Rustic Canyon Sells Positions In Portfolio

San Francisco-based investment firm Saints Capital, and Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Rustic Canyon Partners said Tuesday that they have formed a new fund, Saints Rustic Canyon, L.P., which has purchased the interest of nineteen different portfolio firms of Rustic Canyon Ventures, and a portion of eight other firms (note: Rustic Canyon is a sponsor of this publication, According to the firms, the sales gives liquidity to Rustic Canyon's single limited partner, which the firm did not disclose or mention, but has previously been disclosed as the Chandler Family Trust, the trust of the Chandler Family -- former owners of the Times Mirror Co., the parent firm of the Los Angeles Times before its acquisition by the Tribune Company. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

Among the firms sold by Rustic Canyon were Southern California portfolio firms, Internet Brands, and US Renewables Group. Other firms in the portfolio included Archom Technology, Astea International, Auxora, iCopyright, EM4, Foodlink Online, HyperQuality, Jo-Ann Stores, JRJK, LoopNet, MediaSpan Group, NanoNexus, ODS-Petrodata, PC On Call, Serious Materials, and Visto Corporation.

Saints Capital and Rustic Canyon also said that Rustic Canyon has sold 20% of each of another eight portfolio firms, including Southern California-based cleantech firm Transonic Combustion, along with interests in Capella Photonics, Fulcrum Bioenergy, Intrepid Learning Solutions, Serious Materials, SiliconSystems, Trion World Network and Untangle.

Rustic Canyon was created in 1999 to invest part of the funds raised in the recapitalization of the Times Mirror Company, prior to its acquisition by the Tribune Company. The Chandler Family Trust put $550M into Rustic Canyon's first fund, and also owns stakes in Rustic Canyon's two subsequent funds. According to Managing Director Tom Unterman, in a statement released by Rustic Canyon, the sale was made to help the firm's single investor to "rebalance his asset allocation." Unterman said that--without referring to the Chandler trust by name--that they "(remain) the largest investor in our second and new third fund."

The sale comes with some interesting timing, coming on the heels of the bankruptcy filing yesterday of the Tribune Company, current owner of the Los Angeles Times.