Safeguard Scientifics Inc., one of only a handful of publicly traded venture capital funds, agreed to acquire closely held Pac-West Telecomm Inc. for $115 million, so Pac-West can speed its growth. Pac-West is a competitive local telephone exchange carrier, or CLEC, with operations in California and Nevada. CLECs compete with the Baby Bell companies for local phone business. The company has a presence in all 11 of the local-access and transport areas in California. The transaction gives Pac-West the capital it needs to continue expanding, Safeguard said. Three private equity funds associated with Wayne, Pa.-based Safeguard also are part of the transaction: TL Ventures, SCP Private Equity Partners and EnerTech Capital Partners. Other investors include William Blair Capital Partners, Pac-West Chairman Bruce Westphal and Pac-West founder and President John La Rue, Safeguard said. Safeguard Scientifics rose 81 cents to close at $40.44 on the NYSE.