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DEAL BRIEFS
[January 23, 2006]

DEAL BRIEFS


(Buyouts Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
3i Group has acquired a 47% stake in Spain-based cafeteria chain Cafe & Te for e15 million.

ABS Capital Partners and Norwest Equity Partners have co-led a management buyout for Fairfield Language Technologies, a Harrisonburg, Va.-based provider of the Rosetta Stone language learning software. Madison Capital Funding provided debt financing, while BNY Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to FLT.



Aurora Capital Group has acquired New AXIA Holdings Inc., the parent company of Ames Taping Tools, from the Cortec Group for approximately $287.5 million. Harris Williams & Co. served as exclusive advisor to New AXIA on the deal. Ames Taping Tools is a Duluth, Ga.based provider of automatic taping and finishing tools used by interior drywall contractors to finish drywall joints before painting, wallpapering or otherwise performing final treatment.

BMK LP, a Carrollton, Texas-based distributor of general merchandise products to grocery and drug chains, has filed for Chapter 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The company had been backed by Sun Capital Partners.


Bunker Hill Capital has acquired Specialty Coating Systems Inc., an Indianapolis-based supplier of conformal Parylene coatings for a variety of applications, from Cookson Group PLC.

Captive Plastics Inc., a Piscataway, N.J.based manufacturer of blow-molded plastic bottles and closures, has acquired Premier Plastics, the plastic packaging division of Premier Industries Inc. Captive Plastics has been owned by First Atlantic Capital since July 2004.

The Carlyle Group and Zodiac SA have agreed to acquire Water-Pik Technologies Inc. (NYSE: PIK) for $27.75 per share. The deal's total equity tranche works out to about $380 million, with Carlyle providing 80% and Paris-based Zodiac providing the remainder. Water-Pik is a Newport Beach, Calif.-based provider of personal health care products and pool products sold under the Water Pik and Jandy brands. JPMorgan served as Water Pik's financial advisor on the deal, while Carlyle and Zodiac were advised by Lazard.

Charlesbank Capital Partners has acquired WorldStrides, a Charlottesville, Va.-based provider of supplemental educational student travel courses. Other equity participants included Silverhawk Capital Partners and company management. Senior financing was underwritten by GE/Antares, while Oak Hill Advisors and Ares Capital provided second-lien funding.

Chrysalis Capital Partners has acquired Central Lewmar LP and its independent affiliate Strategic Paper Group LLC. The deal results in a privately-owned distributor of commercial writing and printing papers in the U.S. In connection with the transaction, a new $165 million credit facility was syndicated, led by General Electric Capital Corp.

Clearview Capital has completed a recapitalization of Twinco Romax, a Medina, Minn.based manufacturer and distributor of automotive fluids and related products sold primarily to the convenience store, automotive and mass market retail channels.

CVC Capital Partners is leading a e1.4 billion buyout of Dutch waste management company AVR, according to multiple press reports. CVC would own 50% of AVR following the deal's completion, with KKR and Oranje-Nassau Groep each owning 25 percent.

DLJ Growth Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Connecticut School of Broadcasting Inc. and its subsidiaries from founder Dick Robinson. DLJ has partnered on the deal with Brian Stone and Scott Knight, founders and general partners of Knightstone Media (KSM), who will manage CSB upon completion of the acquisition.

DW Healthcare Partners has acquired Hill Top Research Inc., a Miamiville, Ohiobased provider of clinical research for personal care, oral care and healthcare products. The deal included $8 million in equity from DWHP and an undisclosed amount of leverage from an unnamed lender.

EK Success Ltd., a scrap-booking company set to be acquired by GTCR Golder-Rauner, has entered into an agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to manufacture, market and sell Martha Stewart-branded craft products. Terms of the deal include a licensing agreement, as well as an equity stake in the venture, the value of which is contingent on certain performance thresholds.

Eos Partners has acquired PromoWorks, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based provider of in-store sampling and "retailtainment" events and promotions. The deal is structured as a recap, which includes in $65.2 million in financing from Alllied Capital.

Fidelity Capital has agreed to acquire Lanoga Corp. from Laird Norton Company LLC for an undisclosed amount. Lanoga Corp. is a Redmond, Wash.based professional building materials dealer.

Francisco Partners has completed its acquisition of FrontRange Solutions Inc. for approximately $200 million. FrontRange is a Dublin, Calif.based provider of service management, CRM and voice application solutions for small-to-medium sized enterprise and distributed enterprise markets. In conjunction with the buyout, FrontRange has been delisted from the stock exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Francisco Partners has acquired Lynx Medical Systems Inc., a Bellevue, Wash.based provider of integrated healthcare documentation and revenue management solutions. As part of the deal, Health Systems International Inc. co-founder John Trzeciak will step in as CEO. Former CEO and Lynx founder Mason Smith will serve on both the board of directors and advisory board.

Fulham & Co. has acquired New Hampshire Industries Inc., a Lebanon, N.H.-based supplier of drive, idler, and precision timing belt pulleys sold primarily to original equipment manufacturers of outdoor power equipment. Harris Williams & Co. served as exclusive advisor to NHI.

GFI Energy Ventures has acquired a majority interest in GT Equipment Technologies Inc., a Merrimack, N.H.based provider of turnkey manufacturing lines for wafers, cells and solar modules.

Goldking Energy Corp., a Houston-based oil and gas company, has acquired a group of oil and gas properties in Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast from EnerVest Energy. The deal technically closed last July, and was backed by equity financing from Natural Gas Partners and a new bank facility from Bank of America and Union Bank of California.

Harvest Partners has completed a second recap of Natural Products Group LLC, a special purpose holding company formed to handle Harvest's $93 million acquisition of personal care product companies Levland Inc. and Arbonne International Inc. in November 2004. The latest recap issues a $62.5 million dividend to company shareholders, and follows an initial recap that returned around $138 million.

H-Cube LLC, a Dallas, Texas-based business process outsourcing company founded in January 2005 by GTCR Golder Rauner, has acquired Global Realty Outsourcing Inc., a Stamford, Conn.based BPO specializing in the real estate and mortgage industry.

Hellenic Casinos Co. has agreed to sell its 51.57% stake in Hyatt Regency Hotels & Tourism SA to BC Partners for approximately e476 million (or e11 per share). News reports suggest that BC Partners then will try to buy the remaining 48.43% stake via a public-to-private buyout.

Hellman & Friedman and Zurich Financial Services Group have mutually agreed to terminate H&F's proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of Universal Underwriters Group from Zurich. The deal was announced last April, but a message on Zurich's website says that the two sides were "unable to complete the transaction at mutually agreeable terms." Other expected equity sponsors of the deal included Farallon Capital Management, GIC Special Investments and Universal Underwriter management. Universal Underwriters is an Overland Park, Kansasbased provider of property and casualty insurance to U.S. franchised automotive dealerships.

Hellman & Friedman and Texas Pacific Group have completed their acquisition of an undisclosed equity stake in independent brokerage firm Linsco/Private Ledger (LPL Financial Services).

Investcorp has agreed to acquire Autodistribution, a France-based independent distributor of auto, truck and industrial spare partners. This would be Investcorp's second portfolio company in this space, having previously acquired U.S.-based American Tire Distributors. It also once was majority holder of auto aftermarket company CSK Auto.

Isis Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in Enotria Holdings Ltd., a London, U.K.-based wine distributor. ISIS contributed GBP8.2 million in equity, alongside an undisclosed amount of senior debt and working capital facilities from HSBC Bank.

JPMorgan Partners has agreed to acquire substantially all of CareMore Medical Enterprises from CareMore Medical Group and other shareholders. CareMore is a Downey, Calif.-based managed healthcare provider serving approximately 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Crystal Cove Partners is working with JPMP on the deal, and will join company management post-close.

Kachi Partners has acquired Chase Lumber, an Aurora, Colo.-based building products distribution and manufacturing company, via a recapitalization in conjunction with management.

Littlejohn & Co. reportedly has sponsored a management buyout of Kenan Advantage Group, a Canton, Ohio-based provider of fuel transportation services.

LS Power Equity Partners has agreed to acquire Duke Energy's (NYSE: DUK) entire fleet of North American power generation assets outside of the Midwest. The deal could be valued at up to $1.54 billion, and no less than $1.48 billion.

Madison Dearborn Partners and European produce company Fyffes PLC have emerged as the most interested bidders for Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE: FDP), according to reports. J.P. Morgan is running the auction for a 52% stake, with an expected enterprise value of approximately $1.8 billion.

Oaktree Capital Management has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Nordenia International AG, a Germany-based maker of specialty flexible packaging, technical films and product components. The deal is expected to close later this quarter.

On-Site E-Discovery Inc., an Alexandria, Va.based provider of litigation support services, has received an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Summit Partners. The new capital will be used to buyout certain minority shareholders like High Street Capital.

The Riverside Co. has acquired Thibaut Inc., a Newark, N.J.based wallpaper company serving the high-end residential redecorating and remodeling market. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Thibaut has less than $3 million in EBITDA.

Riverside Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of National Display Systems Inc., a Morgan Hill, Calif.based provider of flat-panel display systems for use in healthcare applications. Chela Technology Partners advised NDS on the deal.

RoundTable Health Partners has agreed to acquire Bioniche Pharma Group Ltd., the Ireland-based sterile injectibles manufacturing subsidiary of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC). The deal includes an immediate payment of $13.25 million in cash, and ultimately could be valued at up to $33 million. It is expected to close later this month.

SkyTerra Communications Inc. (OTC BB: SKYT), a portfolio company of Apollo Management, acquired the remaining 50% of Hughes Network Systems Inc. that it didn't already own, from The DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV). The deal was valued at $100 million in cash, which SkyTerra financed via a $100 million short-term debt financing from Apollo. In addition, HNS paid DIRECTV $10 million at closing to resolve certain post-closing adjustments related to the initial purchase by SkyTerra of its interest in HNS. SkyTerra acquired the initial 50% interest from DirectTV earlier this year for $246 million in cash and about $11.4 million worth of SkyTerra stock. HNS provides broadband satellite networks and services to enterprises.

Storecast Holdings Inc., a Malvern, Pa.based provider of merchandising services to major food and drug retailers and manufacturers, has acquired the Archway Merchandising Services business from AHL Services Inc. Archway provides merchandising services to major consumer product manufacturers in the mass merchant, dollar store and other retail channels. Storecast is controlled by Lake Capital Partners.

Technical Concepts LLC, a Mundelein, Ill.based provider of washroom hygiene solutions, has acquired Bentfield International BV, a Dutch manufacturer of washroom dispensing systems. Technical Concepts is a portfolio company of Liberty Partners and American Capital Strategies.

The User-Friendly Phone Book, a yellow page directory publisher controlled by VS&A Communications Partners, has acquired the South Coastal Bend and Coastal Bend directories from Texas Directories Company Inc. The purchase includes directories delivered to over 150,000 residents and businesses around Corpus Christie, Texas.

VNU NV (ASE: VNU) has received an $8.8 billion buyout offer from a private equity consortium that includes AlpInvest, Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, KKR, Permira and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Waco International Ltd., a South African building services company, has agreed to be acquired for around $900 million by CCMP Capital Asia (f.k.a. JPMorgan Partners Asia) and JPMorgan Partners.

Westlake Hardware Inc., a Lenexa, Kansas-based Ace Hardware dealer, has received an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison. Goldsmith Agio Helms advised Westlake on the deal.

Compiled by Dan Primack

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