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Blackstone bows out of LaSalle buyout; Tribune Media taps PE firms in sale talks

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

Starts and stops

* Blackstone Group LP's planned $4.8 billion buyout of LaSalle Hotel Properties is not moving forward after the private equity giant declined to make another bid for the hotel real estate investment trust. LaSalle agreed to an approximately $5.2 billion merger with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust after determining that the latter's improved offer was superior to the Blackstone deal. The merger agreement between the two hotel REITs follows a lengthy battle that prompted Pebblebrook to make several offers for LaSalle.

Separately, Blackstone is facing a bidding war over Australian REIT Investa Office Fund, after Oxford Properties Group topped the firm's earlier offer.

SNL Image
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md.
Source: Associated Press

* In a fresh round of talks for its sale, Tribune Media Co. is considering private equity firms and broadcasting rival Nexstar Media Group Inc. as potential buyers, unnamed sources told Reuters. Tribune Media recently ended its proposed $3.9 billion sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., following opposition from consumer and media groups.

Big-buck deals

* Flywheel Energy LLC, which is backed by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP's energy fund, is poised to acquire Southwestern Energy Co.'s exploration and production and associated midstream gathering assets in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Southwestern's shares declined after the deal, set to be finalized in December, was announced.

* Private equity firm Siris Capital Group LLC, through its affiliates, is selling financial technology provider IntraLinks Holdings Inc. to SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. in a deal valued at $1.5 billion.

Raising the stakes

SNL Image
A sign is shown for the Seattle office of Getty Images Inc.
Source: Associated Press

* Carlyle Group LP agreed to sell its majority stake in Getty Images Inc. to the Getty family, allowing the latter to resume full ownership of its namesake visual content company. The transaction is scheduled for a third-quarter close.

* Thoma Bravo LLC is acquiring a majority stake in middle-office software provider Apttus Corp. in a deal slated to close in early October.

* Gryphon Investors bought a majority stake in Hickory, N.C.-based enterprise logistics and freight brokerage services provider Transportation Insight LLC from fellow private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners.

* Pollen Street Capital Ltd., through its managed funds, invested in BidX1 Auction Ltd. The London-based private equity firm picked up a stake of 45% to 50% and invested up to £15 million more in the Irish online property bidding platform, according to The Irish Times, citing BidX1 founder and Managing Director Stephen McCarthy.

* Bengtssons Tidnings AB sold its 5.05% stake in Swedish diversified real estate company Diös Fastigheter AB to private equity and venture capital firm Nordstjernan AB.


* KKR & Co. pulled in a total of $7.4 billion for its fund focused on global infrastructure investment opportunities.

* I Squared Capital wrapped up its latest global infrastructure fund at $7 billion, with more than 100 participating institutional investors.

The VC beat

* Saudi Arabian Oil Co. might set up a $1 billion venture capital fund that would back global technology firms that complement its operations, undisclosed sources told The Wall Street Journal.

* Venture capital firm Eight Capital Management LLC is joining forces with London-based EMSO Asset Management Ltd. to create an up to US$500 million fund to tap into India's corporate restructuring market, anonymous sources told the Financial Times (London).

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