Forstmann, Milken, Icahn Take Philanthropic ‘Giving Pledge’

When another 17 billionaires joined the campaign by bridge partners Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit to give at least half their fortunes away to philanthropy, it got us to wondering about the participation by the dealmakers from our world.

So we ran a little crosstab between the names on The Giving Pledge site against the buyout and VC dealmakers on the Forbes 400.

We thought we would share with you those who are participating, and equally interesting, those who are not yet. (Wanna guess which list is longer?)

Weekly Downgrade Wrap-Up

As usual, we have a week’s worth of ratings actions on the debt of sponsor-backed companies via Standard & Poor’s Investors Service and Moody’s Investor Services.

Last week was Carlyle Week, with three of the firm’s companies receiving downgrades on their debt ratings. This week it’s Castle Harlan week. Two of the firm’s companies caught the attention of the ratings agencies this week, receiving one downgrade and one upgrade. We’ll call it a break-even.

Perkins & Marie Callender’s, the company’s struggling restaurant business, saw the ratings on its speculative grade debt downgraded on concerns over the company’s cash flow and borrowing ability. Conversely, Ames True Temper climbed its’s way out of the C’s when S&P upgraded its corporate credit rating to B- on its stable operating performance through the recession.

The timing is perfect, considering Castle Harlan’s John Castle recently addressed the New York Chamber of Commerce about “Private equity after the world’s economic meltdown.” We’ve published the full text of his speech here.

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