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

WatchGuard’s products—in-car video systems, body cams, evidence management systems, and software—are designed for law enforcement.

The acquisition comes about a year and a half after WatchGuard filed for a $75 million IPO. The company withdrew the IPO earlier this year.

Motorola made another recent North Texas acquisition, buying Fort Worth-based VaaS International Holdings in January for $445 million in stock and cash. VaaS is a provider of license plate recognition technology.

Rent-A-Center says it will acquire Merchants Preferred

Plano-based Rent-A-Center Inc. announced that it has agreed to acquire all of the assets of Merchants Preferred, an Altlanta-based national provider of virtual rent-to-own services, in a deal valued at roughly $47.5 million.

The acquisition was approved by Rent-A-Center’s board of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter.

“The addition of the Merchants Preferred technology platform and its approximately 2,500 locations enables us to accelerate our expansion plans with respect to the Company’s virtual rent-to-own capabilities by at least 18 months,” Mitch Fadel, chief executive officer of Rent-A-Center, said in a statement. “This acquisition positions us for growth and differentiates us from competitors, allowing us to offer both virtual and staffed solutions to our retail partners.”

Comstock Resources closes $2.2B deal for Covey Park Energy

Frisco-based independent energy company Comstock Resources Inc. has closed the previously announced acquisition of Dallas-based Covey Park Energy LLC in a cash and stock merger valued at roughly $2.2 billion.

We reported last month that the companies had entered into an acquisition agreement.

Comstock said in a statement that as part of this deal, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones invested $475 million in Comstock in exchange for 50,000,000 newly issued shares of Comstock common stock. That equity investment brings Jones’ total investment in Comstock to roughly $1.1 billion.

Interstate Restoration acquires Southern California company

Fort Worth-based Interstate Restoration has acquired ASR Property Restoration, boosting Interstate’s price in Southern California.

Interstate will add all of Ventura County-based ASR’s assets and its three divisions—restoration, special services, and construction, according to a statement. No financial details of the acquisition were disclosed.

ASR has roughly 80 employees and they will immediately begin working with Interstate’s established Anaheim office.

Interstate is one of the largest emergency restoration and reconstruction service providers for commercial enterprises in North America.

Temperature Control Systems is bought

Dallas-based Temperature Control Systems Inc. has been acquired by Kele Inc., a Memphis area-based manufacturer and distributor of peripheral control systems, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Temperature Control Systems is a full-line stocking distributor of commercial HVAC controls and building automation systems, and has 29 employees at six locations in Texas and Oklahoma. No financial terms were released.

Temperature Control Systems CEO Scott Cross will serve as its president. Temperature Control will operate as a separate brand from Kele.

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