In Brief –

BioVentures Fund Holds Initial Close

WORCESTER, Mass. – BioVentures Investors, a first-time fund focusing on health and medical technology, in early January held an initial close on just under $12 million, amid a tough market for medical-related investments.

Peter Feinstein, a general partner of the firm, was optimistic about the prospects for deal flow in the troubled sector. “The weakness in the capital markets for biotech stocks has made [fund raising] difficult, but that presents opportunities for venture investments,” he said.

The fund targets a final close on about $20 million in the next two quarters. Limited partners consist of a mix of institutions and individuals.

BioVentures will invest in a wide variety of health and medical technology companies, including genomics and similar advanced applications of research in the New England region, Mr. Feinstein said. Both he and his partner, Marc Goldberg, have been active in the biotech industry for about 15 years as consultants.

Sentinel Hires Two, Eyes Final Wrap

NEW YORK – Private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners in January increased its staff of investment professionals to seven, following the completion of a $110 million first close on its second fund, said Managing Partner David Lobel.

A $20 million December close was tacked on to $90 million raised in June from endowments, insurance companies, banks, funds-of-funds, gatekeepers and individual investors. The vehicle, which will invest in later-stage growth, recapitalization and buyout deals, targets a $125 million final close by the end of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the firm hired two new employees, Christopher Weiler as principal and James Coady as a vice president. Mr. Weiler joins the firm from The CIT Group/Equity Investments Inc., the private equity affiliate of CIT Group Holdings. Mr. Coady, an associate at First Chicago Equity Capital since 1995, will be Sentinel’s second vice president.

Mr. Lobel said the new hires would not focus on particular sectors but rather maintain a more general perspective within Sentinel’s areas of expertise – consumer driven businesses and business-to-business services.