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MidOcean Heads for South Beach

Private equity firm MidOcean Partners will acquire the South Beach Diet Brand partnership with its founder, Dr. Arthur Agatston. Specifics of the deal were not publicized. Under PE management, South Beach will launch a series of new products. South Beach Diet will be headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Prospect Capital Closes $39M to Support Recap of Totes Isotoner

The New York-based investment firm Prospect Capital announced today that it has made a secured second lien investment of $39 million to support the recapitalization of Totes Isotoner, a company controlled by affiliates of MidOcean Partners and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., LLC. Totes Isotoner, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, makes and distributes “functional” accessories, including […]

MidOcean Partners Completes Its Acquisition Of Pre-Paid Legal Services

The New York-based private equity firm MidOcean Partners has completed its acquisition of Pre-Paid Legal Services for $66.50 per share, in a deal valued at roughly $650 million. Pre-Paid Legal, based in Ada, Oklahoma, provides affordable legal services to families and small businesses. PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK—June 30, 2011 – MidOcean Partners (“MidOcean”), a leading […]

Reuters: Monday Blue Plate Special–Restaurant M&A

It’s been a busy day on the restaurants M&A front already, Sbarro, which peHUB earlier covered, is bankrupt and, on the brighter side of the spectrum, Landry’s Restaurants has made a hostile bid to acquire McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. in a deal valued at $137.3 million. Sbarro is just hoping it can eliminate […]

Reuters: Carlyle-Controlled Insight Communications Up for Sale

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Insight Communications Co., controlled by The Carlyle Group, has put itself up for auction, seeking a deal valuing the U.S. cable operator at up to $4 billion, people close to the deal told Reuters. Insight, the tenth largest cable operator in the United States according to Carlyle’s website, has hired Bank […]

If It’s Pizza You’re Offering, MidOcean’s Had Enough

Pizza chain Sbarro’s Inc.‘s woes continue to plague MidOcean Partners and its troubled Fund III. The pizza chain recently missed an interest payment and, since MidOcean bought it in 2007, it has struggled with its debt load amid cautious consumer spending and heightened commodity prices. Bad luck has hit its international expansion plans too. In […]

MidOcean Pays $650M For Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc.

New York-based buyout shop MidOcean Partners will pay $650 million for publicly traded Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc., taking the company private. The cash deal, at $66.50 per share, is expected to close by the end of July. Macquarie Capital will provide debt financing for the deal.

MidOcean Partners Invests in Freshpet

Private equity firm MidOcean Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in Freshpet, which makes the Freshpet Select, Deli Fresh, and Vital brands of dog and cat food. The new money will be used, in part, to expand the company’s retail distribution channels, as well as to expand marketing. MidOcean’s Richard Thompson will join as chief executive of FreshPet. MidOcean has offices in New York and London.

MidOcean Partners Invests in Olympus Holdings Group

Middle-market private equity firm MidOcean Partners has bought an undisclosed stake in outdoor advertising billboard company Olympus Holdings Group. The investment helped support Olympus’ recent acquisition of another billboard company, Collins Outdoor Advertising. Olympus is also backed by Goldman Sachs. MidOcean Partners has offices in New York and London. Olympus is based in Alpharetta, Ga.

Penton Names Allais to be EVP and CFO

Penton Media, which is backed by MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co., has appointed Nicola Allais as executive vice president and CFO. Allais replaces Jen Clifton who left in August. Penton, of New York, is a business-to-business media company.

Banks Still Waiting for Sbarro To Deliver

Sbarro, the quick-serve pizza chain owned by MidOcean Partners, could be in trouble with its banks again.

Last quarter, Melville, N.Y.-based Sbarro posted 12-month trailing EBITDA of $41.7 million, which is just $1.7 million shy of breaching covenant agreement with its lenders.

This comes just one year after the company was in noncompliance with its banks over its high debt (currently $336.3 million) but was able to get a waiver and refinance. The refinancing required Sbarro to maintain a minimum 12-month trailing EBITDA of $40 million each quarter. This minimum will rise to $43 million in December, according to regulatory filings.

New Deutsche PE Group in Market With FOF

Deutsche Bank is raising $400 million toward a new fund of funds vehicle, according to a regulatory filing. The entity, called DB Private Equity & Credit Opportunities Select Fund, has closed on $36 million in commitments from 58 investors.

Earlier this week Deutsche Bank announced it had consolidated its private equity asset management business, which includes funds of funds, secondaries and co-investments, into an entity called DB Private Equity. The business segment manages 6 billion euros.

Insight Communications Adds PE Sponsors

Crestview Partners and MidOcean Partners have agreed to acquire a combined 42% equity position in Insight Communications Company Inc., the nation’s ninth-largest cable operator. Sellers include The Carlyle Group, which will retain a 42% equity stake.

PE Debt Watch (Upgrades and Downgrades)

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

Company: Penton Business Media Holdings, Inc.
Sponsor: MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein Ventures
Action: Moody’s and S&P downgraded the company’s ratings to D in tandem with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Highlight: From Moody’s: “Penton has received acceptance of its prepackaged Plan of Reorganization by the requisite number of first and second lien lenders. In accordance with the terms of the Plan, the restructuring would result in the elimination of $270 million of debt (all of the second lien facility).” From S&P: “The weak operating performance raised leverage, weakened interest coverage, and reduced liquidity. We believe these factors contributed to the company’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection.”

Trade Publisher Penton Files for Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Penton Business Media Holdings Inc, a publisher of 113 trade magazines such as Ward’s AutoWorld, Restaurant Hospitality and National Hog Farmer, has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a restructuring intended to eliminate $270 million of debt. Wednesday’s filing came after Penton, like many other publishers, struggled with a decline […]

Ex-Delphi CEO Named MidOcean Partners Chairman

Steve Miller, former chairman and CEO of Delphi Corp., has been named chairman of mid-market private equity firm MidOcean Partners. Mark Angelson, who was named firm chairman in December 2007, will remain on the MidOcean executive committee, but will devote most of his time to serving as chairman and CEO of publicly-held World Color Press.

MidOcean Partners Buys Allant Group

MidOcean Partners has acquired The Allant Group, a New York-based provider of marketing optimization solutions for the Fortune 100. The deal is being done in partnership with Allant management.

Seven New Sources of Deal Finance

And Amalgamated Capital makes seven. I’ve written so many stories about new lending groups formed to serve the “void” of financing in the middle market, that it’s time to make a list. So I give you, the recent crop of new middle market lenders (please email with any I may have overlooked).

The groups are in various stages of development-some have raised funds, others are seeking to secure credit, and even one is in registration to go public. While they’re getting their ducks in a row, someone (anyone) find them some deals to finance!

1. Sankaty Middle Market Opportunities Fund will invest in middle-market mezzanine loans with some senior debt and equity. More specifically, it would target credit for new buyouts, rescue financings and secondary purchases of mezzanine debt. See related story.

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