More Money Flowing to Targeted Media

(Reuters) – U.S. companies will spend nearly $200 billion this year on targeted media such as direct mail, text messages or product placement in video games to concentrate on narrow, valuable groups of consumers, a new study shows. Investment group Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), which conducts the annual study, forecasts that spending on so-called targeted […]

VSS Deals Avatar International

Avatar International has been sold via a secondary PE deal, changing hands between former owner Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the New York sponsor, and going to the Riverside Co., the Cleveland PE shop. The deal represents a larger than 4.0x ROI driven by a sole focus on organic growth. VSS was represented in its sale of Avatar International by financial advisors TripleTree, LLC.

Cambium Learning Group Gets More Funding From Veronis Suhler Stevenson

Cambium Learning Group, a Dallas-based, publicly traded education company focused primarily on at-risk and special student populations, announced today that its majority shareholder, the New York-based private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson, is exercising its subscription right to acquire an additional $20 million of common stock in the company. On Tuesday, Cambium reported net income […]

VSS Buys Strata Decision Tech

Private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson will acquire financial software company Strata Decision Technology. Terms of the private investment, which was made by VSS Structured Capital Fund II, were not disclosed. SDT was advised by Berkery, Noyes, & Co., the New York-based investment banking firm.

After 3x Ipreo Deal, More Fund III Sales Likely For VSS

Veronis Suhler Stevenson scored a welcome return on its sale of capital markets data provider Ipreo LLC to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which was one of the largest investments the media-focused shop made with its $1 billion, 1999-vintage third fund.

The firm also continues to hold three other investments in Fund III and will likely look to unload at least two of them over the next year or two, a source close to the firm told sister magazine Buyouts. The firm has not started any sale processes, however, the source said.

One of the three remaining companies in Fund III is Access Intelligence LLC, a Rockville, Md.-based information and marketing company serving the aerospace, communications, energy, and health care industries.

KKR Plans $425M Ipreo Buy

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is expected to pay $425 million to buy Ipreo Holdings, a provider of capital-markets data for financial institutions, Reuters reported, citing an article in the Wall Street Journal. The firm will buy Ipreo from Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Ipreo was formed by the merger of i-Deal and Hemscott in 2006, with the backing of Veronis, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, Reuters wrote.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson Names Dunleavy Managing Director

Private equity and debt capital firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson has added James Dunleavy to its senior lending team as a managing director. Dunleavy has held senior-level positions at Merrill Lynch Capital and IBJ Whitehall. New York-based Veronis Suhler Stevenson provides flexible debt capital, including senior and subordinated debt, to small and middle-market companies in the information, education, media, communications and business services.

Ares, Veronis Suhler Partner on Debt Deal

Ares Capital Corp. and Veronis Suhler Stevenson have closed on a deal providing $86.5 million in debt financing to an undisclosed provider of educational resources and services in the medical space. Ares Capital and VSS have a collaboration agreement focused on bringing flexible senior debt financing to middle market companies in the information, education, media and marketing services industries.

PE-Backed Access Intelligence Buys Red7 Media

Rockville, Maryland-based media company Access Intelligence, which is backed by private equity investor Veronis Suhler Stevenson, will acquire Red7 Media, a provider of content for the events industry. Red7 Media operates the Event Marketing Institute, various industry conferences and publishes FOLIO and Audience Development magazines.

Access Intelligence, Backed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, Sells Group of Assets to IHS

Access Intelligence, a media and information company serving the chemical, energy, defense, aerospace and communications markets, just sold Chemical Week magazine, SRI Consulting, and The Energy Daily to publicly traded business information company IHS Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Access is backed by the private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. PRESS RELEASE: […]

Pepcom Switching Sponsors

Star Capital Partners has agreed to buy German cable operator Pepcom GmbH from GMT Communication Partners and Veronis Suhler Stevenson. No financial terms were disclosed.

Ares Capital Partners with VSS

Ares Capital and Veronis Suhler Stevenson announced a partnership “to source and provide flexible senior debt financing to companies in select industries with $5 million to $35 million of EBITDA.” Those industries are: Information, education, media and marketing services.

John Veronis Leaves Veronis Suhler Stevenson

John Veronis announced today that he has “withdrawn” from Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the firm he co-founded over two years ago (originally an I-bank, now a PE/structured finance investment firm). He will continue to honor LP commitments to VSS funds, but will not participate in firm management going forward.

VSS raised $312 million in 2008 for its second mezzanine fund, and a $1.3 billion private equity vehicle in 2005.

Hostway Raises $110 Million

Hostway Corp., a Chicago-based provider of web hosting and cloud hosting services, has raised $110 million in private equity and debt funding. Veronis Suhler Stevenson led the deal, and was joined by Fortress Capital, Regiment Capital and Phoenix Life. Houlihan Lokey advised Hostway on the deal.

VSS-Backed Ipreo Adds On

Ipreo, a provider of data and market intelligence to banking and corporate clients, has acquired the certificates collection service of Markit Group, based in London. Ipreo is majority owned by New York private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

Advanstar Hasn’t Had Amazing Luck with Private Equity

Private equity has been a like a drug dealer Advanstar Communications just can’t shake. For the past 20 years, the company’s entanglements with buyout firms have created a rollercoaster of near-disasters, yet the company keeps going back for more.

Advanstar been around the Park Avenue block, with private equity fingerprints going all the way back to when LBOs were still called LBOs. In 1987, the company underwent a Kidder Peabody-backed MBO after fending off several hostile takeover bids. The debt from that deal eventually sent the company into bankruptcy in 1989, at which point Goldman Sachs gained control of the company through a debt-for-equity swap.

Then in 1996, the company narrowly avoided another bankruptcy (according to reports at the time) when Hellman & Friedman purchased the company for $237 million. H&F led Advanstar through 28 acquisitions over its four-year stewardship, including a deal for its most profitable business, apparel industry expo MAGIC Marketplace. H&F exited Advanstar with a sale to DLJ Merchant Banking in 2000 for approximately $900 million. After at least one failed exit attempt, DLJ sold the business to Veronis Suhler Stevenson, Citigroup Private Equity and New York Life Capital Partners, for $1.14 billion.

So to recap: Kidder Peabody –> Goldman Sachs –> H&F –> DLJ –> VSS and friends.

This Week in Debt Performance

As usual, we have a week’s worth of ratings actions on the debt of LBO-backed companies from ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s Investors Ratings Services and Moody’s Investor Service. This week we’ve got two bankruptcies and even more distressed debt exchanges.

Company: NCI Building Systems
Sponsor: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Action: S&P raised its corporate credit rating on Houston-based metal building components manufacturer NCI Building Systems Inc. to ‘B+’ from ‘SD’ (selective default) and affirmed its ‘B+’ issue-level rating on the company’s $150 million senior secured term loan.
Highlight: “The upgrade follows the conclusion of our review of the company’s new capital structure upon completion of its recapitalization,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Thomas Nadramia.

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