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Deals

Aeropostale has hired Barclays Capital as a strategic adviser to help it fend off any potential offers by private equity firms, Reuters reported, citing a story in the New York Post. Although it hit a rough patch recently, with declining sales, the teen clothing retailer’s management wants the company to remain public, the Post reported. Aeropostale operates 885 stores across the United States.

Apax Partners and EQT are each preparing to offer €1.25 billion ($1.66 billion) for German discount clothing retailer Takko, Reuters reported. Takko is currently owned by buyout shop Advent International. The price of the offer is roughly 10x EBITDA, Reuters said. Rival private equity firms TPG Capital and PAI were previously in the running for Takko, but dropped out, Reuters said.

Beating out bids from rival buyout shops, Apax Partners is now in exclusive talks to buy Danish cleaning company ISS, Reuters reported. ISS is currently owned by Goldman Sachs and Swedish private equity firm EQT. The deal, valued at about $8.5 billion, could become Europe’s largest buyout since the credit crisis, Reuters said. ISS is one of the world’s largest facilities services companies, with more than 500,000 employees.

Private equity firms Apax Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and TPG Capital are among the bidders competing to buy the assets of Turkish media group Dogan Yayin, Reuters reported, citing an article in the Financial Times. There are at least six bidders in the race for Dogan Yayin, Reuters said, including Discovery and Time Warner.

A slew of buyout shops, including Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and TPG Capital are all interested in buying diagnostics and medical instruments company Beckman Coulter, Reuters reported. Beckman Coulter is considering selling itself, Reuters reported, adding that the company hired Goldman Sachs to help it weigh options. Beckman Coulter is based in Brea, Calif., and has a market capitalization of roughly $4 billion.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, has upped its bid for Canadian miner Baffinland Iron Ore Mines, Reuters reported. The company raised its bid to C$1.25 ($1.23) per share, from C$1.10 ($1.08). ArcelorMittal increased its offer after Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition, which is backed by private equity firm the Energy and Minerals Group, acquired more than 15 million shares in a rival, hostile takeover bid, Reuters said.

Arsenal Capital Partners said it has acquired Simpsonville, S.C.-based Para-Chem Southern. Financial terms were not announced. Para-Chem Southern is a provider of specialty adhesives, coatings and polymers.

Atlantic Wind Connection is planning to file with energy regulators a proposal to build a power transmission system in the Atlantic Ocean, Reuters reported. The project, which would stretch from New Jersey to Virginia along the Mid-Atlantic coast, is sponsored by private equity firm Good Energies, Google, and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp. The project would cost an estimated $5 billion, Reuters said. Good Energies has offices in New York, London and in Zug, Switzerland. Atlantic Wind Connection is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

AXA Private Equity and Fondi Italiani per le Infrastrutture SGR SpA (F2i) have acquired E.ON Rete, a unit of E.ON Italia Spa for €290 million (US$380 million), including debt. E.ON Rete is a natural gas distributor in Italy. F2i will get a 75 percent stake while AXA Private Equity will have 25 percent. The deal is expected to close in first quarter.

Azalea Capital has recapitalized KLMK Group, a Richmond, Va.-based provider of advisory services for health care firms. Financial terms were not announced. Azalea, of Greenville, S.C., is an investment firm that targets middle market firms in the Southeast. Cobblestone Harris Williams advised KLMK.

Bain Capital will buy Rotterdam-based chemical distributor IMCD, Reuters reported. The deal values the Dutch company at €650 million euros ($857.5 million), Reuters said. Bain was reportedly in the second round of bidding for IMCD. Other bidders, including New Mountain Capital and Cinven, dropped out of the running. IMCD is owned by AAC Capital, the former private equity arm of ABN Amro, Reuters said.

Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, and financial firm Orix Corp. have been short-listed as bidders for Japanese supermarket chain Seijo Ishii Ltd, Reuters reported. The company, which has been valued at roughly 30 billion yen ($358 million), is owned by buyout shop Advantage Partners. Final bids are due early next year, Reuters said.

Bridgepoint portfolio company Designed Metal Connections, which does business as Permaswage, has completed its acquisition of the aerospace fittings assets of Burbank, Calif.-based HK Fittings. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Los Angeles-based Permaswage manufactures aerospace permanent fluid fittings.

Los Angeles-based Caltius Equity Partners has invested an undisclosed amount of growth capital into personal care company Kiss My Face. The company, formed in 1981 in New York’s Hudson River Valley, sells its natural soaps, lotions, lip balms and other products online and through retailers across the United States. No financial terms of the deal were released.

Conduit Capital Partners, the New York-based buyout firm, will spend $127 million to support the development of a power plant in West Kingston, Jamaica. The firm is investing from its Latin Power III fund, which it launched in 2005 and is approximately 50 percent deployed. The project will be managed by the PE firm’s JamaicaEnergy Partners.

Dublin-based Cardinal Asset Management, with backing from the Carlyle Group and U.S. investor Wilbur Ross, is competing with Bancassurer Irish Life & Permanent to buy EBS, Ireland’s largest building society, Reuters reported. The government recently injected €525 million ($704.3 million) into EBS, Reuters said. Ireland’s Minister of Finance now controls EBS, which before the financial crisis was owned by its members.

The Carlyle Group has agreed to buy UK-based testing and inspection company Velosi for roughly £87.8 million ($138.9 million), Reuters reported. The deal, at 165 pence per share, represents a 61 percent premium over the stock’s closing price on the day before the agreement was announced.

Cerberus Capital Management, Lone Star and Fortress Group are among the firms planning to bid on Japanese consumer lender Takefuji Corp., Reuters reported. The deal is valued at more than ¥60 billion yen ($716 million), Reuters said. Takefuji filed for bankruptcy in September, owing ¥433 billion.

Charlesbank Capital Partners has acquired OnCore Manufacturing Services. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Springfield, Mass.-based OnCore designs and makes complex electronic assemblies and system integration for defense, industrial and medical companies. Charlesbank has offices in Boston and New York.

British buyout shop CVC Capital Partners is putting together a 12 billion euro ($16 billion) bid for Spanish toll-road operator Abertis, Reuters reported, citing a story in the Sunday Times. CVC bought a 15.5 percent stake in the company in August, and had this summer attempted a three-way takeover deal involving Spanish builder ACS and bank La Caixa, Reuters said. That deal fell apart in July.

Denham Capital portfolio company Greenleaf Power, which owns and operates biomass power plants, said it will acquire Colmac Energy—a 47-megawatt facility—from American Consumer Industries. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Colmac is the third such acquisition by Greenleaf Power.

Enhanced Equity Fund of New York has invested in Specialty Therapeutic Care, a Houston specialty pharmacy that serves patients with chronic bleeding disorders. Financial terms weren’t announced.

A portfolio company of the Swedish private equity firm EQT, the specialty paper company Munksjo, said it will pay €95 million euro for the decor and abrasive paper units of ArjoWiggins, which is owned by the French group Sequanna, Reuters reported.

EQT Partners, through its EQT Greater China II fund, has bought a majority stake in Chinese bakery chain Qinyuan Bakery. The firm is buying 65 percent of Qinyuan, with 35 percent remaining with the company’s founders. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Qinyuan Bakery is based in southwest China.

An investor consortium led by Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Partners have acquired Xe Services, the security firm formerly known as Blackwater. Xe, which has been criticized for its activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, provides training and domestic and international security services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

First Reserve is looking a potential purchase of Canada’s Vector Aerospace Group, along with strategic investors including Triumph Group and L-3 Communications Holdings, Reuters reported. Analysts have estimated Vector’s value at between $490 million and $550 million in a sale, Reuters said.

Australian firm Future Fund will buy a 17.2 percent stake in Gatwick Airport from Global Infrastructure Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not released. GIP said it will retain a 42 percent controlling stake. Other shareholders include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, National Pension Service of Korea and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Middle-market shop Graham Partners has completed its acquisition of Eberle Design, a provider of traffic control products. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Eberle was formed in 1980 and is based in Phoenix, Arizona. Graham Partners is based in suburban Philadelphia and has more than $1.5 billion under management.

Grandpoint Capital has completed the purchase of Southern Arizona Community Bank from Capital Bancorp Ltd, Capital Bancorp said. Financial terms were not announced. Southern Arizona Community Bank, of Tucson, has about $92.6 million of total assets, as of Sept. 30. Capital Bancorp, with offices in Lansing, Mich. and Phoenix, is a $4.2 billion national community banking company.

Greenbriar Equity Group has been outbid by Montreal-based Transforce to buy the same-day delivery company Dynamex, Reuters reported. Transforce, a mid-tier trucking company, agreed to pay $25 per share in cash, or $248 million, for the Dallas-based company, aiming to tap U.S. markets. Greenbriar Equity had previously offered $24 a share, Reuters said.

Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. portfolio company Nesco has acquired a portion of Terex Utilities’ rental fleet of bucket trucks and digger derricks. Nesco is based in Bluffton, Indiana. Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. is based in Indianapolis and has offices in New York. Terms of the deal were not released.

South Korea’s Hana Financial Group will raise around 1.2 trillion won ($1.05 billion) in a rights issue designed to fund its $4.1 billion acquisition of Korea Exchange Bank, Reuters reported, citing a story in the Korea Economic Daily. Hana agreed in November to buy a 51 percent stake in Korea Exchange Bank from U.S. private equity fund Lone Star.

Hellman & Friedman has completed its previously announced deal to buy Internet Brands. JMI Equity is also an investor in the deal. In September, Hellman announced it was buying Internet Brands, an El Segundo, Calif.-based operator of Internet media companies such as loan.com and carsdirect.com, for $13.35 a share, or roughly $640 million.

Miami-based H.I.G. Capital will pay $75.2 million in cash to buy Matrixx Initiatives, a producer of over-the-counter health care products. H.I.G. will pay $8 per share, which represents a 56.3 percent premium over the company’s closing price on the day before the deal was announced. Matrixx is based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

High Road Capital Partners has completed a $22 million acquisition of New Jersey-based PANOS Brands. PANOS manufactures and markets specialty natural foods. Fifth Third Bank provided financing for the deal. Based in New York, High Road Capital focuses on smaller middle market deals.

Huntsman Gay Global Capital and Vista Equity Partners have recapitalized Sunquest Information Systems, a provider of laboratory information systems. Huntsman Gay led the recap. Vista Equity Partners has owned Sunquest since 2007, and said it will retain a significant stake in the business. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

investor Carl Icahn’s firm, Icahn Enterprises, will buy power producer Dynegy for $665 million in cash, Reuters reported. The deal comes after Dynegy rejected a $602 million bid from buyout shop Blackstone Group at the end of November. Dynegy’s current debt stands at $3.95 billion, Reuters said. Goldman Sachs and Greenhill & Co. advised Houston-based Dynegy on the deal.

Dallas-based Insight Equity said it has acquired a controlling stake in BFN Operations, which has bought nearly all the operating assets of the Berry Family of Nurseries. Financial terms were not announced. Tahlequah, Okla.-based BFN is a wholesale grower of perennial and woody ornamental plants.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has ended discussions with Australia’s Perpetual after the two companies failed to agree on terms for a potential $1.7 billion buyout, Reuters reported. KKR had previously offered between $37.50 and $39.50 per share for the company.

Denver-based KSL Capital Partners said it has completed its buy of the Squaw Valley Development Co., which includes the Squaw Valley USA ski operations, the Village of Squaw Valley and related real estate holdings. Squaw Valley, of Olympic Valley, Calif., is a ski resort.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is investing in VATS Liquor Store, China’s largest liquor store chain. The global buyout firm didn’t disclose how much it was investing. VATS, of Beijing, operates more than 270 liquor stores in mainland China.

A buyout fund run by Korea Development Bank has agreed to pay $1.9 billion for a controlling stake in Daewoo Engineering & Construction, Reuters reported. The Seoul-based fund will buy 37.16 percent of Daewoo from investors who held an option to sell the stake back to the cash-strapped Kumbo Asiana Group at a price much higher that current market value, Reuters said. Korea Development Bank is the lead creditor for Kumbo.

Lightower Fiber Networks, the Boxborough, Mass.-based fiber network company backed by M/C Venture Partners, Pamlico Capital and Ridgemont Equity Partners, closed a $230 million senior secured credit facility with GE Capital Media. The facility, consisting of a $40 million revolver and a $190 million term loan, will go toward the company’s deal to buy Lexent Metro Connect. With private equity backing, Lightower has made multiple acquisitions in recent years.

Cleveland-based Linsalata Capital Partners has recapitalized Whitcraft, a manufacturer of aerospace components. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Harris Williams & Co. acted as advisor to Whitcraft. Whitcraft is based in Eastford, Conn.

Boston-based Madison Parker Capital said it had made an investment in Klone Lab, a Massachusetts maker of sport and lifestyle accessories, but it did not disclose the amount. Madison Parker typically provides investments to lower-middle market companies in sizes ranging from $5 million to $30 million. Klone Lab is the licensing house for New Balance Inc. sandals and open toe footwear.

Los Angeles-based Marlin Equity Partners has bought Renzulli Learning Systems. Financial terms weren’t announced. Renzulli, of Avon, Conn., provides interactive, online programming for students. Renzulli will be integrated with CompassLearning, a Marlin Equity portfolio company, a statement said.

MBK Partners said it would invest up to 2 trillion won ($1.73 billion) in Hana Financial Group’s buyout of Korea Exchange Bank, Reuters said, citing a report in online news outlet MoneyToday. The fund said it would create a consortium of investors including National Pension Service to help fund the $4.1 billion acquisition of KEB.

Montagu Private Equity said that it will acquire Moss, Norway-based Helly Hansen Pro. Financial terms of the deal were not released. HH Pro provides survival and personal protection suits for the offshore and shipping markets.

New Evolution Ventures—a private equity firm founded by the global celebrity Madonna, in partnership with her manager Guy Oseary and Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness—is expanding its new line of fitness centers. Called Hard Candy Fitness Center, the flagship store opened in Mexico City in November; now, the team is opening a second, 35,000-square foot center in Moscow that’s slated to open in March. According to reports, Madonna plans to roll out more centers around the world over the next 12 months. New Evolution Ventures is focused on the acquisition, development, management and operation of fitness, media and sports entities both domestically and internationally.

North River Capital has acquired a majority stake in Coldwater Machine Co. Columbus, Ohio-based JMAC, along with Jerome Meyer, Coldwater’s president, were the sellers. Coldwater Machines, also of Columbus, designs and makes high-precision machines, assemblies, tools and machine components. North River is based in Fort Wayne, Ind.

An investor group that includes Oaktree Capital Management and Avenue Capital Group has completed its purchase of Sea Island Co. Financial terms weren’t announced. Sea Island is a Georgia resort and real estate development company. The sale to Avenue and Oaktree was reportedly pegged at $200 million.

Partners Group and DLJ South American Partners have invested an undisclosed amount in Brazilian watchmaker Technos da Amazônia. Technos assembles and distributes wristwatches in Brazil, and has a roughly 36 percent share of that market. The investment is designed to help Technos expand its international partnerships and expand the company’s reach.

Phoenix Venture Fund has recapped Xplore Technologies Corp., a maker of tablet computers. The deal involves the conversion of roughly $9.5 million of debt into Series D convertible preferred stock, the company said. The deal is designed to bolster Xplore’s balance sheet and provide additional liquidity. Xplore was formed in 1996 and is traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board.

Newly formed buyout shop Ridgemont Equity Partners said it will acquire a majority stake in Unite Private Networks, a provider of high-capacity data communications networks. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Debt financing was arranged by the Royal Bank of Canada and included CoBank and Webster Bank. Charlotte, N.C.-based Ridgemont was formed in August and specializes in mid-market buyout and growth equity investments. Unite Private Networks is based in Kansas City, Mo.

The Riverside Company has invested in G&H Wire Co. Financial terms were not announced. Franklin, Ind.-based G&H makes and supplies orthodontic products.

The Riverside Company has invested in Sunrise Windows, a Temperance, Mich.-based maker of energy efficient replacement windows. Financial terms were not announced. U.S. Bank and Babson Capital provided senior and subordinated financing.

Riverside Partners has acquired a majority stake in Dominion Diagnostics, a provider of laboratory services. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Founded in 1997, Dominion provides drug testing, medication monitoring and support services. Riverside Partners is a middle market firm based in Boston.

Roark Capital Group will buy nutrition company Atkins Nutritionals Holdings, the company behind the popular low-carbohydrate diet program, for an undisclosed amount. No terms of the deal were released. Roark is buying the company from North Capital Partners, a private equity shop specializing on health-focused consumer companies. Atkins was formed in 1989, and is based in Denver, Colo. Roark Capital is based in Atlanta.

Rock Hill Capital Group has invested an undisclosed amount into video conferencing services company Applied Global Technologies. Financial terms of the investment were not released. The companies say the funding will help Applied Global grow through organic growth and selective acquisitions. Formed in 2008, Rock Hill has $50 million in committed capital under management. Applied Global Technologies is based in Rockledge, Fla.

After rebuffing advances from private equity firms, Sara Lee Corp. is in talks to sell itself to Brazilian meat producer JBS, Reuters reported. Sara Lee and JBS are currently at odds over the price of a potential sale, Reuters reported. Sara Lee has a market capitalization of roughly $11 billion, based on its closing price in mid-December. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management approached Sara Lee during the summer about a deal, Reuters said, adding that Sara Lee had reportedly turned away an earlier, unsolicited offer from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners said that a portfolio company, Emerald Performance Materials, has acquired the business and assets of DSM Special Products. Financial terms were not announced. The seller was Royal DSM NV. DSM Special Products, of the Netherlands, makes toluene oxidation products.

Tailwind Capital has acquired Apex Cos., a Rockville, Md.-based national water resources and environmental services firm. Financial terms weren’t announced. Apex management also has a stake. Madison Capital, NewStar Financial and Churchill Financial provided financing.

TPG Capital and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC have paid 2.99 trillion rupiah ($331 million) for a stake in an Indonesia coal contractor, Reuters reported. The two firms acquired a stake in the special purpose vehicle Northstar Tambang Persada, which owns 40 percent of coal contractor PT Delta Dunia Makmur, Reuters said.

Trivest Partners, of Coral Gables, Fla., said it has recapped AM Conservation Group. Financial terms were not disclosed. Charleston, S.C.-based AM Conservation supplies and designs energy and water conservation products.

Chicago-based firm Water Street Healthcare Partners has acquired a majority stake in benefit management company New Century Health. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Water Street said that it will work to expand the company’s services to a broader base of payers and patients across the U.S.

Weston Presidio has invested $15 million in growth capital in Xenon Arc. As a result, Weston Presidio’s Sean Honey, Josh McDowell and David Ferguson will join the company’s board. Formed in September, Xenon Arc provides business process management for industrial producers. Xenon Arc is based in believe, Wash. Weston Presidio has offices in Boston and San Francisco.

Wingate Partners has acquired Preferred Compounding Corp., a portfolio company of the Watermill Group. Financial terms weren’t announced. Baberton, Ohio-based Preferred Compounding offers high-performance elastomeric compounds and is projected to have revenues of $90 million for the fiscal year ending May 31. Watermill, of Lexington, Mass., is an investment group that has owned Preferred since 202. Wingate is a Dallas private equity firm. Sperry, Mitchell & Co. provided financial advice to Preferred.

South Korea canceled the sale of its $6 billion stake in Woori Financial Holdings, nixing what would have been the country’s largest ever financial sector privatization, Reuters reported. The government said it would consider other alternatives, including a private contract and block sale, Reuters said.