MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Danaher Corp., a Washington industrial manufacturing conglomerate, agreed to make a cash tender offer of $976 million for Leica Geosystems Holdings AG, the Swiss manufacturer of surveying and mapping equipment. Leica was advised by Credit Suisse & Lombard Odier on the deal, while Danaher was advised by UBS and the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Allied Capital Corp. of Washington bought Norwesco Inc., a Minnesota manufacturer of plastic agricultural and septic tanks, for about $160 million. The seller was Norwest Equity Partners.

VeriSign Inc., a California-based Internet and telecommunications networks firm, bought Reston security intelligence firm iDefense Inc. for about $40 million in cash.

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. of Washington agreed to buy privately held WCS Wireless for about $188 million in XM stock.

PRIVATE EQUITY

Fortius Networks Inc., a Washington software company, sold $500,000 in a Series A convertible preferred stock offering to two investors, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Fortius's beneficial owners include Maryland's Walker Ventures and New Markets Growth Fund, an early-stage venture fund managed by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Financial Services Partners Fund I LLC, a private equity fund managed by Washington's Hovde Organization, sold $39.8 million of membership interests to 18 investors, according to an SEC filing. The fund invests in financial services companies.

APCO Worldwide Inc., a Washington public affairs and communications firm, sold $1.9 million of Class B non-voting common stock to 51 investors, according to an SEC filing. The funds will be used for working capital.

PUBLIC EQUITY

RCN Corp.registered for the public sale of up to $125 million of convertible debt held by investors who helped finance RCN's exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. RCN, formerly called Starpower Communications in the Washington area, provides bundled cable TV, telephone and Internet service. It owns similar systems in Boston, New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It emerged from Chapter 11 in December as a publicly traded company. The debt being offered for sale is convertible into common stock.

JER Investors Trust Inc., a McLean commercial mortgage investment company, completed its initial public offering, selling 12.2 million shares for $216.5 million. In February, the company, which expects to qualify as a real-estate investment trust, said it planned to sell up to $230 million of stock in an IPO. The company is managed by an affiliate of J.E. Robert Cos. The company's shares are expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "JRT." Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. and Banc of America Securities co-managed the offering.

Compiled by staff writer Terence O'Hara and Bloomberg News.