peHUB Second Opinion

***Remember all those MBAs with visions of Goldman Sachs dancing through their heads? I first suspected they’d face hefty competition from the tens of thousands of laid-off financiers, but according to Dealmaker, those Wall Streeters are heading to LBO shops and hedge funds.

*** Stephen Schwartzman has a nude portrait of his wife made of Financial Times articles about himself. In other news, it’s the one-year anniversary of Blackstone’s IPO.

***Taking stock of the lending landscape—last week I mentioned that S&P (via The FT) published an article on the state of the lending landscape. The Wall Street Journal followed up with its own two cents, and adding to that conversation is (self promotion alert) a feature I wrote for Buyouts, which came out today. The Buyouts version focuses more narrowly on high yield bonds for buyouts, which don’t seem to be returning anytime soon. And even further is Lehman Brothers’ assertion that the recent “cautious optimism” and signs of life from the credit markets is likely to be a spike.

*** TV Week is reporting that IMG may be buying Mark Burnett, the producer of reality shows like Survivor and The Apprentice. Apparently Burnett hired Bear Stearns to shop his empire. (No word on whether Bear is still running the show there). This is only relevant for comment because IMG is owned by private equity giant Ted Forstmann. While private equity has been the subject of plenty of books (Barbarians at the Gate, Predator’s Ball) and movies (Wall Street, even Pretty Woman) it has yet to dabble in reality programming, to my knowledge. Perhaps a Burnett-Forstmann tie-up could use its powers for good and bring a softened image of private equity to the masses. Could there be a Real Private Equity Barons of New York City in the pipeline? Which combination of buyout professionals could produce the best reality programming (which might not necessarily mean the best PR for private equity?

***Anyone want to buy a US building supply business? I can’t imagine M&A in this sector to be anything but freezing. Even firms that once boasted their specialty in this sector have changed around the order of investment focus on their boiler plate statements.