Apollo, Metropoulos near deal for Hostess Twinkies: source

NEW YORK, Tue Jan 29, 2013 — Private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. are near a deal to buy snack cake brands including Twinkies from bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc, according to a source familiar with the matter.

A deal, part of Hostess’s bankruptcy reorganization, is not yet final, said the source, who declined to be identified as the discussions are not public.

The so-called stalking horse bid would be for more than $400 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. It would serve as the baseline offer for the business and could be topped by others at an auction.

Spokesmen for Metropoulos and Apollo were not immediately available to comment. Hostess declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Hostess chose a $390 million offer by Flowers Foods, maker of Tastykake products, as the stalking horse bid for several brands including Wonder bread.

On Monday, Hostess said it chose McKee Foods Corp, maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, as the initial bidder for its Drake’s cakes, which include Ring Dings, Yodels and Devil Dogs. It also chose United States Bakery as the lead bidder for four of its smaller bread brands plus bakeries, equipment and depots.



Apollo to buy McGraw-Hill education unit for $2.5 billion

NEW YORK, Mon Nov 26, 2012 — McGraw-Hill Companies Inc said it will sell its educational publishing unit to Apollo Global Management LLC for $2.5 billion.

McGraw-Hill expects to record a non-cash impairment charge of about $450 to $550 million in the fourth quarter.

McGraw-Hill said it will realize $1.9 billion of proceeds from the deal, after taxes and certain adjustments, and will use the money to buy back its shares, make “selective tuck-in acquisitions” for its portfolio of financial services businesses and repay short-term borrowings.

McGraw-Hill owns Standard & Poor’s credit rating service, Capital IQ tools for financial analysis and commodity market information services company Platts.

The company announced in September 2011 that it would separate the education and financial services businesses as part of a stepped-up push to increase returns to shareholders. The restructuring plan was announced after institutional investors argued publicly that the company would be worth more if split up.

Like other publishers, the education business has been under pressure to adapt its content to digital delivery. While such transformations hold the potential to ultimately reduce costs, they are also requiring massive changes in what employees do and how products are sold.

Apollo’s head of real estate could change role: WSJ

NEW YORK, Tues May 29, 2012 – The head of Apollo Global Management’s real estate fund is talking to the firm’s top management about changing his role, the Wall Street journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Joseph Azrack has been in charge of Apollo’s real estate team since 2008. The article did not specify what Azrack’s new role would be, but said people familiar with the matter expect he could leave the real estate job.

While a behemoth in buyouts and credit investments, Apollo is still a junior player in real estate. Its competitor Blackstone Group has raised more than $10 billion for its latest real estate fund.

Apollo reached a final fundraising close for its U.S. real estate fund in the first quarter, with commitments from investors totaling $713 million.

An Apollo spokesman declined to comment.

Berry Plastics Group files for IPO of up to $500 million

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Fri Mar 23, 2012 – Berry Plastics Group filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering of its shares.

The company told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus that it intends to use the proceeds from the offering partly to repay debt.

Berry said in the filing that after completion of the offering, funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management LLC will continue to own a majority of the voting power.

Berry Plastics, whose products are used to make containers and bottles to package food items and medicines among other things, did not name any underwriter for the offering.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company plans to issue or their expected price.

The company also did not disclose the exchange it planned to list on or its preferred ticker symbol.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.