Filed under: Private equity

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Ex-boss of Chicago equity firm sentenced in NYC

The former chief executive of Chicago-based private-equity firm WexTrust Capital LLC was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison a year after pleading guilty last year to a fraud that cost investors $9.2 million. Get the full story »

Cash-raising efforts value Zynga at $7B-$9B

Zynga, the company behind popular Facebook games such as FarmVille and CityVille, is in talks with potential investors to raise about $250 million, which would value the startup at $7 billion to $9 billion, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said in a report Monday that a decision to raise money could be weeks away if it happens. Get the full story »

Jordan Co. eyes Vietnam; Groupon director touts Dropbox

Jordan Co., the private equity firm run by Chicago businessman John “Jay” Jordan, already does business in more than 30 countries, but is planning to re-enter India and is looking at investments in Vietnam.

Jordan, who serves on the boards of Lyric Opera and the Art Institute of Chicago and is a trustee of the University of Notre Dame, also told the Kellogg School of Management Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference on Wednesday that he expects 2011 and 2012 to be “extremely active years” for both buying and selling businesses, following a “fairly robust” 2010 but a “very slow” 2009. Get the full story »

Aircell adds another $35M in private equity

Itasca-based Aircell, a provider of in-flight Internet services, says  it has raised an additional $35 million from its private-equity investors and management.

That brings its total raised since 2006 to more than $500 million. Its investors include Ripplewood Holdings and Blumenstein Thorne Information Partners.

Read the announcement.

M&A activity up 32% in 2010, report finds

Merger and acquisition activity nationwide in 2010 was something to cheer about for the first time in years, a new report by William Blair & Co. shows.

The Chicago-based financial services firm said M&A activity rose for the first time in three years, with the total number of U.S. deals rising 32 percent, to 12,271, and the dollar volume rising 25 percent, to $1.097 trillion. Get the full story »

GE Capital tosses Borders a $550M lifeline

Borders Group has received a commitment for a $550 million credit line from GE Capital, a lifeline that will help the struggling bookseller pay its vendors and stay afloat –  but it indicated that bankruptcy protection might still be an option.

Its shares jumped 28 percent in after-hours  trading on the news. Get the full story »

Private investors buy Hooters, restaurants

A group of private investors is buying the Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc. and its restaurant chain.

A deal announced Monday will give a consortium of private investors including Charlotte, N.C.-based Chanticleer Holdings Inc. ownership of nearly half of all domestic Hooters restaurants and more than one-third of those worldwide. The sales price was not disclosed. Get the full story »

JBS, equity firms could team up on Sara Lee bid

JBS, the world’s top beef processor, could team up with a group of buyout firms as it seeks alternatives to win control of Sara Lee Corp., a source with knowledge of the plans told Reuters Tuesday.

Private equity firms have pursued Sao Paulo-based JBS since reports about a potential bid for Sara Lee arose late last year, the source said. No accord over a joint bid has been reached, said the source, who declined to be quoted by name because the talks remain private. Get the full story »

Shareholder sues to block J. Crew buyout

Bloomberg News | A J. Crew shareholder has sued the retailer and TPG Capital over a $3 billion plan to take the clothier private.

J. Crew to go private in $3B deal

J. Crew says it will be taken private in a deal with two investment firms, including its former parent, worth $3 billion.

The preppy retailer will receive $43.50 per share to private equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, confirming media reports Monday. That is a 16 percent premium to the stock’s closing price of $37.65. Get the full story »

New Tribune Co. lawyer spat breaks out

A new side-imbroglio has broken out in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy, highlighting the often incestuous world occupied by big-time bankruptcy attorneys.

Let’s see if we can sort it all out … Get the full story »

GTCR plans $3B buyout fund, its 10th

GTCR Golder Rauner, one of Chicago’s biggest private equity firms, plans to raise $3 billion for its 10th buyout fund, according to a recently filed statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Chicago-based firm raised $2.8 billion for its ninth fund in 2006. Get the full story »

First Wind IPO could face turbulent debut

Wind farm owner and operator First Wind Holdings Inc., which is planning a $300 million IPO for next week, may be a risky bet in the current energy climate.

The Boston-based company, mostly owned by private equity firm Madison Dearborn and hedge fund operator D.E. Shaw foresees rapid growth. By 2014, First Wind plans to have 1900 megawatts in operation or under construction. One megawatt produces enough power to meet the electricity needs of 800 typical American homes. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. reaches deal with 2 largest creditors

Tribune Co. has reached a settlement with Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Oaktree Capital Management, two of the largest senior creditors in its bankruptcy case, that will form the basis of a new plan of reorganization for the company. Get the full story »

Citadel executive, wife owners of Rezko mansion

The 30-room, 8,596-square-foot home formerly owned by Tony Rezko. (Tribune, file)

From Chicago Magazine | The 30-room Wilmette mansion where the now-imprisoned political wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko threw fundraisers for Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich is undergoing renovations by its new owners, Dan Johnson, the managing director of Citadel Investment Group, and his wife, Katherine “Katsy” Johnson, an artist.

The couple bought the house from Bank of America for $3.71 million last March through a trust that does not identify them in public records. Chicago Magazine’s Dennis Rodkin said he learned their names last week through a source. Get the full story >>