Deal round-up April 17

Money for optics, media software, gardening retail and heart technology.

ETF invests E6.4m in PLLB Elettronica

ETF Group, a Switzerland-based venture capital firm, led an E6.4m round of financing for PLLB Elettronica, an optical and wireless testing and monitoring firm.

The Milan-based firm said it will use the funds to strengthen its presence internationally and invest in research and development.

Stefano Devescovi, a managing director of ETF Group Italy, will join the PLLB Elettronica board.

According to PLLB Elettronica, its target market is worth E6bn and is growing at approximately 25% a year. Year 2000 revenues were approximately E20m.

ETF group maintains a portfolio of about 60 companies.

Imerge gets £4.7m

Imerge has received £4.7m in its third round of funding.

Friends, Ivory & Sime invested £2m. Other investors included Aberdeen Asset Mangement, Farblue, Yorkshire Fund Managers and private investors.

Imerge is an media software firm. It will use the capital to launch new products. The company was spun out of Scientific Generics in 1997.

Amadeus has Greenfingers

Greenfingers, a mail order and internet gardening company, has received a £2.5m investment round that includes £1.5m from new investors Accelerator Media and £1m from existing shareholders Amadeus Capital Partners, 3K Digital, Designer City and Gilde IT Fund.

Greenfingers was founded by George Plumptre, author and former Times gardening correspondent, and is headed by Helen Bridgett, formerly of Tesco.

Gardening is a £3bn market in the UK with 14 per cent (£450m a year) of sales attributed to direct retail channels.

3i puts £1m into AorTech

Private equity firm 3i has invested £1m in AorTech, a Scottish heart valve company.

3i had originally planned to sell some of its 16 per cent stake in AorTech.

AorTech last week raised £20.1m in an equity offering. The company had wanted to raise £64m last month, but a difficult market scotched its plans.