peHUB Wire: Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No real column this morning, as I’m hunkering down to live-blog KKR’s Q2 earnings call.

Too bad KKR isn’t also doing a “media-only” call like Blackstone, since folks like me aren’t typically allowed into the questioning queue on analyst calls…

Worth noting that KKR last night canceled a planned $500 million unit offering, which would have been the first “new” securities offered in New York (the original listing was basically a share transfer from Amsterdam). I chatted about the move briefly this morning with S&P analyst Chris Cary, who yesterday issued KKR an A- counterparty creditrating.

His take is that the withdrawal was more market-related than KKR-related, and that he “would not be surprised to see them come back when overall market sentiment seems more favorable.”

I agree they’ll come back, but also think this may have more to do with KKR’s stagnating stock price than the market-at-large. If Cary’s right, however, then such sentiment would also seem to apply to HCA and other potential KKR portfolio IPOs…

Top Three

KKR has canceled a planned sale of $500 million new common units.

Lovell Minnick Partners has agreed to invest $40 million for a minority stake in Dahlman Rose& Co., an investment bank focused on global supply chain markets like natural resources and transportation.

Rusnano, a state-owned technology group in Russia, is in talks to acquire a stake in British display screen maker Plastic Logic. Existing company shareholders include Amadeus Capital Partners, BASF Venture Capital, Intel Capital, Merifin Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Quest Management and Tudor Ventures.

VC Deals

Medialets, a New York-based ad technology platform for mobile applications, has raised $6 million in Series B funding. Existing backer Foundry Group led the round, and was joined by DFJ Gotham, 500 Startups and Chris Saridakis. The company previously raised $4 million.

CRE Secure, an Atlanta-based payment solution for online merchants, has raised $3.18 million in funding from Total Technology Ventures, Miller Capital Partners and individual angels.

Mentez, a publisher of social games for the Latin American market, has raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Insight Venture Partners.

Buyouts Deals

AXA Private Equity has acquired a 51.8% stake in RollOn Group, an Italty-based maker of guides and actuators used in machine design applications for railways and other industries. No financial terms were disclosed.

Bain Capital and Warburg Pincus have made offers to acquire Air Medical Group Holdings, a provider of emergency transportation services, according to Bloomberg. Sellers Brockway Moran & Partnersand MVP Capital Partners are seeking around $1 billion.

First Reserve Corp. denied press reports that it is looking to acquire Australia’s Whitehaven Coal (AX: WHC), in which it already is the largest single shareholder.

Irving Place Capital is nearing a deal to acquire a majority stake in pet products retailer Pet Supplies Plus, according to LBO Wire. The deal would include around $80 million in equity (including $18m from management).

MBK Partners reportedly has failed to put together a group to bid on a $5 billion control stake in Korea Exchange Bank, which is being offered by Lone Star Funds.

Oaktree Capital is nearing a deal to acquire a stake in Irish homebuilder McInerney, according to The Irish TImes. The investment could be worth between€30 million and €40 million.

Quad-C Management has acquired Joerns Healthcare, a provider of furniture and equipment for healthcare facilities, from Vestar Capital Partners and Park Avenue Equity Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.

Regency Energy Partners has agreed to acquire Zephyr Gas Services, a Houston-based field services company, for $185 million.

PE-Backed M&A

Graham Packaging Co. (NYSE: GRM), a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, has agreed to buy Liquid Container, maker of plastic containers for food and household products, for $568 million.

PE Exits

Lone Star Funds is putting supermarket chain Bi-Lo up for sale, just two months after the company emerged from bankruptcy protection. Lone Star paid $660 million to acquire Bi-Lo in 2005 from Royal Ahold.

Tektronix Communications has agreed to acquire Arbor Networks, a Lexington, Mass.-based provider of network security and management solutions. No pricing terms of the all-cash deal were disclosed.Arbor Networks has raised around $34 million in VC funding, from Atlas Venture, Battery Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures and Summerhill Venture Partners.

Firms & Funds

Hudson Ferry Capital has received an SBIC license for its second fund, a $100 million vehiclethat makes “buy-in” investments in established, family-owned U.S. businesses.

New York Pacific Capital has received approval to raise an RMB-denominated private equity fund in Beijing, with a focus on Chinese companies in the healthcare, clean tech, education/culture and consumer products sectors.

Human Resources

Jim Gilbert has joined Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe as a senior advisor. He previously was with Boston Scientific Corp. as vice president of corporate strategy and business development.

Rahul Satsangi has joined turnaround firm Rutland Partners as an investment manager. He previously worked in the corporate finance group of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Lincoln Singleton has joined the private funds group of Evercore Partners as a managing director, with responsibilities for relationships in Texas and the Southeatwern U.S. He previously was a managing director with Durham Asset Management.