Archive for the ‘Principal Investing’ Category

Private Equity Firms Look for Retail & Consumer Buyouts in U.S. and Abroad

Thursday, March 11th, 2010
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As pricing for junk bonds and leveraged loans falls, more private equity firms are looking at U.S. and emerging market retail opportunities for buyouts.  T.H. Lee Partners just purchased CKE restaurants in February and Indian and Brazilian buyouts have been closing recently as well.  As the rest of the world grows faster than the U.S. and Europe, there will be more and more buyouts overseas.

According to Mr. Kelly and Ms. Coleman of Bloomberg, private-equity firms looking to buy retail and consumer companies said they’re now able to finance deals and pay reasonable prices after the credit crisis and global recession triggered a buyout slump.

“It feels like it’s a little bit of Goldilocks now,” Alex Pellegrini, a New York-based partner with Apax Partners LLP, said today. “It feels just right.”

Buyout managers are getting back to business after the global credit crisis that began in 2007 froze them out of buying companies or selling what they owned. About $12.9 billion worth of private-equity deals have been announced in the past three months, compared with $2.5 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The last couple months would suggest that people are getting active again,” said John Howard, chief executive officer of New York-based Irving Place Capital Management LP, noting his firm hasn’t made a retail investment in four years. “We’re seeing more real opportunities.”

Financing from Wall Street banks is returning for some deals after financial institutions suffered losses of $1.7 trillion since the onset of the credit crisis. Howard said deals require investors to contribute more of their own cash and less borrowed money, which means he and other managers are most interested in targets they think will boost sales and profits.

U.S. comparable-stores sales climbed 4.1 percent in February, topping the 3 percent growth estimate by researcher Retail Metrics. It was the sixth-straight monthly gain and the biggest in more than two years.

‘Quality Companies’

A stabilizing economy is helping broaden the number of potential targets beyond distressed companies that had no choice but to sell during the recession, said David Oddi, a co-founder of New York-based Goode Partners LLC.

“Over the past couple years, the best businesses have had the luxury of sitting on the sidelines,” Oddi said. “What we’re seeing now is more of the quality companies return to the market.”

The private-equity executives spoke on a panel moderated by Les Berglass, founder of executive-search firm Berglass + Associates, at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York.

Thomas H. Lee Partners LP agreed last month to buy CKE Restaurants Inc., the owner of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains, for about $619 million cash and assuming about $309 million in debt. CVC Capital Partners agreed to buy the retail unit of PT Matahari Putra Prima for 7.2 trillion rupiah ($772 million) in January.

Carlyle Group, the world’s second-biggest private-equity company, is among the firms looking beyond the U.S. for deals, said Sandra Horbach, who runs the Washington-based firm’s consumer and retail group from New York.

Dunkin’ Donuts

“There are certainly some countries today that have more robust growth than we’re seeing here in the United States,” Horbach said, noting the firm’s purchase of Brazilian tour operator CVC Brasil Operadora e Agencia de Viagens SA this year.

Carlyle also is poised to take advantage of stabilized capital markets to sell some of its investments, Horbach said. The firm is among the owners of Dunkin’ Brands, the operator of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains, which is a likely candidate for an initial public offering, Horbach said.

“That’s a company that we know will go public at a very attractive valuation and it’s just a question of timing,” she said.

Buyout-backed companies including Dollar General Corp., owned by KKR & Co., have successfully gone public. Shares of the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount retailer have gained almost 20 percent since they were sold in an IPO in November.

Strategic Acquirers

Private-equity firms may more often reap profits from consumer-focused investments by selling them to other investors or to larger companies, so-called strategic acquirers, rather than selling them to the public, Horbach said.

Shifting out of a defensive mode into a mindset of growing, and eventually selling companies, has private-equity owners looking to hire top executives. Berglass, the executive-search executive, said his business has increased 50 percent since last June. It’s a signal that things are picking up, he said.

“Every time the economy has dipped, we find ourselves the first ones coming back,” Berglass said.

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Bain Capital Taking Out Psychiatric Solutions for $1.35 Billion

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
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It looks like the private equity market is improving as the past month has been ripe with middle market offers, as the financing market has eased.  This latest deal is being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies.  After KKR passed on the offer, Bain & Company may place an equity bid for Psychiatric Solutions, a for-profit operator of mental-health hospitals.

Mr. McCracken and Lattman of the WSJ write: “Psychiatric Solutions Inc., a for-profit operator of mental-health hospitals and clinics, is in talks to be acquired by private-equity firm Bain Capital, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Psychiatric Solutions has a market capitalization around $1.35 billion. An exact takeover price couldn’t be determined Wednesday, but the firm was seeking around a 25% premium to its current market price, said people familiar with the matter. Any deal would include the assumption of Psychiatric Solutions’s outstanding $1.2 billion of debt.

Shares in the company, the largest for-profit psychiatric chain in the country, were trading near $30 last year. They were trading below $24 Wednesday afternoon. An agreement is still more than a week away, according to people familiar with the talks, though the deal may still fall apart in its final stages.

Private-equity firms have been in discussions with Psychiatric Solutions since last fall. CCMP Capital Advisors and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. looked at the business but eventually passed. Blackstone Group was also considering merging the company into its hospital chain Vanguard Health Systems Inc., according to people familiar with the firm’s thinking.

Boston-based Bain is now the most likely buyer. The firm is one of the lead investors in Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Inc., the nation’s largest hospital operator, which Bain and KKR acquired for $21.3 billion in 2006.

A Psychiatric Solutions spokesman didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is both advising and financing Psychiatric Solutions on the deal. Jefferies & Co. is providing additional financing.

A deal would show how the stabilization in corporate lending markets is encouraging private buyers such as Bain to put money to work. And a $3 billion acquisition would be among the largest leveraged buyouts struck since the credit markets collapsed in mid-2007.

In the past two weeks, Thomas H. Lee Partners agreed to acquire CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent company of Hardees and Carl’s Jr. restaurants for about $620 million; Abry Partners announced a deal to acquire cable operator RCN Corp. for $531 million; and CCMP purchased Infogroup Inc. for $460 million.

Psychiatric Solutions has more than 90 psychiatric hospitals and treatment centers in 32 states, with a heavy concentration in the East and Southeast. It has about 20,000 employees. The firm specializes in treating children with behavioral or mental illnesses. Besides its own sites, it also manages psychiatric units for other hospitals and government agencies. It reported 2009 sales of $1.8 billion.

Psychiatric Solutions has faced a number of allegations regarding the treatment of its patients, which has affected the company’s stock price. In July 2008 the Chicago Tribune published a report disclosing alleged unreported violence among juvenile patients at its Riveredge Hospital facility in Forest Park, Ill. A state-commissioned study by the University of Illinois-Chicago, published in August 2009, concluded that the facility failed to protect young patients from sexual assault and didn’t properly report attacks to authorities.

In February 2009, the company’s stock dropped 36% to a four-year low of about $10 per share after it reported weak earnings results attributable in part to the issues at Riveredge. “

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Bain’s Sensata Could Spark $600mm IPO

Monday, March 8th, 2010
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Bain Capital is offering to IPO Sensata Technologies for $632 million, 3x the original investment.  Interestingly enough, Sensata has been a money losing company every year since the investment.  Sensata’s revenue fell 20% last year and interest obligations were $151 million.  Bain acquired Sensata for $3 billion in a leveraged buyout in 1984.  The PE firm used $2.1 billion in debt and $985 million in equity to fund the buyout.

Sensata manufacturers sensors for Ford Motor Co. and controls for Samsung.  It plans to offer 31.5 million shares at about $20 each, an 18% stake.  It will receive about 83% of the proceeds of the IPO before fees and expenses, $352 million of which will be used to pay down debt.  This would bring down down to $1.94 billion and increase cash to $232.6  million.  About $22.1 million in fees will go to Bain & Co.

This will bring Sensata’s Enterprise Value (BEV) to $4.96 billion or 13.5x EBITDA of $367 million.  The multiple is 66% higher than companies in the same industry (instruments & controls).  Its next largest competitor is the Japanese Denso Corp., which trades at 10.4x EBITDA.

This will be a very difficult IPO to pull through, after Blackstone cut its IPO for Graham Packaging by 55% a few weeks ago.

For more information, check out the source: Bloomberg

For more information, check out Sensata on the web

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Largest Hedge-Fund Managers as of Dec. 31, 2010

Monday, March 8th, 2010
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Largest Hedge-Fund Managers
(Ranked by assets as of Dec. 31, 2009)
Firm Assets (billions)
JPMorgan Chase $53.5
Bridgewater Associates $43.6
Paulson & Co. $32.0
Brevan Howard $27.0
Soros Fund Management $27.0
Man Group $25.3
Och-Ziff Capital $23.1
D.E. Shaw* $23.0
BlackRock/Barclays Global $21.0
Farallon Capital $20.7
Baupost Group** $20.0
Goldman Sachs Asset $17.8
BlueCrest Capital $17.3
Canyon Partners $17.0
Landsdowne Partners* $15.0
Renaissance Technologies $15.0
Fortress Investment $13.8
Moore Capital $12.4
Viking Global* $12.4
Citadel Investment $12.2
SAC Capital $12.0
GLG Partners $11.5
Tudor Investment $10.0
Source: Pension & Investments magazine.
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Mezzanine/Private Equity Job – Contact Alex@leverageacademy.com for Details, Need At Least 1-2 Years of Mezzanine Experience

Monday, March 1st, 2010
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ABC Mezzanine Capital is looking to hire an Associate for its two to three year pre-MBA investment program. This individual will participate in reviewing, analyzing, closing and monitoring mezzanine investment transactions.  Founded in 19XX, ABC Mezzanine Capital is the mezzanine investing practice of ABC Financial Services Group, Inc.  We are currently managing and actively making new investments through ABC Mezzanine Capital III, L.P., a $400 million fund.  The individual we are seeking will have the opportunity to assist in deploying this fund in a growing practice.  Our firm is located in PA.

ABC Mezzanine Capital is focused on financing buyouts, recapitalizations and consolidation strategies in business services, niche manufacturing and value-added distribution in sponsored and unsponsored transactions.  ABC Mezzanine Capital invests $10 million to $30 million per transaction and will lead financings of up to $40 million.  ABC Mezzanine Capital has been a stable, thoughtful mezzanine partner for sponsor groups, entrepreneurs and management teams. Our approach has been to underwrite the long-term business strategy of our portfolio companies allowing us to respond constructively to the opportunities and challenges of the changing business environment. As a result, ABC Mezzanine Capital has made 50+ investments in 40+ companies, in support of 100+ transactions.  We seek to invest in companies with strong management teams, proven business models and stable cash flows with a clear avenue for growth.  ABC Mezzanine Capital’s investments are typically structured as subordinated debt with warrants.  In addition, we have the ability to purchase equity in conjunction with each mezzanine investment.  Our investment approach is flexible, attempting to match the needs of sponsor groups, management teams, shareholders and other lenders.

As an integral part of the ABC Mezzanine Capital investment team, the Associate will:

  • Screen potential investment opportunities;
  • Perform analyses of industries, financial statements and legal documents;
  • Monitor financial and operating performance of existing portfolio companies;
  • Perform due diligence investigation of prospective investments;
  • Evaluate various exit opportunities for portfolio companies; and
  • Participate in the marketing effort directed toward sources of investments.

In addition to a strong interest in principal investing, we are seeking the following qualifications:

  • Proven ability in financial analysis;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Minimum of two to three years of investment banking, leveraged lending or private equity experience;
  • Knowledge of financial instruments and deal process;
  • Demonstrated proficiency with computer-based spreadsheet analysis and data base research;
  • Comprehensive skill in analyzing investment opportunities; and
  • Capabilities in business development and a willingness to travel.

Compensation includes a competitive base salary, attractive benefits and a performance-based bonus.  We design our benefits programs based on ABC’s benefits philosophy to provide quality levels of coverage at affordable costs over the long term for both employees and ABC. We strive to balance the cost of providing competitive benefits with the need to cover employees with a wide range of protection during and after employment. ABC is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer — M/F/D/V/SO

More information will be disclosed if resume is applicable.

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KKR & TPG Interested in Purchasing CICC Stake from Morgan Stanley

Monday, March 1st, 2010
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Over the past three years, Morgan Stanley has had difficulty managing its stake in CICC or China International Capital Corp., one of China’s most prominent investment banks.  Recently both TPG and KKR, two of the most powerful private equity firms in the U.S. announced that they were interested in purchasing this stake from Morgan Stanley.  Other firms, including Bain and J.C. Flowers had showed interest in 2008, but valuations for too low at that point for Morgan Stanley to sell.  Morgan Stanley will now be able to start its own investment bank in China without having a conflict of interest.

According to Bloomberg’s Cathy Chan, ” TPG Capital LLP and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are in final talks to buy Morgan Stanley’s stake in China International Capital Corp., the first Sino-foreign investment bank, for more than $1 billion, said four people with knowledge the matter.

The U.S. private equity firms plan to equally split Morgan Stanley’s 34.3 percent holding in CICC, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are confidential. Bain Capital LLC lost out in bidding for the stake after offering less than $1 billion, one person said.

Selling the stake will allow Morgan Stanley to build its own investment bank in China after being a shareholder in CICC for a decade without having management control. It’s the bank’s second attempt to dispose of the stake, after talks with buyout firms fell apart in early 2008 on disagreements about price. New York-based Morgan Stanley invested $35 million in CICC when it was established in 1995.

“It’s a good profit and Morgan Stanley has been seeking to build its own platform as they can’t exert influence on CICC,” said Liang Jing, a Shanghai-based analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co. “For the buyout funds, it’s nice choice of investment if you don’t mind being a passive investor.”

Morgan Stanley ceded management control in 2000 and CICC is now run by Levin Zhu, the son of former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.

China Fortune

The Chinese government allowed Morgan Stanley to invest in CICC in return for the expertise required to build China’s first investment bank. Elaine La Roche, the last Morgan Stanley- appointed head of CICC, stepped down in June 2000. The partners bickered about compensation, management and strategy and that lack of consensus worked against both firms, she said in a 2005 interview.

Wei Christianson, Morgan Stanley’s chief executive officer in China, declined to comment, as did Joshua Goldman-Brown, an outside spokesman for KKR in Hong Kong, and officials at TPG. The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times earlier reported the two buyout firms are close to acquiring the CICC stake.

Morgan Stanley signed an initial agreement in 2007 to buy a one-third stake in China Fortune Securities Co. Regulators declined to sign off on that venture, partly because Morgan Stanley already owned a stake in CICC, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

“They have to start building the business from scratch and it will take five years before they can expand beyond underwriting business if they decide to be on their own,” Liang said.

Top Underwriter

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said late 2007 that overseas-invested financial firms that had been operating for five years would be allowed to expand into brokerage services.

CICC was last year’s top manager of Chinese domestic equity offerings, rising from No. 2 in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Domestic equity and equity-linked sales in China rose to 245.6 billion yuan ($36 billion) in 2009 from 232 billion yuan a year earlier.

Buyout firms including TPG, Bain Capital, CV Starr & Co., J.C. Flowers & Co. and General Atlantic LLC showed interest in the CICC stake in 2008, people familiar said at the time.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was the first Wall Street investment bank to gain approval to form a securities venture in China in 2004, followed by UBS AG.

Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG ventures won approval to underwrite bond and stock sales in 2008 and 2009 respectively, while Macquarie Group Ltd. is in the process of getting regulatory approval. CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, the regional broking arm of Credit Agricole SA, formed its China venture in 2003.”

~I.S.

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Over 1,100 Top Private Equity Firms

Friday, February 26th, 2010
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2i Capital Group
3 I
3i
4C Ventures
Aavin Equity Partners
Abacus Private Equity Group
Abell Venture Fund
Aberdare Ventures
Aberdeen Asset Managerment
Abingworth Venture Management
ABN AMRO Private Equity
ABS Capital Partners
ABS Ventures
Abundance Venture Capital Sdn. Bhd.
Accel Partners
Accel-KKR
Access Venture Partners
ACF Equity Atlantic
ACI Capital
Acorn Angels
Acorn Ventures
Adams Capital Management
ADD Partners
Advanced Equities
Advanced Technology Ventures
Advanced Technology Ventures
Advantage Capital Partners
Advent International
Advent Venture Partners
Adveq Management AG
Affarsstrategerna Sverige
Affinity Capital
Agio Capital Partners
Akers Capital
Alacrity Ventures
Albion Investors
Alchemy Partners
Alerion Capital Group
Alexander Hutton Venture Partners
Alice Ventures
Allegis Capital
Allegra Partners
Alliance Technology Ventures
Allied Capital
Alloy Ventures
Alpha Capital
Alta Communications
Alta Partners
Alta-Berkeley LLP
Altira Group
Altos Ventures
Altus Capital Partners
Ambient Capital Group
American Capital Strategies
American Industrial Partners
American Securities Capital Partners
Ampersand Ventures
Andlinger & Company, Inc.
Antares Capital Corporation
Anthem Capital Management
Apex Venture Partners
APV Technology Partners
Arbor Partners
Arbor Private Investment Company
Arcapita Inc. (Formerly Crescent Capital Investments, Inc.)
ARCH Venture Partners
Archelion Capital Partners
Ardent Services, LLC
Argentum Capital Partners
Argos Soditic
Argosy Capital
Argosy Partners
Arlington Capital Partners
Artemis Group
Ascend Technology Ventures
Ascent Venture Partners
Ashby Point Capital
Asset Management Company
Atlanta Equity
Atlas Venture
Audax Group
August Capital Management
August Equity
Aureos Capital
Aurora Capital Group
Aurora Funds
Austin Ventures
Avitas Capital
Axcel
Axxon Group
BA Venture Partners
Bachow & Associates
Bain Capital
Baird Capital Partners
Baird Venture Partners
Baker Capital
Bancroft UK – Bancroft Eastern Europe Fund
Band of Angels
Banyan Capital Partners
Baring Latin America Partners
Baring Private Equity Partners
Baring Private Equity Partners (India)
Baring Private Equity Partners Asia
Baring Vostok Capital Partners
Basileus Capital Partners, LLC
Batterson Venture Partners
Battery Ventures
Bay BG Bavarian Venture Capital Corporation
Bay Partners
Bayview Capital Group
b-business partners
BC Partners
BCE Capital
Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company
Beer & Partners Limited
Behrman Capital
Belvedere Capital Partners
Ben Franklin Technology Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Benchmark Capital
Benelux Capital
Berkeley International Capital Corporation (BICC)
Berkshire Partners
Berwind Group
Bessemer Venture Partners
BG Affiliates
Bio Asia Investments
Blackford Capital
Blackrock
Blackwater Capital Group
Blue Chip Venture Company
Blue Point Capital Partners
Blue Rock Capital
Blue Water Capital
Blueprint Ventures
BlueRun Ventures
Bluestem Capital Partners
BlueStream Ventures
Blumberg Capital
Boston Capital Ventures
Boston Financial & Equity Corporation
Boston Millennia Partners
Boston Ventures Management
Boulder Ventures
Bow River Capital Partners
Bradford Equities Fund
Brandon Capital Group, Inc.
Brantley Partners
Brass Ring Capital, Inc.
Brentwood Private Equity
Brentwood Venture Capital
Brera Capital Partners
Bridge Ventures
Bridgepoint Capital
Brockway Moran & Partners
Broe Companies, Inc.
Brown Brothers Harriman
Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Company
Bunker Hill Capital
Business Partners
BV Capital
Calera Capital
Caltius
Caltius Capital Management
Cambria Group
Canaan Partners
Candover Partners
Capital 33 Investment Tech. Limited
Capital For Business
Capital International
Capital Investments
Capital Markets Group, Inc.
Capital Resource Partners
Capital Southwest Corporation
Capital Z Partners
Capitaline Advisors, LLC
Capitol Health Partners
Capitol Partners
CapMan Capital Management
Capricorn Holdings
CapStreet Group
CapVis Equity Partners
Cardinal Capital Partners, Inc.
Cardinal Growth
Cardinal Partners
Cardinal Ventures
Carela Pacific Prvate Equity
Caris & Company
Carlyle Group
Carmel Ventures
Carousel Capital
Castanea Partners
Castile Ventures
Castle Harlan
Catalana d’Iniciatives
Catalyst Equity Partners
Catalyst Fund Management & Research
Catterton Partners
CCG Venture Partners
CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC
CDC Capital Partners
CDC Group
Cedar Creek Partners
Cedar Fund
Celerity Partners
Centennial Ventures
CenterPoint Ventures
Centre Partners Management
Centura Capital
Century Capital Management
CGS Investment
Channel Medical Partners
Charles River Ventures
Charlesbank Capital Partners
Charter Ventures
Charterhouse
Charterhouse Group
CHB Capital Partners
Cherokee Investment Partners, LLC
Chicago Venture Partners
ChinaVest
Chisholm Private Capital Partners
Chrys Capital
Chrysalis Ventures
Churchill Capital
CID Capital
Cipher Securities (India) Private Limited
CIT Group/Venture Capital
Citizens Capital
City of London Investment Group
CIVC Partners
Clarity Partners
Clayton Associates
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
ClearLight Partners, LLC
Clearstone Venture Partners
Clearview Capital
CM Equity Partners
CMEA Ventures
CMGI@Ventures
Code, Hennessy & Simmons, LLC
Cogent Partners
Coller Capital
Collinson Howe & Lennox
Colonial First State Private Equity
Columbia Capital
Columbia Capital Group
Columbia Partners Private Capital
Comcast Interactive Capital
Commerz Beteiligungsgesellschaft
Commonwealth Capital Group
Commonwealth Capital Ventures
Community Technology Fund
Companhia Riograndense de Participaçoes (CRP)
Compass Partners
Compass Technology Partners
ComSpace Development
ComVentures
Concord Ventures
Concourse Capital
Conexus Financial Partners
Connecticut Innovations
Conning & Company
Coral Ventures
Cordova Ventures
Core Capital Partners
Cornerstone Capital Holdings
Cornerstone Management Group
Corpfin Capital
Cortec Group
Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn
Crawford Capital
Crescendo Venture Management
Crescendo Ventures
Cross Atlantic Capital Partners
Cross Atlantic Partners, Inc.
CrossBow Ventures
Crosslink Capital
Crosspoint Venture Partners
Crystal Internet Venture Funds
Custer Capital
CVC Capital Partners
CVC Investment Managers
CW Group
Dakota Capital Partners
Dansk Kapitalanlaeg Aktieselskab
Danske Private Equity
Darby Overseas Investments
Dauphin Capital Partners
DB Capital Partners
De Novo Ventures
DEA Capital
Dearborn Capital Corporation
Delaware Innovation Fund
Delphi Ventures
Delta Partners
Delta Ventures
Demuth, Folger & Wetherill
Desai Capital Management
Detroit Investment Fund
DFJ Athena
DFW Capital Partners
DH Capital, LLC
Diamond State Ventures
Digital Partners
Digital Partners
Dimeling Schreiber & Park
Discovery Capital Corporation
Doll Capital Management
Dolphin Equity Partners
Domain Associates
Dome Capital
Dominion Ventures
Dougery Ventures
Doughty Hanson & Company
Draper Atlantic Management
Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Draper Richards
Dresdner Kleinwort Capital
Drug Royalty
Dubin Clark & Company
Duchossois TECnology Partners
Duff Ackerman and Goodrich
DynaFund Ventures
Earlybird Venture Capital
EarlyBirdCapital
East River Ventures
Eastern Technology Fund
Easton Hunt Capital Partners
Eccelera do Brasil Ltda
ECI Ventures
eCompanies-Evercore Venture Management (E2VM)
Edelson Technology Partners
EDF Ventures
Edgestone Capital Partners
Edgewater Capital Partners
Edgewater Funds
Edison Venture Fund
Egan & Talbot Capital
Egan Managed Capital
El Dorado Ventures
Elderstreet Investments
Electra Partners Asia
EM Capital/EM Management, Inc.
Emerging Markets Partnership
Eminent Capital Partners, LLC
Empire Ventures
Encore Consumer Capital
Endeavour Capital
EnerTech Capital Partners
Eno River Capital
Enterprise Development Fund
Enterprise Equity
Enterprise Partners
Entertainment Media Ventures
Envest Entrepreneurial Investments
EOS Partners
Equitas Partners
Equity Partners
Equity Ventures Limited
Equus Capital Management
Essex Woodlands Health Ventures
EuclidSR Partners
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
European Investment Fund (EIF)
Euroventures Management
Excel Partners
Excel Partners S.A.
Excellere Partners
Explorador Capital Management
FA Technology Ventures
Fairfax Partners
Fairmont Capital
FCP Investors
FE Clean Energy Group Inc.
Fenway Partners
Fidelity Equity Partners
Fidelity Global Group
Fidelity Ventures
Financial Technology Ventures
Firemark Investments
Firestarter
First Analysis
First Atlantic Capital
First Capital Group
First New England Capital
First Reserve Corporation
Flag Venture Management
Flagship Partners
Flanders Language Valley Fund
Flatwater Ventures, LLC
Fluke Venture Partners II, LP
FNJ Group, INc.
Fond fondov
Fond Rizikového Kapitálu
FondElec Group Inc.
Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec
Forrest Binkley & Brown
Forward Ventures
Foundation Capital
Four Seasons Venture Capital
Fox Paine & Company
Francisco Partners
Frazier & Company
Freeman Spogli & Company
Freestone Partners
Fremont Group
Friedman Billings Ramsey
Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
Friend Skoler & Co., Inc.
Frontenac Company
Frontier Capital
Fulcrum Ventures
Funk Ventures, Inc.
G-51 Capital
Gabriel Venture Partners
Gaebler Ventures
Galen Partners
GE Equity Capital
Gemini Investors
Gemini Israel Fund
General Atlantic Partners
Generation Partners
Genesis Partners
Geneva Venture Partners
Genstar Capital
Geocapital Partners
Gilbert Global Equity Partners
Gilde Investment Management
GIMV
Giza Venture Capital
GLE Development Capital
Glencoe Capital LLC
Glenmount International
Global Environment Fund
Global Internet Ventures
Global Partner Ventures
Global Retail Partners (GRP)
Global Vision AG Private Equity Partners
GMT Communications Partners
Goense Bounds & Partners
Golder Thoma Cressey Rauner (GTCR)
Goldman Sachs Asset Management
Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison
Goode Partners
Graham Partners Investments
Grand Central Holdings
GrandBanks Capital (in partnership with SOFTBANK Inc.)
Granite Equity Partners
Granite Hall Partners
Granite Ventures
Granville Baird
Great Circle Capital
Great Hill Partners
Greenbriar Equity Group LLC
Gresham Partners
Greylock
Grosvenor Funds
Grotech Capital Group
Ground Swell Equity Partners
Growth Capital Partners
Growth Works
Growthworks Capital
Grumman Hill Group
Gruppo Levey & Company
Gryffindor Capital Partners
GSC Group
GTI Capital
Guide Ventures
H&Q Asia Pacific
Haddington Ventures
HAL Investments
Halder Holdings
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Trellis Partners
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Trident Capital
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Trinity Ventures
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Trivest Incorporated
TriWest Capital Partners Inc.
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Tsi Holding Company
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U. S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Ventures
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Wafra Partners
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William Blair Capital Partners
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Wind Point Partners
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Wingate Partners
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Wolf Ventures
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ZS Fund
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Skillsoft LBO

Sunday, February 14th, 2010
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skilsoft-logo

According to NewsCenter, “E-learning software maker SkillSoft Plc based in Ireland said it agreed to be acquired by a consortium of private-equity firms for about USD 1.1 billion, an offer that investors think undervalues the company.

The cash offer of USD 10.80 per share, made by funds owned by Berkshire Partners, Advent International and Bain Capital, was 11% more than SkillSoft’s closing price on Thursday. However, American depositary shares of the company edged past the offer to as high as USD 11.21, or up 15%, indicating that investors might be expecting a better offer.  As of Thursday’s close, the stock had dropped about 11% since touching a 52-week high of USD 10.99 in December, higher than the investor group’s offer.

‘We think we got the best price we could negotiate balancing a lot of the things that our board knows in terms of their understanding of the market,’ Chief Executive Chuck Moran said on a call with analysts.

The merger agreement has a ‘go-shop’ period, ending on March 6, that allows SkillSoft to scout for better offers.
However, the company said the board intends to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the acquisition.

‘We would have hoped for a modestly higher price but business was challenging through this renewal period that they just completed,’ Craig-Hallum Capital analyst George Sutton told Reuters by phone.

‘The higher price would most likely come if there is a strategic buyer who can integrate the cost structure more effectively than a private equity firm.’

Signal Hill analyst Trace Urdan said possible strategic acquirers could include IBM and Accenture Plc.

Investment firm Columbia Wanger Asset Management is the largest stakeholder in SkillSoft with a 22% interest. The firm was not immediately available for comment.

Wedbush Securities analyst Ariel Sokol said in a note, ‘We wonder whether parties involved might have to increase the price of the company to mollify investors concerned that the company could potentially be sold a year too early.’

As of Thursday’s close, the company traded at a forward earnings multiple of 13 times and according to analysts the multiple could push to 16.5 times earnings. The offer values the company at 14.6 times 2010 earnings.

MARKET WOES

‘Characteristics of the training market have certainly shifted during this economic time. The growth rates have been reduced,’ CEO Moran said, adding that fiscal 2010 bookings were down from the prior year.

The company, which had revenue of USD 328 million for the year ended January 2009, provides Internet-based training courses and software to businesses and governments.

It competes with companies such as India’s NIIT, Kenexa and Blackboard Inc in the increasingly competitive e-learning software and services market.

The e-learning market accounts for a small part of the overall training market, and its growth has slowed in recent years due to the general economic slowdown and pricing pressures.

SkillSoft, whose customers include IBM, Merck, Toyota and Hilton, however, posted a higher-than-expected profit for the third quarter and raised its outlook for the year.

The company will continue to be headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and led by the current management team, including Moran as CEO, it said.

The buyout will be financed with a USD 605 million financing package from Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital, who are advising the investor group.”

~Sourced by I.S.

For more information, please visit NewsCenter…

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ADC2: Video Compression Startup in Boston

Sunday, January 17th, 2010
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video tech

ADC2 was founded in 2008 by Sunil Reddy, Angel Decegama, and Lewis Stoller.  It is a startup aiming to improve the speed of online video by enhancing compressing technology for high-definition movies.  In 2006 Angel and Lewis launched TrueLight Technologies, which was based on wavelet transformation processing, a process that was developed in the 1980s to manipulate the data in the individual image frames of a video file.

Truelight was started simply to serve the security market, where resolution is a paramount concern.  ADC2′s potential customers are Comcast, Motorola, and AT&T.  AT&T recently asked the firm if it could move forward and provide pricing for its new products.

ACD2′s process can take a HD video that would be about 500MB normally and compress it down to 140MB or even 73MB, keeping almost the same resolution.  At 140MB, the HD video could play across a 1.5 Mbps connection.  The five person team has been funded solely by its partners.

For more information, please refer to Mass High Tech…

~IS

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Free Class on M&A & Hostile Takeover Defense, Friday, Jan. 15

Friday, January 15th, 2010
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LA Classy4

Class will be held at 140 Clarendon Street in Boston at 4pm.

For more information, please contact info@leverageacademy.com!

The following topics will be covered:

Merger Consequences Analysis

Income Statement Impact

Balance Sheet Impact

Purchase Accounting

Goodwill

Why premium over Fair Market Value?

SFAS 141, 141R, 142

EPS Adjustments

Exchange Ratio

Pro Forma EPS

Pro Forma Shares Outstanding

Synergies

Hostile Takeovers

Poison Pill

Rights Plan in Action

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