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Barry Whyte

Power company Dynegy Inc has sent a letter to all its shareholders arguing for the proposed sale to private equity firm Blackstone, which has been criticized by investor Carl Icahn. The letter argued that remaining a standalone company would not be permitted under its present credit facility and would impact the company’s balance sheet negatively. Blackstone agreed to buy Dynegy for $4.7 billion in August, with a $1.36 billion deal signed at the same time to sell four natural gas power plants NRG Energy Inc. Icahn is arguing that the deal undervalues the company.
New York Pacific Capital has just launched a new RMB fund called Suzhou Kabei Golden Fund, L.P, the firm has announced. The target size is RMB 300 million ($45.1 million). Suzhou Cheng He Venture Capital Company is the lead investor, while Agricultural Bank of China is placing the fund with its high net worth and corporate clients, NYPC has said.
The opening statements in the legal battle between Guy Hands, of private equity firm Terra Firma, and Citigroup over the $6.4 billion buyout of music giant EMI were filled with allegations of fraud and lies. Hands is accusing banker and former friend David Wormsley and Citigroup of duping him into thinking there was a rival bid for EMI when he bought it back in 2007.
Bain Capital has announced that it is interested in investing in financial services companies in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which has a fast-growing population and a strong economy. According to Steve Pagliuca, managing director, "There are large capital sources here but the region itself is intriguing - Saudi Arabia specifically is building five or six cities the size of Boston which is going to take an enormous amount of economic might to do that."
The preference of sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East for direct investment has made fund-raising in the region complicated, according to private equity group Carlyle. Although private equity activity has been growing in the Middle East, fund raising appears to be a bit trickier because “a lot of the sovereign wealth funds which have money feel they are to some extent over-allocated in private equity," said Carlyle managing director David Rubenstein.
CI Capital, the investment arm of Egypt’s Commercial International Bank, will launch three new investment funds, it announced, and has three IPOs in the pipeline. The three funds are: a capital protected fund; a bond fund; and a real estate fund. CI has already raised 250 million Egyptian pounds ($44 million) from its debut fund, Hemeya.
TPG, the global private equity firm, will invest more than $45 million in Chinese sportswear manufacturer China Vogue, gambling that a growing Chinese middle class can be lured towards a flurry of consumer spending. The TPG consortium includes Partners Group and an existing shareholder in China Vogue, ARC China Holdings Ltd. TPG has already invested in Chinese PC-maker Lenovo, shoe-seller Daphne and supermarket chain WuMart.
Interros, the private equity fund of Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin, will face off against the other major shareholder in Russian mining outfit Norilsk Nickel in a tussle over the make-up of the board, the firm announced. Potanin, who holds abour 25 percent of Norilsk through Interros, will support the board while the other major shareholder, Oleg Deripaska, is seeking to dismiss the board and bring in new executives.
St Jude Medical is set to buy AGA Medical Holdings Inc, which is backed by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, in a deal worth more than $1 billion in stock and cash. At $20.80 a share, the deal values AGA Medical at a 41 percent premium on Friday’s closing price. AGA went public in October at $14.50 a share. St Jude said it expected to close the deal by the end of the year.
Blacks Leisure, a UK retailer of outdoor wear, has had two takeover offers from private equity firms, according to reports, and has appointed advisory firm McQueen for the bidding process. The Daily Telegraph reported that Lion Capital was one of the firms that bid for Blacks. Neither company has confirmed the reports, however.

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