Deal Briefs

Acto, a Paris-based private equity firm affiliated with Finama Private Equity, has acquired Gérard Menguy Investments, a provider of corporate residences in France. No financial terms were disclosed, except that GMI has expected 2006 revenue of €46 million. Acto also has acquired a majority stake in Villages Vacances Famille, an operator of family tourism resorts in France (€145m in 2006 revenue). Acto will hold 55% of VVF, while Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations will hold 40% and company management will retain 5 percent.

Airport Management & Investment Ltd. has agreed to sell the London City Airport to AIG Financial Products and Global Infrastructure PartnersAlchemy Partners is in talks to acquire UK-based Marston Hotels from family founders for around £180 million.

Angelo, Gordon & Co. has acquired a business unit of Citi Cards, which includes United States Auto Club, Motoring Division Inc. and Associates Auto Club Services. No financial terms were disclosed.

Apollo Management has agreed to buy Jacuzzi Brands Inc. (NYSE: JJZ) for $12.50 per share. The total transaction is valued at $1.25 billion, including the assumption of $260 million in outstanding debt. Lazard Frères & Co. advised Jacuzzi Brands on the sale, which is expected to close in Q1 2007. Jacuzzi Brands is a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer and distributor of branded bath and plumbing products for the residential, commercial and institutional markets.

Arcapita has agreed to acquire listed UK utility Viridian Group PLC for £1.62 billion (a 23% premium).

Atlas Copco AB of Sweden has agreed to sell the majority of its construction equipment rental business to Ripplewood Holdings and Oak Hill Capital Management. The deal is valued at approximately $3.3 billion, with Atlas Copco retaining a 14.5% ownership stake in the business. It is expected to close by year-end. Deutsche Bank advised Atlas Copco on the sale.

Augustus Energy Partners LLC has raised $228 million in startup private equity commitments from Greenhill Capital Partners, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors and Lime Rock Partners. The Billings, Mont.-based upstream energy company was recently launched by former executives of U.S. Exploration Inc., which was sold earlier this year for $411 million to Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL).

Avista Capital Partners has agreed to purchase up to €125 million of common stock in Danish drug company Nycomed AS. The capital will be used to help finance Nycomed’s proposed €4.5 billion acquisition of Altana AG’s pharmaceuticals business. Nycomed currently is 51%-owned by Nordic Capital, with others shareholders including Alpinvest, The Blackstone Group and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

California Check Cashing Stores LLC, a retailer of “alternative” financial services like check-cashing and payroll advances, has raised an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Golden Gate Capital.

The Carlyle Group is scaling back its proposed private equity investment in Chinese construction equipment maker Xugong Group Construction Machinery Co. The report says that Carlyle will offer around $220 million for a 50% stake, compared to an original offer of $375 million for an 85% position. Talks have been ongoing for nearly a year.

The Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners have agreed to acquire Open Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: OPEN), a Glastonbury, Conn.–based provider of enabling technologies for financial institutions, for $38 per share. The total deal is valued at over $1.3 billion, including the assumption of debt.

CapMan has offered to acquire Polimoon ASA (Oslo: POLI), a Norway-based producer of rigid plastic products and applications. The bid is NOK 27.50 per share, for a total equity valuation of NOK 1.082 billion (approx. $160 million). Leverage would be provided by DnB NOR Bank SA and CapMan’s mezzanine fund.

ClientLogic Corp., a subsidiary of Onex Corp. (TSX: OCX), has agreed to buy New York-based customer call center company Sitel Corp. (NYSE: SWW). The total deal is valued at around $450 million, including $310 million in equity ($4.05 per share).

Creo Capital Partners of Los Angeles has acquired National Harvest LLC, a Kansas City–based provider of frozen food products under the Bakers Express and National Harvest Brands. No financial terms were disclosed. Creo also bought Mountain High Hosiery Ltd., a San Diego-based manufacturer of men’s, women’s and children’s hosiery. No financial terms were disclosed., a France-based online broker of financial products like mortgages and insurance, has sold a 40% ownership stake to 3i Group for €32 million.

First Reserve Corp. and GenPower LLC have formed GenPower Holdings LP, a joint venture that will develop, own, acquire and operate power generation facilities in the U.S. and abroad. GenPower’s contribution will be a portfolio of projects already under development, including Longview, a coal-fired generating facility to be based in Maidsville, West Virginia. The Longview project will require $1.8 billion in total capital, of which First Reserve will provide the equity.

France Telecom has completed a sale of its 54% stake in directories company PagesJaunes for around €3.3 billion, to a private equity consortium that includes KKR, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, AXA Private Equity and Eurazeo.

General Atlantic is among the private equity firms in talks to acquire listed HR software provider Northgate Information Solutions PLC, according to The Independent newspaper. The deal could be valued is excess of $1 billion, with the company confirming that it has received “a number of unsolicited approaches.”

GPX International Tire Co., a Malden, Mass.-based portfolio company of Sterling Investment Partners, has acquired the Hebei Starbright tire factory in China. No financial terms were disclosed.

Golden Gate Capital has agreed to acquire Sierra Systems Group Inc. (TSX: SSG) for C$9.25 per share, or approximately C$93.2 million. Sierra Systems is a Vancouver–based provider of IT and business consulting services to public and private organizations in North America.

Hyundai Communications & Network, a Korean cable television group controlled by Hyundai Department Store, has sold a 33.5% stake to The Carlyle Group for approximately $166 million.

Inflexion Private Equity has sponsored a £24 million management buyout of Parasol Ltd., a UK-based provider of tax and regulatory services for self-employed workers and independent contractors. Inflexion provided £9.4 million in equity, while HSBC provided a £12 million leverage package.

J. H. Whitney Capital Partners has agreed to buy 120 Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants from Landry’s Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: LNY). The deal is valued at approximately $192 million, and is scheduled to close later this quarter.

JHW Greentree Capital, an affiliate of J.H. Whitney & Co., has acquired a majority stake in the Advanced Metrology Systems business of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG). No financial terms were disclosed. AMS provides metrology solutions to semiconductor manufacturers.

JLL Partners has completed its public-to-private buyout of check-cashing store operator Ace Cash Express Inc. (Nasdaq: AACE) for $30 per share, or $455 million.

KKR had agreed to help finance a Willis Group attempt to acquire Marsh & McLennan three months ago, according to MarketWatch. The bid reportedly was rejected.

KKR and Permira are considering the acquisition of a large minority stake in listed French media and telecom company Vivendi, according to La Tribune. If successful, the two firms then would push for a further breakup of the company—although Vivendi reportedly may try staving off the offer by making a bid for Lagarde.

Langholm Capital has acquired Elvi Ltd., a UK-based fashion retailer for plus-sized women. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was done in partnership with former White Co. managing director Oliver Spark.

Macquarie Bank has won the auction for RWE AG’s Thames Water unit, with a £8 billion bid (£4.8b in equity, £3.2b in assumed debt). It beat out rival bids from Qatar Investment Authority, Terra Firma Capital Partners and Alinta.

Main Capital Partners has sponsored a management buyout of Actuera BV, a Dutch provider of software for pension funds and insurance companies. No financial terms were disclosed.

Marlin Equity Partners has closed its acquisition of XKO Software Ltd., a unit of XKO Group PLC that provides ERP software to SMEs in the building supply chain, wholesale distribution and other specialist product markets. The deal was valued at up to £15 million.

MBK Partners has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in Taiwanese cable television company China Network Systems for approximately $932 million, according to the Economic Daily News.

MDS Inc. (NYSE: MDZ) has agreed to sell its Canadian laboratory services business to Borealis Infrastructure Management for C$1.325 billion. MDS is being advised by RBC Capital Markets and UBS Securities.

MedServe Inc. a Houston, Texas-based medical waste management company, has raised $70 million in new private funding. Avista Capital Partners led the deal with $50 million, and was joined by return backers Chrysalis Ventures, Murphree Venture Partners, Cogene Biotech Ventures and Erasmus Louisiana Growth Fund. MedServe was formed last year via the merger of Med-Shred Inc. and Enserv LLC.

Michaels Stores Inc. (NYSE: MIK) shareholders have approved a $44 per share buyout offer from Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group. The entire deal is valued at approximately $6 billion.

Milestone Capital Partners has acquired Flow Dry Technology Inc., a Brookville, Ohio–based provider of gasket and sealing technology. No financial terms were disclosed.

Milestone Capital Partners has bought Brentwood, Md.-based mechanical contractor American Combustion Industries Inc. from the Washington Gas Light Holdings Co. (NYSE:WGL). No financial terms were disclosed. As part of the deal, Milestone has named industry veterans John and Tim Kirlin as CEO and president/COO, respectively.

MSD Capital has acquired a majority interest in ValleyCrest Companies, a Calabasas, Calif.–based provider of landscaping services. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which results in ValleyCrest management retaining an equity position.

Northwest Capital Appreciation has acquired Northern Crane Services, an Edmonton, Alberta–based provider of mobile crane services to energy companies working in Western Canada. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was done in partnership with company management.

Pfingsten Partners has acquired PowerVar Inc., a Waukegan, Ill.–based supplier of power quality control solutions for the medical instrumentation, computer, retail point-of-sale, industrial and audio/video markets. No financial terms were disclosed.

Phoenix Exploration Co. has completed its previously-announced acquisition of the Gulf of Mexico and south Louisiana assets of Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and one of its affiliates.No financial terms were disclosed. Phoenix was formed this past April with a $250 million capital commitment from The Carlyle Group/Riverstone.

Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., an Australian gaming and media company, has agreed to sell half of its media assets to CVC Asia Pacific for Au$4.54 billion. The announcement came shortly after the Australian parliament approved relaxed media ownership rules. CVC beat out rival bidders KKR and Newbridge.

Signature Aluminum Inc. (f.k.a. WXP Inc.), a Greenville, Pa.–based portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, has acquired Atlantic Aluminum LLC of Lumber Bridge, North Carolina. No financial terms were disclosed.

Silver Lake Partners, Bain Capital and Texas Pacific Group each are bidding to buy H-3C, according to The Wall Street Journal. H-3C is a China-based joint venture between 3Com and Huawei Technologies Co., and is expected to fetch between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

Steelpoint Capital Partners has acquired The Internet Marketing Center Inc., a Blaine, Wash.-based provider of Internet marketing information, software and consulting services for small and mid-sized businesses. No financial terms were disclosed, except that IMC has over $20 million in annual revenue.

Strength Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Postle Distributors Inc., an Elkhart, Ind.–based distributor and manufacturer of aluminum extrusions and related components. No overall price was disclosed, although Allied Capital said that it is supporting the acquisition with a $72.5 million commitment of senior secured notes, a revolving credit facility, an undrawn capital expenditures facility and an equity co-investment.

Summit Partners and GSO Partners have formed Aurora Diagnostics LLC, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.–based acquisition platform for anatomic pathology and other diagnostic laboratory businesses. No financial terms were disclosed. Aurora already has signed five letters of intent for lab acquisitions, with two already closed and the others expected to close by year-end.

Tenaska Capital Management has agreed to acquire 3,145 megawatts of natural gas-fired generation assets from Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) for $1.635 billion in cash, subject to closing adjustments. The deal includes six facilities, including ones in California, Texas, Illinois, Virginia and West Virginia.

Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management have upped their offer for casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment (NYSE: HET) from $81 per share to $83.5 per share. There is speculation, however, that the Harrah’s board may insist on an $85 per share price before recommending the deal to shareholders.

Transtar Industries Inc., a Walton Hills, Ohio-based distributor of auto aftermarket transmission repair partners, has acquired Atlanta-based APD Transmission Parts for an undisclosed amount. Transtar is a portfolio company of Linsalata Capital Partners.

Veritas Capital has agreed to acquire Cornell Companies Inc. (NYSE: CRN) for $18.25 per share. The total deal is valued at approximately $518.6 million, including the assumption or repayment of approximately $273.6 million in debt. It is expected to close at the end of Q1 2007, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. Cornell is a Houston, Texas-based provider of corrections, treatment and educational services outsourced by federal, state and local governmental agencies.

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is likely to spin off its directories business instead of selling it, according to The New York Times. The pending decision is based on unfavorable tax implications of a sale.

VNU Group BV has offered to acquire the 39.5% of NetRatings Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT) that it does not already own, for $16 per share. VNU is controlled by a private equity consortium that includes AlpInvest Partners, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, KKR and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Warburg Pincus reportedly has acquired an 18% position in Grupo Pinar, a Spanish property developer. No financial terms were disclosed.

Wilks Broadcast Group LLC, an affiliate of The Wicks Group of Cos., has agreed to acquire seven radio stations from CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) for $138 million. The stations are: KFKF-FM, KBEQ-FM, KMXV-FM and KCKC-FM in Kansas City, and WLVQ-FM, WHOK-FM and WAZU-FM in Columbus, Ohio.

W.L. Ross & Co. is in talks to acquire additional automotive components companies for portfolio platform International Automotive Components Group, according to Bloomberg. No specifics were disclosed.