Apollo Management reportedly is among the largest creditors of Lyondell Chemical Co., a global petrochemical company whose U.S. operations filed for bankruptcy protection.

DESA LLC, a Bowling Green, Ky.-based provider of heating products and power tools, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move comes around six years after H.I.G. Capital acquired DESA out of a prior bankruptcy protection.

Merisant Worldwide Inc., the maker of tabletop sweeteners like Equal, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was sponsored by Pegasus Capital Advisors.

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Securus Technologies Inc.’s corporate family rating, its probability of default ratings and the rating for its second priority senior secured notes. Securus is an H.I.G. Capital portfolio company that provides inmate telecom services to correctional facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Morgan, a French woman’s clothing company in which Apax Partners holds a 40% stake, has gone into administration. A company spokesman said that a sale is still possible, even though the process began at the beginning of 2008.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered the corporate credit ratings of Aleris International Inc. from B to CCC+, and left its ratings on CreditWatch with “negative implications.” The Beachwood, Ohio-based aluminum products company was acquired by TPG Capital in 2006 for approximately $3.3 billion.