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Vestar Agrees to Sell Duff & Phelps

By David Carey and Cecile Daurat - Bloomberg L.P. - Dec 31, 2012

Vestar Capital Partners, which yesterday agreed to sell Duff & Phelps Corp. (DUF) to investors including Carlyle Group LP (CG) for $665.5 million, will reap a more than three-times return on its stake in the investment-banking firm.

Vestar, a New York-based buyout firm, paid about $53 million for a 34 percent stake in Duff & Phelps in 2005, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. Vestar previously pocketed about $160 million from the company in share sales and distributions, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It stands to get another $35.6 million when the sale is completed, the person said.

Vestar and Lovell Minnick Partners LLC, a Philadelphia-based buyout firm that invested an undisclosed amount in 2004, took Duff & Phelps public in 2007, raising about $133 million in an initial offering. The two private-equity firms subsequently cashed out the bulk of their holdings through follow-on sales.

Vestar, created in 1988 by Daniel S. O'Connell, Sander M. Levy and other members of First Boston Corp.'s buyout team, oversees about $7 billion in assets, according to its website. Levy did not return a call seeking comment on the transaction.

Ebitda Multiple

Carlyle and its Duff & Phelps co-investors -- Swiss bank Picter & Cie, U.S. private-equity firm Stone Point Capital LLC and Geneva-based Edmond de Rothschild Group -- are paying about eight times trailing 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the 80-year-old company. Revenue at the firm, which also provides financial-advisory services, is predicted to rise 17 percent this year to $465.8 million, the average of five analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of Duff & Phelps, which has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, have declined 10 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 12 percent. The stock advanced 1.9 percent to $13.05 on Dec. 28, below the 2007 initial public offering price of $16.

The Duff & Phelps merger agreement provides for a "go-shop" period ending on Feb. 8, during which the company can solicit and receive alternative proposals. Duff & Phelps would pay a break-up fee of about $6.65 million if it gets a higher bid and ends the agreement before March 8.

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Vestar Capital Partners Completes Sale of Sunrise Medical

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - December 6, 2012 - Vestar Capital Partners ("Vestar") announced the completion of the sale of Sunrise Medical Inc. ("Sunrise Medical") to funds advised by Equistone Partners Europe.

Sunrise Medical is the leading global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of high-end custom manual and power wheelchairs and technologically advanced and proprietary seating systems. Terms of the transaction, which was previously announced on November 6, 2012, were not disclosed.

"Our teamwork with Sunrise Medical management produced successful spin-offs, turned the company around and brought us to this highly satisfactory outcome for Vestar and its investors," said Dan O'Connell, CEO of Vestar.

"This successful Sunrise Medical transaction is the latest is a series of activities focused on creating portfolio value and delivering on a program of realizations for our limited partners," Mr. O'Connell said. "In just the last year, we have returned approximately $900 million from six investments to our investors. Since 2009, we have returned approximately $2.3 billion from 13 investments."

Sunrise Medical and Vestar received financial advice from Rothschild. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal counsel and Deloitte Tax LLP provided tax advice. Equistone received financial advice from Hauck & Aufhäuser. P+P Pöllath + Partners and Thompson Hine LLP provided legal advice. Ashurst advised on credit documentation and KPMG provided tax advice.

About Vestar Capital Partners

Vestar Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar’s active funds aggregate approximately $8 billion in commitments. The firm targets companies in North America with valuations of $150 million to $1.5 billion in four key industry sectors: Consumer, Diversified Industries, Healthcare, and Financial Services. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams, family owners or corporations in a creative, flexible and entrepreneurial way to build long-term enterprise value. Since the firm’s founding in 1988, the Vestar funds have completed 69 investments in companies with a total value of more than $30 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com

For Vestar Capital Partners
Owen Blicksilver Public Relations
Carol Makovich
(203) 940-2257
[email protected]

Jennifer Hurson
(845) 507-0571
[email protected]