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Apax puts AssuredPartners on the block; 2 public figures join PE firms

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of global private equity news stories and more published throughout the week.

Top-dollar deal

* Apax Partners LLP will sell insurance broker AssuredPartners Inc. in an auction later in the first quarter, for an estimated valuation of $4.5 billion, The Insurance Insider reported, citing people familiar with the sale. Apax bought a majority interest in AssuredPartners in October 2015. Sources added that bidders will likely be limited to other private equity firms and Canadian pension funds with private investment arms.

Hungry eyes

* Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC is set to acquire a significant stake in U.K.-based catering operator WSH Investments Ltd., operating as Westbury Street Holdings Ltd., in a deal that values the company at approximately $1 billion, including debt, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge the matter.

* TriArtisan Capital Advisors LLC and Paulson & Co. Inc. agreed to buy Chinese food restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. from Centerbridge Partners LP, Bloomberg Markets reported, citing a private notice sent to investors. Centerbridge, which bought P.F. Chang's in July 2012, was reportedly in exclusive talks with TriArtisan to sell the target company for up to $700 million.

Heavy hitters

* World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will leave the financial institution to join private investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners, the Financial Times reported. Kim's resignation will be effective Feb. 1, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva will step in as the institution's interim president on the same day.

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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing.

Source: Associated Press

* Former U.K. prime minister Gordon Brown will be advising Swiss private equity firm Partners Group Holding AG on its "impact investments," the Journal reported.

Deal reel

* Platinum Equity LLC agreed to buy Singapore-based electronics manufacturing company PCI Ltd. in a take-private transaction valued at about US$194.2 million. The deal is slated to be completed in the second quarter.

* KKR & Co. and SemGroup Corp. will purchase Riverstone Holdings LLC-backed midstream company Meritage Midstream ULC and all its assets in a C$600 million deal through a newly formed unit, SemCAMS Midstream ULC. Under the terms of the deal, SemGroup will own a 51% stake in the company, while KKR will own the remaining 49%.

* Funds advised by Triton agreed to sell chemical-tanker company Nordic Tankers A/S to MOL Chemical Tankers Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. The private equity firm also agreed to sell 8.8% of waste-management company Befesa SA to institutional investors through a private placement via an accelerated bookbuilding process.

* Broadband cable company Vast Broadband agreed to buy Tower Three Partners LLC-backed broadband fiber company NTS Communications Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

* Lower-middle-market private equity firm May River Capital LLC acquired Marion Process Solutions, an industrial mixers, blenders and microwave vacuum drying systems maker. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

* SemiTorr Group Inc., which offers high-purity gas and fluid handling systems and components, was purchased by middle-market investor Transom Capital Group LLC from Riverlake Partners LLC, which acquired a controlling stake in SemiTorr in 2012. Terms of the transaction were not made public.

* Zinc products provider US Zinc Corp., owned by metal company Votorantim Metais Ltda., was bought by private markets investor Aterian Investment Partners LLC. Deal terms were not disclosed.

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A man walks past in front of a SoftBank shop in Tokyo.

Source: Associated Press

Flush with cash

* Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. provided an additional US$2 billion investment to U.S.-based coworking giant WeWork Cos. Inc., which has been renamed The We Co. SoftBank's investment is significantly lower than the US$16 billion investment that it had reportedly planned. The amount was reduced after the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Co. expressed concern, London's Financial Times reported.

* Triton raised €5 billion of capital for its latest pan-European middle-market fund Triton Fund V LP.

* Levine Leichtman Capital Partners LLC received $2.5 billion of committed capital for Levine Leichtman Capital Partners VI LP.

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