Tepper Holdings Acquires Majority Interest in Fastfrate from Fenway Partners

Tepper Holdings — an investment company controlled by Ron Tepper, the chairman and CEO of the Ontario-based transportation and logistics services provider Fastfrate Holdings — has acquired a majority interest in Fastfrate from Fenway Partners, a middle-market PE firm based in New York. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed but Fastfrate’s board has unanimously supported it.

Exit Breathes Life Into NY Shop

Executives at Fenway Partners are confident that a successful sale of 1-800 Contacts Inc. could put the beleaguered buyout shop in a position to raise another fund next year, Buyouts reported yesterday, citing two sources. The New York-based firm announced on June 4 it had agreed to sell the retailer of contact lenses and glasses […]

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Fenway Partners Jettisons Transportation; Loses Several Executives

Fenway Partners, once considered a premier mid-market buyout firm, is undergoing a dramatic personnel and strategic shift as its executives work through a challenged portfolio and try to put themselves in a position to raise a new fund, Buyouts reported in its Jan. 2 edition. Though its founders remain in place, several executives have left […]

Kramer Joins H.I.G. Capital

Marc Kramer was added to H.I.G. Capital’s New York office. Kramer joined H.I.G. in September. Kramer was recently a partner at Fenway Partners.

Thismoment Raises $7.3M In Round Led By Sierra Ventures

Thismoment, Inc. said Tuesday it has secured $7.3 million in financing in an round led by Sierra Ventures. As part of the financing, Sierra’s Mark Fernandes will join the board, along with Fenway Partners’ Tim Mayhew, an existing investor. PRESS RELEASE Thismoment Raises $7.3 Million in First Institutional Round Led by Sierra Ventures SAN FRANCISCO, […]

American Achievement Adds Steven Parr as CEO

American Achievement Corp., which is backed by private equity firm Fenway Partners, has named Steven Parr president and chief executive officer. Parr was most recently president and chief executive of publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media, which owns magazines including Elle, Elle Décor, Woman’s Day, Car and Driver, Road & Track and Cycle World. In his new role, he replaces Alyce Alston. Fenway Partners is a middle market private equity firm based in New York. Based in Austin, Texas, AAC sells class rings, yearbooks, graduation products, varsity letter jackets, athletic championship rings and other school spirit and recognition products.

Weekly Downgrade Wrap-Up (Upgrades Galore!)

As usual, we have a week’s worth of ratings actions on the debt of private equity-backed companies from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Services. This week was a good one for debtholders, as a number of companies saw their debt ratings upgraded.

But on second thought, it wasn’t that great, since most of these upgrades are post-distressed-debt exchange. After an ‘SD’ (selective default) rating, there’s nowhere to go but up, and in a distressed debt exchange, someone has to take the short end of the stick, and it’s usually not the equity holder. Certainly not an ideal situation, but as I said last week, we’re only at the tip of the distressed debt exchange iceberg (despite oddly successful issuances from the likes of previously unpopular companies like Harrah’s). Get ready for a very cold few years…

Company: Brigham Exploration Co.
Sponsor: DLJ Merchant Banking Partners
Update: S&P affirmed its ‘CCC+’ corporate credit rating on the oil and gas exploration and production company. It’s been removed from the Weakest Links list because the outlook is developing.
Highlights: “The affirmation follows the company’s announcement that it has received net proceeds of roughly $94 million from an equity issuance. Although the pro forma liquidity profile is much improved, we are concerned that liquidity could become tight in the fourth quarter of 2009 or first half of 2010 due to low natural gas prices and an increased capital budget.”

Weekly Downgrade Roundup (And One Upgrade!)

As usual, I have a week’s worth of Moody’s and S&P downgrades on PE-backed companies. Repeat offenders include Apollo Management, KKR, Carlyle Group and Bain Capital.

We’ve also got one upgrade, which is Carlyle Group and Fenway Partners’ American Achievement Group. It’s basically an upgrade from the default rating after AAC’s parent company purchased some of its own senior PIK notes at a massive discount.

Anyways, on to the list of 16:

LBO Bust: New Creative Enterprise

New Creative Enterprise, an outdoor living decor and gift vendor based in Ohio, filed for Chapter 11. The firm was backed by private equity firm Fenway Partners and Blue Capital Management, which purchased New Creative Enterprise in 1998.

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