January Business Bits

  • Private equity investment firm Accel-KKR has acquired a majority stake in Hacienda's iTradeNetwork, Inc. Founded in 1999, iTradeNetwork provides subscription-based hosted software solutions to the food industry that facilitate transactions between retail grocers, restaurant chain operators, foodservice distributors and their respective suppliers. The company counts companies like Safeway, Costco, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sysco, Kraft Foods, and Dole among the over 4,500 trading partners that use its solutions. In aggregate, iTradeNetwork's customers transact nearly $200 billion in trading volume annually through the company's software solutions.

    "Over the past eight years, we have built a leading position in providing collaborative workflow software solutions to the food industry," says Robert Bonavito, founder and CEO of iTradeNetwork. "Accel-KKR's investment is both a reflection of our tremendous progress, as well as a vote of confidence in our strong continued potential for growth. We have found in Accel-KKR a number of key attributes that we felt were essential in an equity partner to help accelerate the future growth of the company."

    Under the terms of the transaction, Bonavito will continue to serve in his current role, along with the rest of his executive management team.

  • Hacienda's Prudential California Realty is partnering with real estate web site Zillow.com to feed approximately 3,500 of their property listings each day to the Zillow.com web site. The agreement will provide additional marketing exposure to home sellers who have listed with Prudential California Realty, as well as the company's Nevada and Texas divisions.

    "This opportunity allows us to expand our listings base online through one of the most trafficked real estate sites in the country," says Scott Kucirek, general manager at Prudential California Realty. "This feed program makes it even easier than before to promote our listings to prospective clients on a cost-free basis."

    Approximately four million people visit Zillow every month.

  • Hacienda contact lens manufacturer CooperVision will introduce a new silicone hydrogel contact in April or May, according to a story in the San Francisco Business Times. The composition of the lenses means that they are more permeable to oxygen, allowing users to leave the lenses in for up to two weeks at a time. The paper reports that Cooper will invest nearly $20 million on the rollout, aimed primarily at providing trial sets that will help patients determine if a lens fits well. A toric version of the new lens, which is curved to fight astigmatism, is scheduled to be introduced by the end of 2008.

    On January 15, Hacienda's Equity Administration Solutions, Inc. (EASi) celebrated their fifth anniversary, their 200th customer, and the release of the latest version of the company's stock option expensing and administration software. Enhancements to the collaborative, web-based software include a new Company Notification Center which enables authorized users to set up standard or customized automatic email notifications triggered by 11 common events.

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