Filed under: Private equity

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Baucus reported ready to flip on private-equity tax

U.S. private-equity kingpins are likely to be hit with a second giant tax increase next year, the New York Post reported Thursday.

It looks like the bosses will have to dig deeper because a key ally on Capitol Hill — a lawmaker who has blocked three attempts to raise the income tax paid by buyout firms — was set to favor the so-called Enterprise Value Tax. It would more than double the tax bite when moguls cash out of their private equity firms, several sources told the Post. Get the full story »

Blackstone buys Dynegy, sells its natural gas assets

Private equity firm Blackstone Group Friday struck a deal to buy power producer Dynegy Inc. for $543 million in cash and sell some of the company’s best assets to NRG Energy in the latest shake-up in the electric industry.

The deal values Dynegy at $4.7 billion including debt, which would make it one of the biggest buyouts of a power company since Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs bought  TXU for $32 billion in 2007. Get the full story »

Hilco provides loan to Frederick’s of Hollywood

Northbrook private equity firm Hilco Consumer Capital LLC said it has financed a $7 million term loan to women’s lingerie and swimwear retailer Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc.

Investment bank rejected Tribune deal in 2007

An investment bank declined to give Tribune Co. a clean bill of financial health in 2007 that would have cleared the way for Sam Zell’s $8.2 billion leveraged buyout of the media conglomerate, people familiar with the matter said.

Houlihan Lokey, a Los Angeles-based bank, rejected overtures from Tribune around March 2007 to provide what is known as a “solvency opinion” that would label Zell’s takeover financially sound, these people said. Houlihan believed the deal would saddle the newspaper-and-television company with too much debt, they said. Get the full story »

Water Street Healthcare adds specialty provider

Chicago private equity firm Water Street Healthcare Partners said Friday that it has purchased a Massachusetts maker of infusion therapy products and supplies.

Water Street, which did not disclose a purchase price, said it will commit “up to $75 million of equity to invest in and grow” Stoughton, Mass.-based Medical Specialties Distributors.

The deal brings Water Street’s portfolio of health care companies to 12, the company said.

Water Street said Medical Specialties has more than 4,000 customers, including specialty pharmacies owned by Walgreens, Accredo Health Group and Coram Specialty Infusion Services. The business of specialty pharmacy such as home infusion is fast-growing given the need for more aging baby boomers to get care in their homes.

KKR makes debut on NYSE

Storied buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co made its long-awaited debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, and its shares moved slightly higher in the first few minutes of trading. Get the full story »

Revolution Inc. recapitalized

From Pittsburgh Business Times | A unit of PNC Financial Services has provided recapitalization for Revolution Inc., a provider of apparel and costumes to dance schools.  Terms were not disclosed.

Gore, companies talk recession’s effect on biotech

al-gore.jpgFormer Vice President Al Gore gives the keynote address to the Bio International Convention this week in McCormick Place. (Phil Velsaquez/Tribune)

By Bruce Japsen | The economic crisis could be preventing the next life-saving drug or medical treatment from reaching consumers, say biotech companies and their leaders.

According to data provided to the Tribune at the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual meeting in Chicago this week, the banking crisis that has tightened lending and investors skittish about risky propositions including biotechnology have led to a 25 percent decline in public biotech companies.

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Madison Dearborn to acquire 51% of TransUnion

By Becky Yerak and Julie Wernau | TransUnion, the Chicago-based credit reporting agency controlled by the
Pritzker family, is getting a new majority owner.

Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC
announced Thursday it will acquire a 51 percent stake in TransUnion, one
of three major credit bureaus that collect data on the borrowing and
bill-paying habits of consumers.

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Zell an investor in Cellular Dynamics

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel | Madison-based Cellular Dynamics, the company created by stem cell pioneer James Thompson, confirmed on Tuesday it has raised $40.6 million of private equity funding. The round was led by Tactics II Stem Cell Ventures, with Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments LLC and Sixth Floor Investors LP participating in the round. This brings the total amount of money raised by the company to $70 million.

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GTCR to buy Protection One in $828M deal

Private-Equity-Web.jpgThe members of private equity firm GTCR, from left to right: Collin Roche, Philip Canfield and David Donnini, on December 15, 2009. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune.)

By Becky Yerak | GTCR,
one of Chicago’s biggest private equity firms, plans to buy publicly
traded Protection One for $828 million in another sign that the credit
markets for buyout firms continue to thaw.
It also means that GTCR, which as of late 2009 had only about 60
percent of its $2.75 billion ninth fund committed, will have to hit the
fundraising market soon. The firm also recently announced two smaller

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