Deals: Private Equity Plays Both Sides

In our M&A Roundup for the week ended March 2, billion-dollar deals nearly vanish, but private players are back in the (mid-sized) game.
Roy HarrisMarch 3, 2008

Billion-dollar dealmaking did a disappearing act after ending February strong. But private equity made a comeback, with buyers and sellers accounting for half the top ten North American deals last week.

The deals themselves were a rag-tag assortment of mid-sized transactions except for the one with the highest value: Hellman & Friedman’s $2.06-billion buyout of Getty Images Inc., which provides photo and other imagry to publishers and others.

Other, smaller private equity deals were exit transactions, including Newell Rubbermaid buying Technical Concepts LLC from Liberty Partners for $445 million, and Novell acquiring Plate Spin Ltd. from six private players for $205 million, according to data provided to CFO.com by mergermarket.

The total value of last week’s 34 deals was $5.60 billion. That brought dealmaking for the year-to-date to 549 transactions worth $76.40 billion, just a sliver of the 924 deals valued at $320.16 billion at this time last year.

Meanwhile, again some of the most talked-about transactions remained off the charts. While there seemed to be little progress in Microsoft’s $40-billion pursuit of Yahoo, for example, United Technologies made an unsolicited $2.63 billion cash offer for automated-teller maker Diebold. Such bids don’t appear on the list until a deal is struck.

Hellman & Friedman LLC to buy Getty Images Inc. for $2.06 billion

Seattle-based Getty definitively agreed to be acquired by private-equity company Hellman & Friedman for $34 per share, a premium of 39 percent. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Goldman Sachs
Bidder financial advisor: Barclays Capital ; and RBS
Seller legal advisor: Weil Gotshal & Manges; and
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Bidder legal advisor: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Kelson Energy IV LLC to buy the Channelview Cogeneration Plant from Reliant Energy Channelview LP and Reliant Energy Services Channelview LLC for $847 million

Kelson, an independent power producer, agreed to acquire the Channelview cogeneration plant in Texas and related contracts from Houston-based Reliant Energy through its subsidiaries in a deal that was $468 million before debt assumption. Four of Reliant Energy’s subsidiaries related to the Channelview plant had filed for bankruptcy in August 2007. The sale is expected to close in the second or third quarter, although a court overseeing the bankruptcy must approve it first.
Seller financial advisor: Not available
Bidder financial advisor: Not available
Seller legal advisor: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; Richards, Layton & Finger
Bidder legal advisor: Not available

Newell Rubbermaid Inc to buy Technical Concepts LLC from Liberty Partners for $445 million

Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, which makes branded consumer and commercial products, agreed to buy the Mundelein, Ill.-based Technical Concepts LLC, a designer and manufacturer of washroom hygiene products from New York-based private equity company Liberty. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Robert W. Baird
Bidder financial advisor: Credit Suisse
Seller legal advisor: Not available
Bidder legal advisor: Latham & Watkins

First Reserve Corp. to buy Gamesa Solar SA from Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA for $397 million

Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity company First Reserve, which focuses on the energy sector, agreed to acquire Madrid-based Gamesa Solar, a solar energy company, from ots Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain-based parent, a maker of aeronautical components and services company with a renewable energy division.
Seller financial advisor: Citigroup
Bidder financial advisor: ABN AMRO
Seller legal advisor: Not available
Bidder legal advisor: Not available

Galderma Laboratories LP to buy CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $325 million

France-based Galderma SA, through its Fort Worth, Texas-based subsidiary dermatology company Galderma Laboratories, agreed to pay $16.60 a share for Newtown, Penn.-based CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals, a 41.3-percent premium. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the second quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Cowen & Co.
Bidder financial advisor: Credit Suisse
Seller legal advisor: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy
Bidder legal advisor: Debevoise & Plimpton

The Co-operators Group Ltd. to buy Addenda Capital Inc. for $303 million

Ontario-baed Co-operators — which offers home, auto, life, group, commercial, and farm insurance, along with investment products — offered to pay $26.15 for each share of Montreal-based investment management firm Addenda, a 26-percent premium. It is expected to close in from two to three months.
Seller financial advisor: CIBC World Markets
Bidder financial advisor: Scotia Capital
Seller legal advisor: McCarthy Tetrault; and Fasken Martineau
Bidder legal advisor: Borden Ladner Gervais

Novell Inc. to buy Plate Spin Ltd. from CastleHill Ventures; Covington Group of Funds; Four Quarters; Insight Venture Partners; OpenView Venture Partners; and Skylon Capital Corporation for $205 million

Waltham, Mass.-based software company Novell agreed to acquire Toronto-based Plate Spin from a consortium of private equity and investment firms for cash. The acquisition is expected to close in the second fiscal quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Thomas Weisel Partners
Bidder financial advisor: JP Morgan
Seller legal advisor: Not available
Bidder legal advisor: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Humana Inc. to buy SecureHorizons Medicare Advantage HMO from UnitedHealth Group Inc. for $185 million

Louisville, Ky.-based health and supplemental benefits company Humana agreed to acquire Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group’s individual SecureHorizons Medicare Advantage HMO business for cash.
Seller financial advisor: Not available
Bidder financial advisor: Not available
Seller legal advisor: Not available
Bidder legal advisor: Not available

Dynamic Offshore Resources LLC to buy 75 percent of SPN Resources LLC from Superior Energy Services Inc. for $165 million

Houston-based Dynamic Offshore, a portfolio company of Santa Clara, Calif.-based private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC and Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group, is engaged in the oil and gas exploration and development. The 75-percent holding in Houston-based SPN belongs to Superior Energy Services, a provider of specialized oil field services and equipment. SPN acquires, operates, and produces mature oil and gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.
Seller financial advisor: Not disclosed
Bidder financial advisor: Not disclosed
Seller legal advisor: Not disclosed
Bidder legal advisor: Not disclosed

Universal Music Group to buy Univision Music Group from Univision Communications Inc. for $140 million

Universal Music Group, a U.S.-based music company, agreed to acquire Univision Music, the U.S.- based record label for Latin music, from Univision Communications, the U.S.-based Spanish-language media company.
Seller financial advisor: Allen & Company; and Credit Suisse
Bidder financial advisor: Citigroup Inc
Seller legal advisor: Loeb & Loeb
Bidder legal advisor: Munger Tolles & Olson

source: mergermarket