peHUB Wire: Friday, May 14, 2010

Just some quick notes to kick off your Friday, as I spent much of yesterday fruitlessly chasing down an M&A story. It was about a failed bid for one of the companies discussed in yesterday’s column, for a price higher than the “odd lot” secondary bids. One of those things that really needs triple-sourcing, and I’m 33% short…

*** Cambridge Associates and the NVCA this morning released new VC fund performance data, through the end of Q4 2009.

I haven’t had a chance to examine all of it yet, except to say that short-term performance improved, but 5-year and 10-year performance sagged. Not surprising on that last part, now that 10-year figures now include just one quarter of 2009 (and, as such, have moved into negative territory).

Plan to write more on this later this morning at peHUB. For now, you can download the benchmark reports by going here.

*** TowerBrook Capital Partners yesterday announced that it has partnered with John Janitz and Dom Schiano to explore investments in the industrial and related sectors. The pair previously served as “industry partners” with DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, and remain listed on the DLJMB website. Also still listed is fellow industry partner Scott Marden, who left a couple of months ago to join Compass Partners.

All of this should serve as a reminder that DLJMB is nowhere near raising a new fund. It’s still investing out of a $2.1 billion vehicle that closed in Q3 2006, and which has less than $150 million left in uncommitted capital (following a recent $165m infusion info Swiss smart metering co. Landis+Gyr).

A source close to the firm had told me last July that the pla! n was to begin pre-marketing Fund V in Q3 or Q4 of last year, with for mal fundraising to occur this year. Maybe the first part occurred, but the latter certainly did not. Instead, the firm remains stuck in a holding pattern…

*** Last week, we reported that Olympus Partners had agreed to acquire mid-market lender Churchill Capital from Irving Place Capital. The deal was officially announced on Wednesday, and I spent a few moments on the phone with Churchill CEO Ken Kencel (who had been apologetically dodging my calls previously).

He declined to confirm deal terms – which I hear includes around 80 cents on the dollar for some holding company debt and up to $10m in equity to Irving Place (plus another $10m in earn-outs). He did, however, say that the deal would include an undisclosed amount of growth equity from Olympus, which Churchill “needs to run the business, and to live in the new, lower-leveraged world.”

Kencel adds that the debt refinancing wasn’t urgent – 8-year notes done in 2006 – but that Churchill will have more flexibility with reduced leverage.

*** Yesterday I told you about Conway Mackenzie’s Lawrence Taylor problem. Specifically, the firm had hired Taylor to serve as a celebrity guest at a cocktail party in was hosting in NYC last Thursday. Yes, the exact same day that Taylor was booked for statutory rape, after allegedly hiring an underage prostitute to join him in a Rockland County hotel room.

But Conway Mackenzie is a turnaround shop, so it did what came natural. The firm called up a sports booking agent, and managed to secure NY Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Smiles all around – particularly since Ryan is still relevant whereas Taylor is not.

*** Today’s peHUB Wire was slightly tardy d ue to me spending an inordinate amount of time reading columns on last night’s Celtics victory. You’ve gotta have priorities…

*** Have a great weekend.

Top Three

KKR reported $674.8 million in Q1 economic net income, compared to a pro-forma $2.5 million in the year ago period.

CardioDx, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of cardiovascular genomic diagnostics, has raised $5 million in Series D funding from the GE Healthymagination Fund. The investment is part of a larger round, which a regulatory filing suggests could be worth upwards of $45.5 million ($34.5m sold so far).Other shareholders include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech, Intel Capital, MDV, DAG Ventures, Pappas Ventures and Asset Management Group.

Ikaria, a Clinton, N.J.-based biopharma company, has filed for a $200 million IPO. Shareholders include New Mountain Capital (50.98% pre-IPO position), Linde (17.1%), ! ARCH Venture Partners (10.13%), Venrock (10.1%), 5AM Ventures, Alexand ria Equities, Altitude Life Science Ventures andWashington Research Foundation.New Mountain and Linde joined in 2007, when New Mountain invested $200 million to fund Ikaria’s $670 million acquisition of gaseous drug-makerINO Therapeuticsfrom Linde.

VC Deals

Palmaz Scientific Inc., a Dallas-based developer metallurgical surface nanotech for the manufacture of implantable medical devices, has raised $3 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

Healthcare Plus Supplies Inc., a Dallas-based supplier of durable medical equipment to local hospices and their patients, has raised $2.1 million in funding from Advantage Capital Partners.

Buyouts Deals

Healthscope (AX: HSP), an Australian hospital operator, said that it has received an A$1.74 billion buyout offer from undisclosed buyout firms. Reuters reports that the firms were The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital.

National Dentex Corp. (Nasdaq: NADX), an owner and operator of dental laboratories in North America, announced that its go-shop period had ended without a rival offer toan existing$17 per share bid fromGeoDigm Corp., a portfolio company of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

PE-Backed IPOs

Express Parent LLC shares closed down 1.5% yesterday, on its first day of post-IPO trading. RoadRunner Transportation shares closed at their $13.75 per share opening price.

JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd., a Chinese solar energy company, raised around $64.19 million in its IPO. The company sold 5.84 million American depository shares for $11 per share, which was the low end of its $11-$13 range. The company will trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol JKS, with Goldman Sachs serving as lead underwriter. JinkoSolar had raised $35 million in 2008 from CIVC, Shenzhen Capital Group Co. and Pitango Venture Capital.

Noranda Aluminum Holding Co., a Franklin, Tenn.-based producer of primary aluminum products and rolled aluminum coils, has reduced its IPO terms from 16.7 million shares being offered at between $14 and $16 per share, to 10 million shares being offered at between $8 and $9 per share. It plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol NOR, and is owned by Apollo Management.

TMS International Inc., a Glassport, Penn.-based provider of outsourced industrial services to steel mills, has filed for a $150 million IPO. it plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol TMS, with Boa Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan serving as co-lead underwriters. The company reports $1.3 billion in 2009 revenue, with a $79 million net loss. It had $2.98 billion in 2008 revenue with a $6 million net loss. Onex Partners bought TMS (fka: Tube City) from Wellspring Capital Partners in early 2007.

PE Exits

Gala Coral’s private equity backers shareholders reportedly will receive a total of £10 million, in exchange for handing over control of the UK bingo parlor operator to its mezzanine lenders. The firms – Cinven, Candover and Permira – had invested around £1.2 billion into the company.

Newbridge Asia, an affiliate of TPG Capital, is selling 160 million shares in Chinese life insurance company Ping An Insurance (HK: 2318) for up to $1.26 billion.

Firms & Funds

CNOOK Ltd., a Chinese offshore oil and gas company, and General Electric are in talks to set up a 3 billion yuan ($439m) private equity fund.

SAIF Partners is expected to close its next fund with more than $1 billion next month, according to Reuters.

Human Resources

Mark Genender has agreed to join The Carlyle Group as a New York-based managing director in the firm’s consumer and retail group. He previously co-founded Star Avenue Capital with Irving Place Capital and Creative Artists Agency, and was a managing director with Fenway Partners.

Paul Lattanzio has been named president of Star Avenue Capital, a consumer growth equity vehicle recently formed by Irving Place Capital and Creative Artists Agency. Lattanzio is the former head of Bear Growth Capital Partners.