Hony Capital considering United Biscuits bid – Reuters

Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital is examining a bid for Britain’s United Biscuits Holdings Ltd and may be teaming up with a corporate buyer, Bloomberg reported, writes Reuters. Beijing-based Hony Capital, which manages more than $6.8 billion, has held informal talks with United Biscuits owners’ Blackstone Group and PAI Partners.

PAI raises almost half of 3 bln euro fund so far – Reuters

French private equity firm PAI Partners has raised nearly half of its planned 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion) buyout fund after 10 months on the road, writes Reuters. It is PAI’s first fundraising since a boardroom struggle in 2009 pushed out top management in favour of Lionel Zinsou, the former Rothschild banker who currently heads the buyout firm.

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This Thursday morning First Read brings you tips on how to hold onto your job, news of Nomura and ICG’s new mezzanine debt fund and a peek at which private equity firms could be back in the fundraising market in 2014.

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

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Here’s the latest midweek news including Euro veteran PAI Partners’ sixth fund close; a real first read of the Vatican annual report and an insight into management fee waivers.

PAI Partners Backs R&R Ice Cream with PIK Toggle

Private equity firm PAI Partners plans to finance its acquisition of R&R Ice Cream from Oaktree with a 253 million euros ($331.2 million) five-year Payment-In-Kind Toggle note, according to Thomson Reuters‘ publication IFR.

Reuters – Schneider Drops Sale of Sensors Business

French engineering company Schneider Electric has abandoned plans to sell its CST sensors division for around $1 billion, writes Reuters. Schneider cancelled plans after last-ditch efforts to reach a deal with Carlyle Group and PAI Partners failed, writes Reuters.

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