Deal Briefs

Ace Mortgage Funding, a portfolio company of Roark Capital Group, has acquired Millennium Funding Group, a Vancouver, Wash.–based wholesale loan originator. No financial terms were disclosed.

Allied Capital is committing $124.1 million to sponsor the management buyout of Huddle House Inc., a Scottsdale, Ga.-based franchisor of more than 400 family dining restaurants. Allied’s participation took the form of a senior revolving credit facility, a senior term loan, senior subordinated notes and a majority of the common equity. Huddle House senior management also participated.

Aleris International Inc. (NYSE: ARS) shareholders voted to approve a $52.50 per share buyout offer from Texas Pacific Group. Aleris is a Beachwood, Ohio-based maker of aluminum-rolled products and extrusions, aluminum recycling and specification alloy production.

ALPS Advisors Inc., a portfolio company of Lovell Minnick Partners, has completed its acquisition of the Liberty All-Star Funds management business from Banc of America Investment Advisors. The fund family consists of two closed-end, NYSE-listed equity funds: Liberty All-Star Equity Fund (NYSE: USA), with net assets in excess of $1.3 billion as of Nov. 30, and the Liberty All-Star Growth Fund (NYSE: ASG), with net assets in excess of $156 million as of Nov. 30.

Apex Companies LLC, a Rockville, Md.-based environmental services firm, has acquired The SI Companies, an Arlington, Ill.-based environmental consulting and water utility maintenance firm. No financial terms were disclosed. Apex is a portfolio company of Blue Point Capital Partners.

Apollo Management has agreed to acquire real estate franchisor Realogy Corp. (NYSE: H) for $30 per share. The entire deal is valued at approximately $9 billion, including around $1.6 billion in assumed debt and approximately $750 million of other liabilities. Apollo is committing $2 billion of equity, and has secured leveraged financing commitments from JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Bear Stearns. Evercore Partners served as financial advisor to Realogy.

Aramark Corp. (NYSE: RMK) shareholders have approved an $8.3 billion buyout bid led by CEO Joseph Neubauer, and including private equity firms GS Capital Partners, CCMP Capital Advisors, JPMorgan Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Warburg Pincus. The deal will provide Aramark shareholders with $33.80 per share in cash.

Argus Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in GTX Hanex Plastic, a Poland-based manufacturer of polyethylene terephthalate preforms, bottles and films, from Montluc Holdings. No financial terms were disclosed.

Bain Capital and Japan Industrial Partners have agreed to sponsor a proposed management buyout of listed Japanese telco SunTelephone. The deal could be worth upwards of $300 million.

The Blackstone Group has acquired U.K.-based restaurant chain operator Tragus Ltd. from Legal & General Ventures for approximately £267 million. Tragus management also participated alongside Blackstone. Tragus operates mroe than 160 restaurants, under core brands Café Rouge and Bella Italia.

Blonder Tongue Laboratories Inc. (AMEX: BDR) has sold its Texas-based private cable television business, BDR Broadband, to DirecPath, a joint venture between Hicks Holdings LLC and The DIRECTV Group Inc. The deal was valued at approximately $3.1 million.

Biomet Inc. (Nasdaq: BMET), a Warsaw, Ind.–based maker of musculoskeletal medical products, has agreed to be acquired for around $10.9 billion by a private equity consortium that includes Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group. Biomet shareholders would receive $44 per outstanding share, which is a 27% premium over Biomet’s stock price on April 3, which is when the first news reports of a possible sale emerged. Biomet confirmed three days later that it had retained Morgan Stanley as an advisor.

Brynwood Partners has acquired a majority ownership in S. Walter Packaging, a Philadelphia-based distributor of premium packaging to the retail industry. No financial terms were disclosed.

Cadent Energy Partners reportedly has agreed to acquire a 60% ownership position in Logan Oil Tools Inc., a Houston, Texas-based provider of fishing tools and products to the oil industry. Energy Special Situations Fund will take a 15% stake.

The Carlyle Group has competition for Dallas-based roofing and building products company ElkCorp (NYSE: ELK). Carlyle earlier this week had agreed to buy the company for approximately $1 billion (including the assumption of $173 million in net debt), or $38 per share. But ElkCorp confirmed yesterday that it now has a $40 per share offer from Building Materials Holding Corp. (NYSE: BLG). ElkCorp said that its board will review the BLG offer, and make a recommendation to shareholders.

The Carlyle Group and Dah Sing Banking (Hong Kong) have agreed to acquire a 24.99% stake in mid-sized Chinese lender Chongqing Commercial Bank. No financial terms were disclosed, although Reuters valued the deal at around $100 million, with Dah Sing taking a 17% stake and Carlyle taking a 7.99% stake.

Carousel Capital has acquired Axium Healthcare Pharmacy Inc., a Lake Mary, Fla.-based provider of specialty pharmacy services. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which includes participation by senior company management. Allied Capital provided financing.

Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE) has agreed to sell its oxo products and derivatives businesses — including European Oxo GmbH, a joint venture between Celanese AG and Degussa AG — to Advent International for €480 million. The oxo derivative chemicals business of Celanese has approximately 1,100 employees, generates revenues of approximately $700 million and has EBITDA margins of about 10 percent. EOXO, which has approximately 200 employees, has non-consolidated revenues of approximately $700 million and contributes $5 million to $10 million of equity earnings to Celanese annually.

CLP Healthcare Services Inc., an acquisition platform backed by Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, has acquired Community Hospices of America Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based hospice provider with 25 locations in nine states. No financial terms were disclosed.

Citigroup Venture Capital International and Partners in Life Sciences have completed their acquisition of Turkish drug production company Biofarma from Selcuklu Holding and the Oncel Family. Garanti Bankasi provided leveraged financing, but no additional terms were disclosed.

Court Square Capital Partners and Weston Presidio have agreed to acquire Denver-based specialty chemical manufacturer MacDermid Inc. (NYSE: MRD) for $35 per share. The transaction is valued at more than $1.3 billion, including assumption or repayment of approximately $301 million of debt. Company chairman and CEO Daniel Leever is participating alongside the equity sponsors, while Court Square managing partner Joseph Silvestri is a director of MacDermid and also is involved in the merger.

DriveSol Worldwide Inc., a Troy, Mich.-based portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, has acquired the automotive steering business of The Timken Co. (NYSE TKR). No financial terms were disclosed, except that the unit had 2005 sales of around $110 million.

Dunedin Capital Partners has agreed to acquire the WFEL business of Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). No financial terms were disclosed. WFEL is a UK-based designer and manufacturer of tactical military bridges.

Embarcadero Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: EMBT), a San Francisco-based provider of strategic data management solutions, has canceled its proposed acquisition by Thoma Cressey Equity Partners. The deal had been valued at approximately $234 million, or $8.38 per share (29% premium to the closing price prior to the announcement). Neither side will pay termination fees. No formal reason was given for the deal cancellation, although Embarcadero did recently disclose evidence of backdating stock options, and the resulting need to restate its historical financial statements.

Equity Office Properties Trust (NYSE: EOP) is willing to consider higher buyout offers than the $48.50 per share bid from The Blackstone Group, according to a proxy statement. If it were to accept such an offer, however, it would be required to pay Blackstone a $200 million breakup fee. The proxy statement also said that at least four different entities offered to buy all, or part, of Equity Office.

Euromax Holdings Inc., a Norcross, Va.-based portfolio company of GS Capital Partners, has acquired GSW Building Products Inc. from A.O. Smith Corp. for $11.3 million.

Francisco Partners has completed its $18.50 per share buyout of Metrologic Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: MTLG). Hedge fund Elliott Associates and Metrologic chairman and interim CEO Harry Knowles co-invested alongside Francisco.

Gryphon Investors has recapitalized DLC Inc., a Los Angeles-based provider of high-end, project-based finance and accounting services to Fortune 1000 and middle-market companies. Senior DLC management will continue to run the company and remain significant shareholders. Gryphon and Ray Marcy, former Chairman and CEO of Spherion Corp., will support the company’s continued expansion through new office openings, further development of existing markets and selected add-on acquisitions. No financial terms were disclosed.

Healthy Foods Holdings, a portfolio company of Catterton Partners, has agreed to acquire Van’s International Foods Inc., a Vernon, Calif.-based maker and marketer of Van’s Waffles. No financial terms were disclosed.

H.I.G. Capital has recapitalized Augusta Lumber Co., a Waynesboro, Va.-based supplier of hardwood logs, lumber and flooring. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was done in partnership with company management.

Industrial Opportunity Partners of Chicago has acquired the assets of Center Manufacturing Inc., a Byron Center, Mich.–based manufacturer of vehicle components, including welded tubular assemblies for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, automotive seat frames and automotive instrument panel tie bars. No financial terms were disclosed.

International Paper (NYSE: IP) has agreed to sell its Arizona Chemical business to Rhone Capital for approximately $485 million. Arizona Chemical is a Jacksonville, Fla.-based pine chemistry company with 11 manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Intrawest Corp., a resort operator owned by Fortress Investment Group, has agreed to acquire Colorado-based Steamboat Sky & Resort from American Skiing Corp. for $265 million.

iPay Technologies, an Elizabethtown, Ky.–based provider of Internet bill payment services to community financial institutions, has completed a recapitalization co-sponsored by Spectrum Equity Investors and Bain Capital Ventures. No financial terms were disclosed. William Blair & Co. advised iPay on the deal, while leveraged financing was provided by CIT Lending Services.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) shareholders have approved a $107.5 per share buyout offer from a consortium that includes chairman Richard Kinder, GS Capital Partners, AIG, The Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings. The total deal is valued at around $22 billion.

KKR and Permira agreed to acquire German Media Partners’ majority stake in German television broadcaster ProSieben-Sat.1 Media AG for €5.9 billion.

Lone Star Steakhouse (Nasdaq: STAR) shareholders approved a $27.35 per share buyout offer from Dallas-based Lone Star Funds.

Mason Wells has completed its acquisition of The Oilgear Co. (Nasdaq/NMS: OLGR) for $15.25 per share. Oilgear is a Milwaukee–based provider of technology for the design and production of fluid power components and electronic controls.

Moneta Energy Services Ltd., a Canadian gas marketing startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of initial capital from Kestrel Energy Partners LLC, an energy investment firm funded by Yorktown Partners.

Morgenthaler Partners is in advanced discussions to buy Ryan Herco Products Corp., a Burbank, Calif.–based distributor of plastic fluid handling products. The Federal Trade Commission earlier this week gave Morgenthaler approval to move forward with the proposed transaction.

Navigon AG, a German mobile GPS company backed by General Atlantic, has agreed to acquire the navigation software business of Navteq Corp. (NYSE: NVT) for an undisclosed amount.

One Equity Partners has acquired the private label unit of listed Dutch food group Wessanen NV, for €104 million.

Primary Capital has sponsored a £17.5 million refinancing for portfolio company Yo Sushi, a U.K.-based Japanese conveyor-belt restaurant brand. No financial terms were disclosed.

Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia’s largest airline company, has accepted a sweetened buyout offer from Macquarie Bank and Texas Pacific Group. The revised deal is worth Au$5.60 per share, whereas a previously-rejected offer came in at Au$5.50 per share, for a total value of around Au$11.2 billion.

Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) has agreed to sell its Raytheon Aircraft Co. unit to Onex Corp. and Goldman Sachs for $3.3 billion. The company had retained Credit Suisse in July to explore “strategic alternatives” for the unit, and reportedly had received alternate bids from The Carlyle Group and Cerberus Capital Management.

The Riverside Company has acquired Phoenix Medical Resources Inc., a renter of respiratory equipment to nursing homes throughout the United States. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will result it PMR being merged with existing Riverside portfolio company RCS Management Corp., a respiratory care provider for more than 1,000 facilities.

RoundTable Healthcare Partners has recapitalized portfolio company ACI Medical Devices Inc., a medical device group with two units: Argon Medical Devices Inc. and Clinical Innovations Inc. Argon is an Athens, Texas-based maker of single-use vascular access and pressure monitoring devices utilized in the cardiology, radiology and critical care market segments. Clinical is a Murray, Utah-based designer and manufacturer of single-use medical devices used primarily in the women’s health, urology and gastroenterology markets. As part of the recap, ACI Medical amended and expanded its current senior credit facilities led by GE Healthcare Financial Services.Other senior lenders participating in the transaction included LaSalle Bank and National City Bank.

Sensata Technology BV, an Attleboro, Mass.-based portfolio company of Bain Capital, has completed its acquisition of Honeywell’s First Technology Automotive and Special Products (FTAS) business. Sensata secured a €73 million credit facility extension to help finance the deal, although additional transaction terms were not disclosed.

Smith & Nephew PLC shares rose nearly 7% after The Business reported that the U.K.-based orthopedic device maker may receive a buyout offer from the same consortium that just agreed to buy Biomet Inc. for $10.9 billion. The consortium includes The Blackstone Group, GS Capital Partners, KKR and Texas Pacific Group.

SPG Partners has acquired and capitalized Continental Environmental Redevelopment Financial LLC, which provides access to debt financing for the development of brownfield properties. The deal will enable CERF to originate in excess of $500 million in loans, with other equity backers including Citigroup Global Markets and Credit Suisse.

Sterling Investment Partners is planning to acquire a position in New York-based supermarket company Fairway Operating Corp., according to a Federal Trade Commission report.

SunGard has acquired Chinese financial services software company Shanghai Fudan Kingstar Computer Co. for an undisclosed amount. SunGard was acquired last year in a public-to-private buyout by Silver Lake Partners, AlpInvest, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, HarbourVest Partners, KKR, Providence Equity Partners and Texas Pacific Group.

Tenaska Power Fund and Warburg Pincus have agreed to acquire three electric generation stations from Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D). No financial terms were disclosed. The three plants include the: 625-megawatt (MW) Armstrong plant in Armstrong County, Pa.; 313-MW Pleasants plant in Pleasants County, W.Va.; and the 600-MW Troy plant in Wood County, Ohio.

Trivest Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of Box-Board Products Inc., a Greensboro, N.C.-based manufacturer of custom corrugated products. No financial terms were disclosed. Box-Board has nearly $50 million in annual revenue.

Vantage Energy LLC, a Denver-based oil and gas company formed in October, has raised $470 million in private equity funding from Quantum Energy Partners, Carlyle/Riverstone and Lime Rock Partners. Vantage will focus on the acquisition, development and exploration of unconventional natural gas resources, primarily tight gas sands, gas shales and coalbed methane, onshore in North America. It also will acquire and develop properties with significant undeveloped potential and apply technical and business expertise to maximize the value of those resources.

VCG Inc., a Roswell, Ga.-based provider of staffing software, has completed a $17.55 million recapitalization, according to a regulatory filing. Remaining shareholders include Jefferson Capital Partners, C&B Capital and Equity South Partners.

Vodafone reportedly is considering a bid for Indian mobile phone company Hutchison Essar, which is being offered up by Hong Kong-based parent company Hutchison Telecommunications. Previous reports suggested that The Blackstone Group and Reliance Communications may team up for a bid, which could be worth anywhere between $13 billion and $15 billion.

Windstream Corp. (NYSE: WIN), the company formed by the combination of Alltel Corp.’s fixed-line phone unit and Valor Communications Group Inc., has agreed to sell its telephone directories publishing business to Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe for an enterprise value of $525 million.

A consortium of buyout shops—GS Capital Partners, Kelso & Co., ValueAct Capital, and Parthenon Capital—has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire the equity of vehicle-auction company Adesa Inc. (NYSE: KAR). The consortium has also agreed to assume $700 million in debt, giving the company an enterprise value of $3.2 billion. The company is to be merged with Insurance Auto Auctions Inc., an auto-salvage and auction company owned by Kelso, Parthnon and others.

Avista Capital Partners has inked a definitive agreement to acquire the publisher of the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis/St. Paul from The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) for $530 million. The Star Tribune has a daily circulation of more than 360,000 and a Sunday circulation of about 600,000, making them the 14th largest daily paper and the 10th largest Sunday paper in the United States. The senior management team already in place will continue to run the company. The deal is the splashiest to date for Avista Capital, whose founders spun out of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners to launch their own shop in 2005. Following its acquisition of Knight Ridder earlier this year, McClatchy has been selling off newspapers in markets not growing as fast as it would like.