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Exits

Apollo Management is hoping to get $3 billion for marketing firm Affinion Group, according to reports. After it has paid off creditors, Apollo could be left with about $1.3 billion. The news has created interest among other private equity firms, according to the New York Post. Apollo bought Affinion for $1.8 billion in 2005.

AXA Private Equity has sold Gealan, which makes PVC windows, to Halder. Financial terms weren’t announced. Halder, of Germany, invests in the middle market.

Baird Capital Partners Europe, the UK-based arm of Baird Private Equity, has exited its investment in London-based recruiting company Aston Carter Group. The firm sold Aston to staffing company Allegis Group. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the firm said that the exit generated a 2.5x gross return and a 27 percent gross IRR. Baird led the buyout of Aston Carter in April 2007, investing £13 million.

A BC Partners portfolio company, the gym operator Fitness First, has filed to raise as much as $549 million in an initial public offering in Singapore, Reuters reported, citing a report in IFR Asia. BC Partners paid £835 million for the company in 2005, Reuters said.

CHS Capital LLC portfolio company Thermon Group Holdings Inc. plans to raise up to $143.8 million in an initial public offering, Reuters reported. CHS Capital owns a 50 percent stake in San Marcos, Texas-based Thermon, which develops thermal products for industrial customers, Reuters said.

Cognetas will sell three of its German businesses, Reuters reported, as the buyout shop aims to close a €1 billion ($1.36 billion) fund it raised roughly a decade ago. The firm is selling aluminium auto parts maker KSM Castings, pond equipment maker Oase and communications firm Commarco, Reuters said.

Corning Inc. will acquire MobileAccess Networks Inc., a provider of wireless network technology, from a consortium of investors including HarbourVest Partners, Ziegler Meditech Equity Partners, Viola Group, Pitango Venture Capital, Poalim Ventures, Eurofund LP, DeA Capital SpA and CDB Web Tech. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of this year.

CVR Energy, the listed, Texas-based refinery, is selling in excess of 23 million more shares on the New York Stock Exchange via a secondary offering at $16.75 per share. Affiliates of Goldman Sachs and Kelso & Co. are among the selling stockholders. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Deutsche Bank Securities and Credit Suisse are acting as the joint book-running managers for the offering.

France Telecom is in talks to buy a 49 percent stake in French video sharing site Dailymotion, a company which is backed by venture and private equity firms including Atlas Ventures and Partech, Reuters reported. The venture funds would sell a portion of their shares, Reuters said. France Telecom would pay €58.8 million ($80.29 million) for the stake.

Freescale Semiconductor, which is owned by a consortium of buyout shops including Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital, is gearing up for an initial public offering, Reuters said. The company is close to hiring bankers to underwrite the IPO, Reuters reported.

Fulida Group Holdings has acquired Neucel Specialty Cellulose from a consortium of investors led by Wellspring Capital Management. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Fulida is one of the world’s largest producers of rayon. Neucel produces hemlock based chemical cellulose that is used in manufacturing processes including rayon filament for garments, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, film, food thickeners and LCD screens.

General Electric has closed its $3 billion acquisition of energy infrastructure and service provider Dresser Inc. The Addison, Texas-based company was owned by Riverstone Holdings LLC and First Reserve Corp. First Reserve is an energy industry investor, while Riverstone Holdings is a buyout firm focused on the energy and power sectors.

Generation Partners has sold ShopWiki to Los Angeles-based Oversee.net, which operates comparison shopping sites across the travel and financial services industries. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Generation Partners has offices in Greenwich, Conn., San Francisco and Austin, Texas.

inVentiv Health, a provider of outsourced clinical services, will buy management consulting firm Campbell Alliance, providing an exit for U.S.-based buyout fund Baird Capital Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Baird Capital Partners invested in Campbell Alliance in 2006. Campbell Alliance specializes in consulting services for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Ahead of an expected $1.5 billion initial public offering, Nielsen Holdings has disclosed that it issued $85.4 million in equity to employees over the past four years, Reuters said, citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nielsen was taken private in 2006 by private equity investors Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group LP, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Thomas H. Lee Partners, AlpInvest Partners and Hellman & Friedman. The company is expected price its initial public offering of 71.4 million shares for between $20 and $22, Reuters said.

PAI Partners has received nine bids for its 50 percent stake in yogurt company Yoplait, Reuters reported, citing an article in French newspaper Journal du Dimanche. U.S. foodmaker General Mills and Switzerland’s Nestle are among the bidders. Yoplait, the world’s second-biggest yogurt maker, is half owned by PAI Partners and farming cooperative Sodiaal. PAI hired banks in September to find buyers for its stake, Reuters wrote.

Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are considering selling their stakes in European broadcaster ProSiebenSat1, Reuters reported. KKR and Permira bought ProSieben for €3.3 billion in 2006.

Sagard Private Equity Partners and other investors have sold fund-of-hedge-funds firm Olympia Capital to investment bank and asset manager Richmond Park Capital, Reuters reported. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Olympia Capital is based in Paris.

Belgian cable operator Telenet is considering a bid for the Brussels-based unit of France’s Numericable, Reuters reported. Numericable, which is backed by private equity firms Cinven Ltd, The Carlyle Group and Altice, told Reuters it had made no decision about a sale.

TPG Capital and Credit Suisse Private Equity are preparing to exit European bathroom equipment maker Grohe, Reuters reported. A trade sale or initial public offering could come as early as the second half of 2011, Reuters wrote. TPG and Credit Suisse bought Grohe for €1.5 billion ($2.04 billion) in 2004.