Deal Briefs

Actis has acquired a 71% stake in Ceylon Oxygen Ltd., a Sri Lanka-based manufacturer of industrial and medical gasses, from Yara International ASA. Actis also will make a mandatory offer to acquire the remaining shares in Ceylon Oxygen. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was transacted in partnership with Ceylon Oxygen management.

American Capital Strategies has committed an additional $34 million to portfolio company BPWest Inc., a provider of drilling fluid products and services for oil and gas drilling. The capital will be used to help BPWest both refinance debt and acquire Toby’s Vacuum Tuck Service Inc.

American Industrial Partners and Steel Partners have agreed to acquire Collins Industries Inc. (OTC BB: CNSI) for $12.50 per share. The entire transaction is valued at approximately $110 million, including assumed debt and expenses. Collins Industries is a Hutchinson, Kansas–based ambulance manufacturer, and is being advised on the sale by George K. Baum Advisors.

Aptuit Inc., a Greenwich, Conn.-based provider of streamlining and support services for drug developers, has agreed to acquire EaglePicher Pharmaceutical Services. No financial terms were disclosed. Aptuit is backed by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Temasek Holdings.

Arrowpoint Capital has agreed to acquire Royal & SunAlliance USA from London-based Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group PLC.

Audax Group has acquired a majority of Flexstar Technology Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of data storage testing solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Rigel Associates and company management also participated in the deal’s equity tranche, while Comerica provided senior leverage financing.

AWG PLC (LSE: AWG), a UK water and waste management utility, has agreed to be acquired for £2.2 billion by a consortium that includes 3i Group, CPP Investment Board, Colonial First State, Industry Funds Management and a unit of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Berkshire Partners and Weston Presidio have acquired Alameda, Calif.-based party supply retailer PA Acquisition Corp. (a.k.a. Party America) from Gordon Brothers Group. The deal is valued at approximately $42 million, including assumed debt, with Party America being folded into a holding company—AAH Holdings Corp.—that had acquired Party City Corp. last year.

Bertucci’s Corp., a portfolio company of Jacobson Partners, has acquired 11 Vinny T’s of Boston restaurants from BUCA Inc. (Nasdaq: BUCA). No financial terms were disclosed. The Bertucci’s and Vinny T’s brands will continue to be managed separately.

Blake Offshore LLC, a New Orleans-based owner and operator of seven offshore drilling rigs, has raised $51 million from Avista Capital Partners. The deal is in the form of subordinated notes and Class B units that will be used to retire senior notes and finance remaining costs associated with the upgrades of two rigs.

The Brakes Group PLC, a U.K.-based provider of food to the U.K. and French catering markets, has agreed to a £275 million refinancing, which is slated to close next month. The majority of the proceeds will be used to return capital to company shareholders, including majority holder Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (67% ownership stake). The refinancing is lead-arranged by JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, with UBS as a co-manager.

Brentwood Associates has acquired The Teaching Co., a Chantilly, Va.–based publisher and direct marketer of university-level courses on DVD, audio CD and other formats. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which included equity participation by company management. The Teaching Co. was advised by Berkery, Noyes & Co.

Broder Brothers Co., a Plymouth, Mich.-based distributor of imprintable activewear, has acquired substantially all the assets of Northlake, Ill.-based competitor Amtex Imports Inc. The deal was valued at approximately $6.8 million, plus around $4.5 million in net working capital. Broder Brothers was acquired in May 2000 by Bain Capital.

Caribe Acquisition Holdings, a portfolio company of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, has agreed to acquire ACS Media LLC for Cdn$188 million. ACS Media is the largest publisher of print and Internet advertising directories in Alaska.

The Carlyle Group reportedly has dropped out of a Citigroup-led consortium that is bidding for an 85% stake in Guangdong Development Bank of China. Associates First Capital has replaced Carlyle, while the Citigroup offer faces stiff competition from a Societe Generale-led group.

Caxton-Iseman Capital and Royal Palm Capital Partners have acquired American Residential Services LLC, a Memphis, Tenn.–based provider of HVAC and plumbing services, from The ServiceMaster Co. (NYSE: SVM). No financial terms were disclosed, except that ARS had 2005 revenue in excess of $500 million.

Central American Capital Group has acquired a 49.9% stake in Amnet Telecommunications Holdings Ltd., which provides cable television and broadband Internet access in El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras. No financial terms were disclosed. CACG was formed as an acquisition platform by MesoAmerica of Costa Rica, with the Kazma family participating on the Amnet deal.

CVC Capital Partners has agreed to buy DCA Group Ltd. (ASX: DVC), an Australian nursing home and radiology clinic operator, for Au$1.7 billion (US$1.3 billion).

Demand Media Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based acdquiror of online content sites and generic Internet domain names, has raised $100 million in second-round funding. 3i Group and Oak Investment Partners co-led the deal, while Spectrum Equity Investors also participated. Demand Media was formed earlier this year with a $120 million infusion from Oak, Spectrum and Generation Capital Partners.

Eau Ecarlate, a France-based provider of stain removers and other clothes washing products, has acquired the Household Products division of Italy-based Guaber. The deal was partially financed via an additional investment from existing Eau Ecarlate shareholder European Capital. AXA Private Equity is Eau Ecarlate’s majority shareholder.

Emigrant Capital has agreed to acquire Next Proteins Inc.’s protein bar business, in partnership with the business’ management. No financial terms were disclosed. Eos Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of Addus Healthcare Inc., a Palatine, Ill.-based provider of skilled and non-skilled home health services. No financial terms were disclosed. Freeport Financial acted as lead agent for the debt financing, while Provident Healthcare served as Addus’ exclusive financial advisor.

Eureka Growth Capital has acquired a majority interest in Cherry Hill Photo Enterprises Inc., a Cherry Hill, N.J.–based provider of special event digital photography services to mall developers, as part of a recapitalization. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also included participation by company management.

France Telecom has received European Commission approval to sell its 54% stake in directories company PagesJaunes for around €3.3 billion, to a private equity consortium that includes KKR, AXA Private Equity, Eurazeo and Goldman Sachs.

Frontier Drilling, a Houston, Texas-based provider of offshore drilling and production services for the oil industry, has agreed to acquire and refurbish the Transocean Explorer, a second-generation semisubmersible drilling rig currently capable of drilling in water depths of up to 1,250 feet. The deal is partially financed via a $27 million private equity infusion from Avista Capital Partners.

GATX Corp. (NYSE: GMT) has agreed to sell most of its aircraft leasing business to Och Ziff Capital Management and Macquarie Bank for approximately $1.5 billion.

General Atlantic has agreed to acquire a 52% interest in Emdeon Business Services from Emdeon Corp. (Nasdaq: HLTH). The total transaction is valued at approximately $1.2 billion, including $320 million from General Atlantic and $925 million in leverage from Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Bear Stearns. Emdeon was advised by The Blackstone Group and Citigroup Corporate and I-Banking. Emdeon Business Services provides revenue cycle management and clinical communication solutions for the healthcare market.

Gordon Brothers Group and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. have acquired personalized gift retailer Things Remembered from a subsidiary of Luxottica Group SpA (NYSE: LUX). The deal was valued at approximately $200 million.

Gray Wireline Service Inc., a subsidiary of Gray Energy Services LLC, has acquired Southern Wireline Service Inc., a provider of cased-hole wireline services in the onshore and transition zone regions of the Gulf Coast and the offshore Gulf of Mexico. No financial terms were disclosed. Gray Energy Services is backed by Centre Partners.

GTCR has completed the formation of BNY ConvergEx Group, which rolls up the trade execution, commission management and independent research businesses of BNY Securities Group with Eze Castle Software, a provider of trade order management. The entire transaction is valued at over $1 billion, with GTCR and Bank of New York each holding 35.4% ownership stakes, and Eze Castle and company management holding the remainder. Bank of New York’s B-Trade and G-Trade businesses are expected to become part of the new company in 2008.

H.I.G. Capital has agreed to acquire Severn Trent Laboratories Inc., an environmental testing firm with 31 laboratories throughout the United States. H.I.G. plans to merge Severn Trent with existing H.I.G. portfolio company TestAmerica.

HitecVision and Ferncliff have agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Noble Denton Holding Ltd., a UK-based provider of global marine and engineering consultancy services to the global shipping, insurance and offshore energy industry. Key employees of the company will retain 40% of the business. No financial terms were disclosed.

Incisive Media PLC, a listed UK-based business information publisher, is recommending a Gbp199 million cash offer from Apax Partners.

Indigo Partners has acquired a 49% stake in Indonesian airline Mandala Airlines from PT Cardig International Aviation. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which results in Cardig retaining a 51% position.

Inter Link Foods, a listed UK producer of private-label and branded cakes, said that it is in talks to be acquired by a private equity firm. No additional information was disclosed, except that any formal offer is “likely to be substantially in excess of the closing mid-market price on Friday.” At the close of trading on Friday, Inter Link was valued at around £47 million.

Istithmar and Salford Capital Partners have offered to acquire the Georgian business interests – including Magticom Ltd. — of telecom company Metromedia International Group Inc. (Amex: MMG) for $480 million.

K&K Iron Works Inc., a Chicago-based engineering firm that fabricates and erects structural steel components, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from H.I.G. Capital and company founders.

Knight Energy Group LLC has paid $165 million to acquire a series of producing and undeveloped oil and gas properties, located primarily in Oklahoma and Texas. Financing for the deal was led by Greenhill Capital Partners, with Reservoir Capital Partners and RCH Energy Opportunity Fund also participating.

Linde AG has received intense private equity interest in its Kion GmbH materials handling unit according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Likely bidders include: Allianz Capital and Permira; Apax Partners and BC Partners; and KKR and Goldman Sachs. Other possible parties include CVC, Bain Capital, Cinven and Blackstone Group. Credit Suisse is running the auction.

Lone Star Funds has agreed to acquire Japanese lender Korakuen Finance Co. from Tokyyo Dome Corp. for approximately $429 million.

MBK Partners is close to winning the $1.6 billion auction for Taiwanese cable television company China Network Systems, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Merchant Equity Partners has agreed to acquire loss-making U.K. furniture retailer MFI Retail from MFI (LSE: MFI) for just £1 million. The deal also includes MFI paying MEP 74 million over the next 18 months to further support the stores, and around £52 million to cover existing customer deposits. MEP will invest approximately £62 million into the chain, and arrange at least £40 million worth of working capital facilities. Apax Partners and Argyll Capital also had made bids on MFI Retail.

Misys PLC, a U.K.-based provider of IT solutions to the banking industry, has terminated takeover talks “with immediate effect.” Both General Atlantic and Permira had expressed interest, but never made formal bids. In related news, Misys announced that CEO Kevin Lomax has resigned.

Morgenthaler Partners has acquired Mark Andy Inc. from Dover Corp. (NYSE: DOV) for an undisclosed amount. Madison Capital Funding led the leverage tranche, with Hancock Capital Management also participating. Mark Andy is a St. Louis-based manufacturer of narrow-web printing equipment.

Nordic Capital and Apax Partners are moving ahead with a $2.2 billion offer to acquire listed Swedish healthcare company Capio AB, even though the company’s board unanimously rejected the offer in September.

Nycomed AS, a Danish drug company, has agreed to buy the pharmaceuticals business of Altana AG for approximately €4.5 billion. Nordic Capital holds a 51% stake in Nycomed, with other shareholders including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Blackstone Group and AlpInvest. The deal is expected to close by year-end, with the formal transfer scheduled to occur on Jan. 1, 2007.

Ply Gem Industries Inc., a portfolio company of Caxton-Iseman Capital, has agreed to acquire Alcoa Home Exteriors from Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) for approximately $305 million in cash. Alcoa Home Exteriors is a manufacturer of vinyl siding, aluminum siding, injection molded shutters and vinyl, aluminum and injection molded accessories.

Poteza Adriatic Fund has acquired Serbian animal feed producer Proteinka Sabac for approximately €4.5 million.

Ripplewood Holdings LLC has offered to buy the U.S. construction-gear rental unit of Sweden-based Atlas Copco AB for around $4 billion, according to a Bloomberg interview with Goldman Sachs analyst James Moore.

Resilience Capital Partners

has agreed to acquire substantially all the assets of Omega Polymer Technologies Inc., an Aurora, Ohio-based manufacturer of thin-wall, complex pultruded lineals. The deal is subject to bankruptcy court approval. No financial terms were disclosed.

The Riverside Company has acquired GreenLine Foods Inc., a Bowling Green, Ohio–based provider of fresh-trimmed, microwaveable packaged green beans. No pricing terms were disclosed. KeyBank acted as administrative agent for the senior financing package, with Freeport Financial and Orix also providing senior funding. New Canaan Funding provided subordinated notes. KeyBank advised GreenLine Foods on the sale.

The Riverside Co. has acquired It’s Just Lunch International, a Palm Desert, Calif.–based franchisor of matchmaking and dating services. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also included participation from company management.

Royal Ahold reportedly is close to putting its U.S. Foodservice unit on the auction block for €3 billion, with possible bidders including KKR and Cerberus Capital. Royal Ahold currently is in merger talks with smaller rival Delhaize, but a sale of Ahold’s U.S. Foodservice division would make it a merger of equals.

Rutland Holdings, the parent company of U.K.-based Rutland Plastic Technologies Inc., has agreed to acquire Union Ink Co., a provider of services and technologies to the textile screen printing market. No financial terms were disclosed. Union Ink Co. has offices in both Ridgefield, N.J. and Paddock Wood, England. Rutland is controlled by HSBC Capital.

Sandler Capital Management has acquired substantially all of the assets of the Crafts Group from Primedia Inc. (NYSE: PRM) for approximately $132 million in cash. The group will be renamed Enthusiast Media LLC, and publishes nine consumer publications like Creating Keepsakes and McCall’s Quilting.

SIG Holding AG, a Swiss beverage carton and packaging company, has rejected a $1.71 billion buyout offer from CVC Capital Partners and Norwegian packaging company Elopak. SIG believed the offer was too low, but plans to open its books to potential buyers.

Sistemas Técnicos de Encofrados (STEN), a Spanish construction company, has raised over €100m in private equity funding from 3i Group, in exchange for a minority ownership position.

Sterling Capital Partners and Citigroup Private Equity are sponsoring a proposed $8 per share management buyout of Educate Inc. (Nasdaq: EEEE). The company’s stock price closed at $7.06 per share on Friday, and Educate says that it will review the proposal.

The Sterling Group and The Stephens Group have acquired a majority stake in BTEC Turbines LP, a Houston, Texas-based provider of refurbishment, repair and packaging for large gas turbines. No financial terms were disclosed.

Sun Capital Partners has made a $9 per share bid for Talk America Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: TALK), a New Hope, Pa.-based telecom company in which it already holds a 13.9% stake. Talk America last week had agreed to be acquired by Richmond, Va.-based Cavalier Telephone LLC for $8.10 per share. The Sun bid values Talk America at around $274.3 million.

Texas Pacific Group has agreed to acquire the Transfusion Therapies business of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX). The deal is valued at $540 million, and is expected to close in Q1 2007. Maverick Capital also is participating alongside TPG. The Transfusion Therapies business includes a global product portfolio of manual and automated blood-collection products and storage equipment, as well as five manufacturing facilities located in Haina, Dominican Republic; La Chatre, France; Maricao and San German, Puerto Rico; and Nabeul, Tunisia.

Univision Communications Inc. (NYSE: UVN) received 63% shareholder approval for a $36.25 per share buyout offer from Haim Saban, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The company had been required to get approval of 60% or higher.

Wellspring Capital Management has acquired The Press of Ohio and D.B. Hess Co., two printing companies that serve the education, catalog and commercial markets. No financial terms were disclosed. Management of both companies will remain the same.

WHI Capital Partners has acquired Container Recycling Alliance, the glass recycling division of Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WMI). No financial terms were disclosed.

WL Ross & Co. has acquired OCM India Ltd., an India-based textile manufacturing facility, for $37 million.