2009 Private Equity Timeline

2009 is fast coming to an end, so we figured it was time to take a chronological look back at the year’s top private equity stories. Consider it a timeline of sorts (a venture capital one will be posted later this month).

Lots of scandals and failures, with a smattering of successes mixed in. Get it below…


[slide title=”JANUARY”]

FDIC agrees to sell failed mortgage lender Indymac to a private equity consortium for $13.9 billion.

Sun Capital Partners lays off around 10% of its 200-person staff. This is just the beginning…

Star-Tribune Co. files for bankruptcy, kicking off a year of both PE-backed bankruptcies and media company failures.

Trio of former Aldus Equity executives, including co-founder Marcellus Taylor, form new Dallas-based firm. Eventually, firm leader Saul Meyer will plead guilty for participating in a pay-to-play scheme, and Aldus will go out of business.

CalPERS names Joe Dear as its new CIO.

Matthew Kabaker leaves Blackstone Group, to work at the U.S. Treasury Department.

[slide title=”FEBRUARY”]

Senate bill introduced that would require hedge, private equity and venture capital funds to register with SEC. Similar measure passes later, but exempts PE and VC firms (subject to SEC definition).

The Carlyle Group has sued Neil Shen, a founding partner of Sequoia Capital China, for allegedly wreaking Carlyle’s planned investment in a Chinese medical research firm.

UTIMCO chairman Robert Rowling quits in middle of state legislative hearing, after being criticized for paying out bonuses based on 2008 performance.

Tim Geithner introduces toxic asset buyback plan, with PE firms expected to participate. LP tells peHUB: “Murder. I will murder [my GPs] if they do this. It would be easier to face my trustees in handcuffs than with a few hundred million in these toxic assets.”

Adam Blumenthal of Blue Wolf Capital works with Elizabeth Warren on initial TARP oversight report.

Bain Capital proposes to temporarily waive all quarterly management fees.

Oriental Brewery auction process begins. Will be first of a series of brewery deals in 2009.

Allied Capital defaults on revolving credit facility. In October, it will agree to be acquired by Ares Capital.

Réal Desrochers steps down as head of alternative investments for CalSTRS.

President Obama includes a change in carried interest tax treatment, as part of a budget blueprint. At year-end, the switch is still being debated.

Steve Rattner steps down as managing principal of Quadrangle Group, to become Obama’s car czar.

[slide title=”MARCH”]

PE-backed Connecticut School of Broadcasting shuts down just before graduation, leaving students stuck.

Carlyle Group closes its first MENA fund.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation sells off its final private equity stakes.

GS Capital Partners, the PE arm of Goldman Sachs, tries to reallocate half of its remaining dry powder toward stressed and distressed debt opportunities. It does not succeed.

The pay-to-play scandal erupts in New York, with Andrew Cuomo charging for NY Common Retirement Fund CIO David Logisci and “placement agent” Hank Morris with taking kickbacks from PE firms in exchange for fund commitments.

Quadrangle suspends fundraising efforts, in light of Rattner departure and pay-to-play scandal. It later will need LP approval (or lack of disapproval) to keep investing current fund.

The Blackstone Group refuses to comply with an SEC request that it publicly disclose the performance of its buyout and hedge funds.

Capital Dynamics agrees to buy troubles fund-of-funds manager HRJ Capital. 

[slide title=”APRIL”]

Goldman Sachs raises $5.5 billion for the largest-ever secondaries fund. 

Levine Leichtman sues Apollo Management for allegedly concealing problems at bankrupt Linens ‘n Things

First Reserve raises $9 billion for new fund – the year’s largest PE raise.

Rosetta Stone prices year’s first PE-backed IPO.

Julio Ramirez leaves Park Hill Group. He will later plead guilty in Cuomo’s pay-for-play investigation, related to work done while with Weatherly Capital.

Chrysler files for bankruptcy. 

[slide title=”MAY”]

New York City institutes a ban on placement agents soliciting capital from public pension funds

The Carlyle Group agrees to reimburse New York State $20 million and sign a “code of conduct,” as part of the pay-to-play investigation. It is the first of many such deals.

FDIC begins discussing rules for PE investments in financial institutions. 

[slide title=”JUNE”]

KKR and Fidelity Investments sign co-marketing deal for KKR-backed IPOs.

CalPERS increases PE allocation from 12% to 14%, largely reflecting current exposure realities.

Extended Stay Inc. files for bankruptcy, just one year after Lightstone Group bought the company from Blackstone for approximately $8 billion.

Fidelity Investments shuts down Fidelity Equity Partners.

Bank of America discontinues fund placement team acquired in Merrill merger

Mount Kellett Capital Management, a firm formed in 2008 by former Goldman Sachs partner Mark McGoldrick, closes debut fund with around $2.5 billion.  

KKR announces plans to go public via merger with Amsterdam-listed affiliate, and then later transfer listing to New York.

Candover Investments ends talks with potential acquirers.

Bain Capital offers investors the chance to reduce their commitments toa $1.8 billion co-investment fund.

Lazard buys The Edgewater Funds.

SEC proposes federal ban on placement agents pitching funds to public pensions.
[slide title=”JULY”]

Treasury Department names PPIP managers, but refuses to release list of applicants.

Steve Rattner steps down as car czar.

Station Casinos files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, two years after being taken private for  $5.4 billion by Colony Capital and the company’s founding family.

[slide title=”AUGUST”]

Avago Technologies prices year’s first PE-backed IPO that has significant leverage on it.

Kip Kirkpatrick leaves Water Street Healthcare Partners to run for Illinois treasurer. He later withdraws candidacy, but doesn’t return to firm he helped to found.

Readers Digest files for bankruptcy, just over two years after being acquired for $2.4 billion by Ripplewood Holdings.

FDIC approves new rules on PE investments in financial institutions.

Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System makes first-ever PE commitments.
[slide title=”SEPTEMBER”]

eBay agrees to sell a 65% stake in Internet calling company Skype to a group of private investors. The deal will close in November.

The pay-to-play nexus shifts to California, as CalPERS comes under scrutiny.

KPS Capital Partners raises $800 million as a top-off to a vehicle that originally closed in 2007 with $1.2 billion.

ILPA releases a set of “best practices” to improve LP/GP alignment of interests.

Mattress maker Simmons agrees to change private equity hands (yet again).

Jon Moulton quits Alchemy Partners, after disagreements over the firm’s direction.

[slide title=”OCTOBER”]

Hellman & Friedman raises $8.8 billion for its seventh fund. It is the year’s second-largest buyout fundraise.

Saul Meyer of Aldus Equity pleads guilty to felony securities fraud

Blackstone Group agrees to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S. theme parks for up to $2.7 billion. InBev then agrees to sell nine Eastern European breweries to CVC Capital Partners for $2.23 billion. InBev later will back out of a deal to sell Beck’s to Bain Capital.

Lionel Pincus passes away.

Sun Capital Partners offers to cut the size of its most recent fund.

OMERS says it will no longer invest in private equity funds, instead preferring direct deals.

Steve Pagliuca announces plans to run for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. He will not succeed.

Stanford Management Co. plans $1 billion secondary sale of VC/PE fund stakes, but attempts to do so via a joint venture.

Myer, the Australian department store backed by TPG, raises A$2.2 billion via IPO.

[slide title=”NOVEMBER”]  

NY Post scribe authors The Buyout of America, a scathing look at what leveraged buyouts do to companies and the U.S. economy.

Chen Tang is charged with insider trading, based on actions taken while CFO of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe.

CIT Group files for bankruptcy.

PAI Partners offers to cut the size of its €5.4 billion buyout fund by half. LPs approve the measure in December.

TPG Capital and the Canada Pension Plan agree to buy listed IMS Health around $5.2 billion (including assumption of debt).

KKR-backed Dollar General raises $716 million via IPO.

Carlyle Group signs 5-year public/private partnership with the State of Connecticut, whereby it will redevelop, operate and maintain the state’s 23 highway service areas.

Apollo Management amends its S-1 filing, reigniting speculation that it may soon go publi

[slide title=”DECEMBER”] 

Former Delphi CEO Steve Miller is named chairman of MidOcean Partners.

Markstone Capital Partners co-founder and chairman Elliot Broidy pleads guilty to bribing New York pension officials, and resigns from the firm.

Steve Pagliuca loses his Senate race in Massachusetts, returns to Bain Capital.

Riverstone Holdings co-founder David Leuschen agrees to pay $20 million “in restitution” for the benefit of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, as part of pay-to-play scandal.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System cuts its longterm allocation target for alternative investments.

Apax Partners agrees to acquire a majority stake in Israeli asset management firm Psagot.

Terra Firma Capital Partners sues Citigroup for alleged fraud, related to Terra Firma’s 2007 purchase of music publisher EMI Group.