Sometimes a strategic just can’t get it done alone. That may be one of the snapshot lessons from today’s announcement that Smith & Wollensky (Nasdaq: SWRG) has agreed to be taken private for $94.6 million. The upscale steakhouse operator had originally agreed to be acquired for $9.25 per share by Patina Restaurant Group, but then […]
Monday Update: Thomson confirmed that it has made a “preliminary approach” for Reuters. I’ve received dozens of emails this morning asking if the rumors are true that Thomson Financial has offered to buy Reuters. My official response – per internal dictate – is that I have no response. My unofficial response is that I have […]
In late March, Goldman Sachs distributed some institutional client research detailing its leveraged buyout model. I only got leaked a copy yesterday, so apologies for the tardiness. The 46-page document is about half boilerplate and marketing materials for an interactive LBO return calculator, which apparently is accessible to Goldman clients. The rest, however, reads like […]
Private equity has historically outperformed the S&P 500, but critics often argue that the advantage disappears once fees are taken into account. In other words, it’s a narrow edge that might not justify the risk. Over the past year, however, private equity firms have been doing their darndest to remove risk from their equations — […]
“Sell.” This is often my first thought when I see take-private offers announced (strategic or financial), and that was again the case with this week’s big deal. In an offer clearly designed to discourage any competition, News Corp. bid for Dow Jones the way the Rangers bid for A-Rod. It made me think of the old […]
Royal Ahold NV today announced that it has (finally) agreed to sell its U.S. Foodservice distribution unit to KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $7.1 billion. What it didn’t announce, however, were any other financial details. So here they are: The total transaction price includes $2.6 billion in equity and $4.5 billion in funded debt, […]
For the first time in a long time, the day’s big financial story has nothing to do with private equity. That story, of course, is Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion (opening) bid for Dow Jones. But could it have something to do with private equity? Could there be rival bidder? The smart money says “no,” given […]
The proposed Harman buyout has prompted lots of nattering about “stub equity” and other such incentives designed to prompt shareholder approval of public-to-private buyouts. One possible ramification I haven’t seen mentioned yet, however, is that such deals could help spur further growth of the direct secondaries market. After all, I don’t quite see mutual funds […]
Most institutional investors, I imagine, are sympathetic to the plight of buyout professionals facing the prospect of paying higher taxes on carried interest. They recognize that a big reason so many bright people have migrated to private equity is that no where else (other than the hedge fund business, perhaps) can they get so wealthy […]
During last week’s Buyouts Symposium East, I moderated a debate between Kevin Conway of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times. The umbrella topic was if the current buyout model is sustainable, particularly given increased market publicity and scrutiny. The overall conversation was about 35 minutes long, and I’ve […]

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