J D Wetherspoon Net Down 29%

J D Wetherspoon plc full-year sales rose 5.2% to £955.1 million and net profit fell 29% to £25.3 million or 18.2 pence a share. SThree Plc third quarter gross profit fell 34% to £37.6 million.

Finisar Sales Up 11%; National Semiconductor Net Down 63%

Finisar Corporation first quarter revenues rose 11% to $128.7 million and net income rose 828.6% to $26.0 million or 2 cents a share. National Semiconductor Corporation first quarter revenues fell 32% to $314.4 million and net income fell 63% to $29.8 million or 13 cents a share.

RFMD Jumps On Bullish Outlook

RF Micro Devices (RFMD) shares are headed higher this morning after the company provided bullish comments on its outlook for the fiscal second quarter ended October 3.

In a statement, CEO Bob Bruggeworth said that demand for the company’s products is tracking ahead of plan, driven by “strong” end-market demand in the cellular handset market, and increasing demand for 3G smartphones, which he notes require 3-5x the dollar content of RFMD parts as 2G handsets.

He also says RFMD is gaining share, and expcts sequential revenue growth in the quarter from each of its major handset customers. The company also said that visibility for the December quarter is improving.

The company repeated its non-GAAP operating margin target of 15%, and said it is making progress on reaching that goal.

Bruggeworth said the company expects to beat the high-end of its previous free cash flow for the the current year of $80 million to $120 million.

Note that comments from RFMD followed an upward revision late yesterday from Skyworks (SWKS), one of RFMD’s chief rivals.

RFMD this morning is up 27 cents, or 5.4%, to $5.28.

Barrick’s Huge Capital Raise: A Sign of Pessimism, Not Hope

Here’s one measure of market sentiment: The largest stock sale by a company, other than a financial institution, this year has been the $3.5 billion offering by Canadian gold miner Barrick Gold Corp, according to Dealogic.

Barrick’s offering, which came late Tuesday, is being hailed as a harbinger of a wave of post-Labor Day stock offerings and IPOs. But the Barrick stock sale is anything but a bullish sign about the outlook for the broader economy.

Gold typically thrives at times when the global financial system and world currencies are struggling. And right now, investors are piling into gold as inflationary fears sink the value of the dollar. The idea is that as governments, namely the U.S., print money to support key markets, such as housing, inflation will accelerate.

Gold prices have risen about 12% since April , crossing the $1,000-a-troy-ounce mark on Tuesday, the highest intraday price since March 2008.

Barrick itself appears to be doubling down on the inflation bet. It said it will use proceeds from the sale to eliminate its hedges against a near-term fall in gold prices. The hedges include contracts obligating Barrick to deliver a pre-determined amount of gold at a set price regardless of gold’s price at the time of delivery.

In the third quarter, the hedges forced the company to take a $5.6 billion charge against earnings, as gold prices rose. Investors have been pressuring Barrick to dehedge for months so that the company would be more of a pure gold play. Barrick’s stock fell 6% Wednesday to $36.95, in line with the offering price of $36.95. So not a surprising drop in light of the offering’s dilutive effect.

The Barrick offering tops the $2.5 billion stock sale by Dow Chemical and Ford Motor ’s $1.6 billion offering, both in May. The largest equity offering of 2009 still is Wells Fargo’s $8.5 billion sale on May 8, according to Dealogic.

Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Canada were the senior book runners on the Barrick stock sale.


Welcome to the world of sporting retail…

... in the UK. If maverick businessman Mike Ashley - he's the one the right - needed something to take his mind off the Newcastle United sale process, he's certainly got it. From the London stock exchange's Regulatory News Service (RNS). The OFT has indicated that it is conducting an investigation into a suspected overarching agreement to dampen competition in the sports retail market....

ASML Lifts Q3 Forecast

ASML Holding (ASML) this morning lifted its Q3 revenue forecast. The semiconductor equipment maker said the improved outlook reflects “the short- and mid-term needs in the DRAM memory and logic segments.”

ASML now sees Q3 and Q4 sales above 500 million Euros each, with Q3 bookings “significantly above that level.”

Previous guidance had been for Q3 sales of about 450 million Euros.

The news is consistent with bullish comments on the sector last week from Novellus (NVLS) and a series of guidance increases this week from chip companies.

In early trading, ASML is up 75 cents, or 2.6%, to $30.14.

Deals of the Day: And the Winner of Opel Is…Drumroll…Magna

Deals of the Day gathers all the biggest news of the morning related to mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies, financing and private equity. Deal Journal’s homepage is http://blogs.wsj.com/deals. You can see real-time updates of our posts and our favorite deal-related articles on other Web sites through our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/wsjdealjournal.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Could it be? A decision? GM’s board is expected to recommend Magna International as the buyer for its Opel unit. [WSJ]
Related: GM could close up to three plants if it were to keep control of its European operations. [WSJ]

Orangina: Japanese beverage giant Suntory Holdings is close to a deal to acquire Orangina, maker of the famed soft drink. [WSJ]

The Coming Cable Consolidation: As they battle satellite and phone companies for market share, Comcast and other cable companies will probably need to consider more consolidation. [WSJ]

Kraft-Cadbury: Cadbury’s established position in fast-growing emerging markets, particularly India and Latin America, is a major factor in Kraft’s pursuit of the U.K. chocolatier. [WSJ]
Related: Kraft Foods is facing the usual heat on an acquirer to raise its bid for Cadbury. But investors hoping for a big bump could be disappointed. [WSJ]

To sell or not to sell: The New York Times Company still intends to sell The Boston Globe, but The Globe’s finances have improved enough that the company does not need to sell it. [NY Times]

National Express: The bus and rail operator moved a step closer to accepting a 500p-a-share offer from the CVC-Cosmen consortium after ruling out breaking up the transport group itself via a series of asset sales. [Daily Telegraph]

Financial Institutions

Today in bad marriages: Bank of America said allegations of wrongdoing by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in the bank’s handling of the Merrill Lynch & Co. takeover were “spurious,” while rejecting claims that the bank is hiding behind its lawyers. [WSJ]

Financial reform: Geithner says the economy might be showing the “first signs of recovery,” but comprehensive reform to the financial regulatory system should remain an urgent priority. [NPR]

Peering into the Black Box: High-frequency trading is truly the darkest part Wall Street’s black box, a trading movement so new and so dominant that it has triggered both of fear and greed at the same time, writes David Weidner. [WSJ]

UBS: A judge ordered the Swiss bank to set aside $35.5 million to cover a potential judgment against it in a case involving debt securities that the firm’s employees called “crap” and “vomit.” [WSJ]

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Daiwa Securities: The two Japanese firms formally pulled the plug on their 10-year partnership in wholesale brokerage Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. after an argument broke out over their stakeholdings. [Dow Jones Newswires]

Executive comp: Dutch banks unveiled a new code of conduct Wednesday that includes capping executive bonuses and measures to ensure bonus payments do not encourage bankers to take unnecessary risks. [Associated Press]

Buyside

J.P. Morgan: The nation’s second largest bank has created a group to help fund managers broaden their trading and assure investors that assets won’t be tied up by a brokerage failure. [Bloomberg]

Capital Markets

Sinopharm Group: The firm, which is seeking to raise US$1.12 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering, has attracted more than $28 billion worth of institutional orders even before the retail subscription begins. [Dow Jones Newswires]

People & Players

Peter Comisar: Former Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz hired Peter Comisar from Goldman, as he fills out his new team at Guggenheim Partners. [WSJ]


Beware of Naive Contrarianism

Of all the names I have been called over the years — and there have been plenty — “Contrarian” is the one I am most proud of.

Yet while many people seem to aspire to that label, few manage to truly achieve it. There is a comfort in crowds, and degree of stress relief that comes when you are not out too far on that limb. The Herding instinct is powerful, especially amongst traders, analysts, strategists and economists.

I was discussing this last month with Paul Kedrosky. He noted that many people seem to aspire to that title, and for all the wrong reasons. We talked about how EVERYONE seemed to be expecting a classic September sell off all summer. That expectation seemed to even be the basis of the mild sell off last week.

The contrarian view isn’t betting on the collapse, its looking at what will frustrate the most amount of people. I suspect that a continued rally higher would have that effect, despite the historical post crash patterns.

One thing you should consider when betting against the crowd: They tend to be right most of the time. There are a several things I disagree with in Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds, but the basic idea that crowds can determine outcomes is undeniable.

Indeed, markets are essentially the net result of the behavior of crowds. When asked why stocks were going down, the old trading desk joke is “More sellers than buyers.” That is as good a definition of a crowd as I’ve seen.

To better explain contrary thinking, I like to describe Wall Street and Markets as a sports stadium filled with fans. The better the team does, the louder the crowd cheers. The louder they cheer, the better the team does. Hence, markets have a large degree of self-fulfilling prophecy in the way they respond to crowd behavior.

Call it what you like — sentiment, reflexivity, feedback loop — for most of the time, the crowd not only determines market direction, IT IS market direction.

The secret to being a true contrarian is identifying when this excited (but orderly) crowd of cheering fans becomes a an unruly mob; Determining the point at which the fanatics become hooligans. Not throwing paper cups on the court, but overturning cars; When the Wisdom of Crowds becomes the Madness of Crowds.

That is when you short a raging bull market, buy into a crash. You hold your nose and make the purchase.

And, it is typically an uncomfortable, outlier position.

>

Previously:
Contrary Indicators 2000 – 2003 Bear Market (September 9th, 2003)
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2003/09/contrary-indicators-2000-–-2003-bear/

Understanding Contrary Indicators (May 31st, 2008)
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/05/understanding-contrary-indicators/

Four Stages of Secular Bear Markets (August 27th, 2009)
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/08/aftermath-of-secular-bear-markets/


Volterra Ups Q3 Outlook

Adding to the parade of chip companies lifting guidance, Volterra Semiconductor (VLTR) this morning raised its Q3 outlook. The analog and mixed-signal power management chip company said it now sees revenue for the quarter of $29 million to $30 million, up from a previous range of $25 million to $28 million. The company now expects EPS of 18-20 cents, up from 11-16 cents.

The company is holding an analyst day today in New York.

Yesterday, VLTR rose 11 cents, to $19.34.

Michael McShane Joins Advent International

Michael McShane has joined Advent International as an operating partner, with a focus on the oil and gas services and equipment sectors. He is the former chairman and CEO of Grant Prideco.

PRESS RELEASE

Advent International, one of the world’s leading global private equity firms, today announced that Michael McShane has joined the firm’s Operating Partner Program to advise on investment opportunities in the oil and gas services and equipment sector. Mr. McShane will work with Advent’s deal team in the US, supporting the firm’s investment activities globally.

Mr. McShane was previously the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Grant Prideco, the global leader in the development of drill stem technology and the manufacture, sale, and service of drill pipes, drill bit technology and specialty tools. He served in this role for more than six years. During this time, Mr. McShane grew the company’s revenues by over three times to $1.9 billion and the operating income by 11 times to $590 million through organic growth and acquisitions. Mr. McShane left Grant Prideco in 2008 after its acquisition by National Oilwell Varco for $7.2 billion. Prior to joining Grant Prideco, Mr. McShane was the Chief Financial Officer of BJ Services, an international pressure pumping and oilfield services company. While at BJ Services, Mr. McShane helped grow the company from $350 million in revenues to $1.9 billion. He currently serves on the board of directors for two public companies, Complete Production Services and Spectra Energy, as well as two private companies.

David McKenna, Managing Partner and head of Advent International’s North American industrials practice, said, “The oil and gas services and equipment sector is an important area of focus for Advent globally. Mr. McShane’s extensive experience and his impressive track record in the sector will be extremely valuable to us, and we are very fortunate to have him on board. We look forward to working with him to identify and develop the right investment opportunities.”

Commenting on his new role, Mr. McShane said, “Advent has a long track record of successfully investing in a diverse range of companies globally and supporting management teams as they drive revenue growth and improve earnings. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and history with the investment professionals at Advent and with the management of portfolio companies in the oil and gas services and equipment sector.”

Advent International has been active in the industrials sector for over 20 years and has invested in over 70 companies globally. Among Advent’s previous investments in the industrials sector is Boart Longyear, the leading provider of drilling services, tools and equipment for the mining, construction, water and environmental industries worldwide, from which Advent exited in 2007. Current industrials sector investments include: Nukem (part of RWE Solutions), a diversified portfolio of energy-related services businesses; Bradco Supply, a leading distributor of residential and commercial roofing materials in the US; Oxea, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Oxo chemicals; and Deutek, Romania’s largest decorative paints producer.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the world’s leading global buyout firms, with offices in 15 countries on four continents. A driving force in international private equity for 25 years, Advent has built an unparalleled global platform of over 140 investment professionals across Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on international buyouts, strategic repositioning opportunities and growth buyouts in five core sectors, working actively with management teams to drive revenue growth and earnings improvements in portfolio companies. Since inception, Advent has raised $24 billion (€18.6 billion) in private equity capital and, through its buyout programs, has completed over 250 transactions valued at approximately $45 billion (€37 billion) in 35 countries.

For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com.

Operating Partner Program

Advent’s Operating Partner Program involves business leaders from a range of sectors working as consultants to the firm in a variety of ways: sourcing investment opportunities, assisting with the due diligence process and advising on the strategic and operational development of portfolio companies. The use of operating partners is a fundamental and long-established element of Advent’s highly operational approach to investing. The program currently includes over 70 high-level individuals, many of whom have been involved in multiple Advent investments.

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Spectrum Equity Backs Business Monitor

Business Monitor International Ltd., a London-based provider of country risk analysis and macroeconomic forecasting, has received a minority equity investment from Spectrum Equity Investors. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE
Business Monitor International Limited (”BMI”), a leading global provider of country risk analysis, macroeconomic forecasting and industry research, announced today that it has received a substantial, non-controlling equity investment from Spectrum Equity Investors. The investment will accelerate the expansion of BMI’s portfolio of services, and position the company to execute on its global expansion strategy. Following the transaction, Chris Mitchell and Adam Margolin from Spectrum will join the BMI board of directors. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Richard Londesborough, Co-CEO of BMI said, “We are extremely pleased to have Spectrum make this strategic investment in the company. While BMI has already established itself as a leading provider of subscription-based risk data and analysis to clients and subscribers in over 140 countries, we believe we are still in the early stages of the company’s growth opportunity. Spectrum’s capital and board-level assistance will further strengthen the BMI platform for continued success going forward.”

“Given the ongoing volatility in global markets, and the growing international presence of major corporations, particularly in the emerging markets, BMI’s proprietary risk ratings, forecasts and research have never been more important to our clients,” said Jonathan Feroze, Co-CEO of BMI. “Spectrum’s investment comes at an opportune time for BMI, as we look to continue our growth, both organically and through acquisition, to enable us to anticipate our clients’ continually evolving needs.”

“BMI is a perfect fit for Spectrum, given our focus on rapidly growing, profitable providers of information services,” said Chris Mitchell, managing director of Spectrum Equity Investors. “The company’s ability to integrate industry-specific data, trending, and structural analysis with its proprietary macroeconomic country risk models provides unique value to clients around the world. Furthermore, unlike traditional market research vendors who either publish irregularly or cover market segments selectively, BMI’s innovative ‘always current’ approach leads the field.”

“BMI content boasts an unusual breadth of applications. Beyond traditional financial analysis and market research, it is used by a wide range of multinational clients to assist with initiatives as diverse as strategic planning, anticipating demand drivers and competitive analysis, to assessing geo-political risk and its potential impact on employee and supply chain security,” said Adam Margolin, vice president of Spectrum Equity Investors.

ABOUT BUSINESS MONITOR INTERNATIONAL (http://www.businessmonitor.com)

BMI is a leading country risk and industry research firm offering comprehensive and timely coverage of 175 countries and 23 industry verticals. BMI content offers clients highly structured, consistent coverage of every country and industry vertical, applying BMI’s proprietary forecasting, risk rating and assessment methodologies. BMI content is sold on an annual subscription basis via Business Monitor Online, BMI’s flagship portal product offering, and via weekly, monthly and quarterly print report products. Businesses, banks, government and academia in over 140 countries worldwide rely on BMI analysis, ratings and forecasts to manage risk and exploit business opportunities, and BMI’s clients include more than 400 of the Global Fortune 500.

ABOUT SPECTRUM EQUITY INVESTORS (http://www.spectrumequity.com)

Spectrum Equity Investors is a private equity firm focused on investing in profitable, growing services businesses. Founded in 1994 with offices in Boston and California, Spectrum manages over US$4 billion in capital across five funds. Spectrum invests behind strong management teams and provides active board-level assistance to help create and realize value. Spectrum has been an active investor in online and electronic information service providers such as RiskMetrics Group (NYSE: RMG), World-Check, Seisint, Ancestry.com, iPay Technologies, Passport Health Communications and SurveyMonkey.

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Master trusts, slavish support

A quick update on UK master trusts -- the ginormous RMBS securitisation vehicles of Britain's banks -- from ratings agency Fitch on Thursday. Contrary to some other reports, Fitch are saying a slowdown in prepayment rates doesn't mean the trusts, or at least their ratings, are in danger. Of the 12 Fitch-rated prime master trust programmes,...

The Morning Leverage: Time To Pull Your Head Out Of The Sand

morningleverage_E_20090803175649.jpgMike Lucas for Dow Jones

In this morning’s media roundup:

News:
Blackstone Group and Lion Capital are in talks to sell Orangina to Suntory Holdings Ltd. Our colleagues at the Wall Street Journal say the price is likely to be higher than the $2.6 billion that the two private equity firms paid for Orangina in 2006 when they bought it from Cadbury PLC, now the subject of a merger bid itself.

Select Medical Holdings Corp. looks to be the next buyout-backed company to test the public markets. It’s set the price range for its pending initial public offering at $11 to $13. The hospital operator is backed by Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe and Thoma Cressey Bravo. Read the LBO Wire story here.

An announcement is expected from General Motors Co. on what it’s going to do with Opel and Vauxhall, which an affiliate of Ripplewood Holdings was in the running to buy. The WSJ says GM’s board has recommended going with the bid from Canadian car parts company Magna International Inc.

Charlesbank Capital Partners has wrapped up its latest fund at its $1.5 billion hard cap, becoming one of only a few firms this year to have a relatively easy time raising money. Read about it in LBO Wire.

The WSJ reports that the U.K. government is going to have a little talk with the country’s alternative investment industry about their attitude to proposed European regulation. Seems the government believes that burying your head in the sand and denying reality isn’t constructive, and that the industry needs to make more of an effort to engage in a dialogue with the EU.

Over at Deal Journal there’s an interview with Peter Cohen, Blackstone Group’s new head of media M&A advisory.

Istithmar’s two top executives in New York are leaving the firm. The New York Post ties the departures to the problems the firm is having with its investment in Barneys. Other reports say there’s not a direct link.

Analysis:
The Financial Times summarizes the what and why of the various personnel shake-ups going on at the top of European private equity firms.

Just for fun: FT’s Alphaville blog has a review of the BBC’s dramatization of the last days of Lehman Brothers, which it calls “utterly, cringeworthingly hilarious.” There’s some excerpts of dialogue which tend to make us agree.

Taunter Media has a suggestion for figuring out which parts of finance to regulate heavily: the boring parts! (Hat tip FT Alphaville)


GlaxoSmithKline downgraded by SocGen

Filed under:

Early this morning, Societe Generale cut GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to "sell" from "hold." The brokerage blamed the downgrade on the "looming threat" of generics to GSK's respiratory drug Advair. SocGen believes the market is "underestimating" the chances for a generic competitor to Advair in the U.S. by 2011.

Technically, the stock is facing resistance at the $40 level -- a level that has provided a hurdle in the past. Along with this potential resistance is the possibility that the equity may slip back below its 20-month moving average. This trendline has acted as resistance in the past, and now that the shares are positioned north of this trendline, it could act as support. The problem is that this trendline is in a sharp descending pattern.

It isn't all bad news for GSK, the good news is that the equity should find some support from its 10-week moving average. With this trendline providing support, any potential drop from this morning's news could be limited.

Continue reading GlaxoSmithKline downgraded by SocGen

GlaxoSmithKline downgraded by SocGen originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 10 Sep 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Intervale-Backed Tejas Adds On

Tejas Completion Solutions, a Houston-based provider of design, engineering and testing services to the completions segment of the oilfield services market, has acquired the inflow control device and reservoir fluid modeling business of Ziebel Tulsa LLC. The deal was financed by Tejas sponsor Intervale Capital. No pricing terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

Tejas Completion Solutions today announced that it has acquired the Inflow Control Device and reservoir fluid modeling business (the “ICD Business”) of Ziebel Tulsa LLC, a subsidiary of Norwegian oilfield service firm Ziebel AS. The ICD Business will be operated as a separate product line within Tejas’ Completion Products unit. The transaction was sponsored by Intervale Capital (”Intervale”), a private equity firm focused on middle market oilfield services investments.

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tejas’ ICD business operations will offer state of the art inflow control technology and provide computational fluid dynamics modeling services to optimize production in horizontal wells. The acquired business line offers cost-efficient, rig-adjustable inflow control products that help increase oil recovery, reduce the risk of sand screen erosion and clogging, and minimize coning problems at the heel of the well.

The ICD Business will be headed by Kristian Brekke, who is one of the original inventors of inflow control technology for sand control and who brings to Tejas over 15 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry. Mr. Brekke joins Tejas as its Chief Scientist overseeing product development for ICDs and fluid modeling services.

Tejas Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hill commented, “The acquisition of the ICD Business represents another major step in Tejas’ strategy of becoming a fully-integrated supplier of cutting-edge, down-hole completion products. ICDs will expand Tejas’ addressable market internationally and will provide direct synergies with our new sand screen business. We are excited to partner with Kristian and his Tulsa-based team.”

Curtis Huff, a Managing Partner at Intervale added, “This transaction adds world class technology to Tejas’ rapidly growing product offering. Tejas is well positioned to experience significant growth based on its broad suite of completion technologies and services.”

Tejas Completion Solutions now provides a full range of down-hole packer and wellbore isolation products, multi-stage T-Frac(R) packer systems, standard and premium sand screen products, inflow control devices, API-6A Merla(R) production chokes and Hemiwedge(R) flow control valves, as well as various gas lift and chemical injection valves. Tejas will continue to provide customers with engineering and HPHT testing services through its newly-constructed research lab in The Woodlands, Texas. Tejas is also commissioning a new 27,000 square foot sand screens manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas. In June, 2009, Tejas acquired the assets of Tulsa-based Team Oil Tools.

About Tejas Completion Solutions:

Tejas was formed in September 2000 by Thomas Hill and key members of Schlumberger’s Camco completions engineering team to create an innovative completions company and develop API-14A subsurface safety valves. Tejas’ engineering team consists of thirteen engineers and designers with an average of over 20 years of experience in the industry. Tejas is based in The Woodlands, Texas, and has manufacturing facilities in Houston, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

About Intervale Capital:

Intervale Capital is a private equity firm, based in Houston and Boston, focused exclusively on investments in middle-market oilfield services companies and related technologies. Intervale, together with its predecessor entities, has ten platform investments.

About Ziebel:

Ziebel, headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, is a respected provider of production optimization solutions. Products and solutions offered include innovative well completion, artificial lift solutions, “MagLev(TM),” as well as services that include fiber optic DTS well logging interventions, “ZipLog(TM)” deployment systems, evaluation of reservoir performance and artificial lift optimization.

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Matthew Allard Joins Thomas Weisel

Matthew Allard has joined Thomas Weisel Partners Group as a managing director focused on financial sponsors. He previously served in the same position with Banc of America Securities.

PRESS RELEASE

Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWPG), a global growth-focused investment bank, today announced that Matthew Allard has joined the firm as a Managing Director in Investment Banking focused on financial sponsors, Hank Lammens has joined the firm as a Managing Director in Trading and Kevin Travis has joined the firm as a Director in Trading focused on the middle markets.

“We believe that a dedicated financial sponsor effort is a natural extension of our deep coverage of the consumer, energy, healthcare, mining and technology sectors. Matt’s efforts in further developing relationships with venture and private equity firms will help drive our investment banking results,” said Bill McLeod, Co-Head of Investment Banking at Thomas Weisel Partners.

Mr. Allard brings over 10 years of industry experience to his role, most recently with Banc of America Securities where he spent four years as a Managing Director covering financial sponsors. Mr. Allard is based in the New York office.

“We are excited to announce Hank’s addition to our New York trading team as he brings established institutional relationships to our platform. Kevin’s focus on growing our middle markets business with our existing team is an integral part of our brokerage strategy and one that we expect to increase over time,” stated Tony Stais, Head of Trading at Thomas Weisel Partners.

Mr. Lammens has over 12 years of experience and joined the firm most recently from Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch. Prior to the merger, Mr. Lammens spent seven years as an institutional trader with Merrill Lynch. Based in the New York office, Mr. Lammens is responsible for covering accounts primarily in Texas and the Northeast.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Travis spent the last six years as a Sales Trader, most recently with Soleil Securities. He will focus his efforts on expanding the firm’s middle market account coverage in the U.S., as well as in Europe. Mr. Travis is based in the San Francisco office.

About Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc.

Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. is an investment bank, founded in 1998, focused principally on the growth sectors of the economy. Thomas Weisel Partners generates revenues from three principal sources: investment banking, brokerage and asset management. The investment banking group is comprised of two disciplines: corporate finance and strategic advisory. The brokerage group provides equity and convertible debt securities sales and trading services to institutional investors, and offers brokerage, advisory and cash management services to high-net-worth individuals and corporate clients. The asset management group consists of: private equity, public equity and distribution management. Thomas Weisel Partners is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Baltimore, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Denver, New York, Portland, Toronto, London and Zurich. For more information, please visit www.tweisel.com.

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Neil Flanagan Joins Welsh Carson

Neil Flanagan has joined Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe as a member of the firm’s Resources Group. He previously was CFO of Honeywell’s consumer products group.
Here is Flanagan’s bio from the WCAS website:

Mr. Flanagan joined WCAS in 2009. At WCAS, Mr. Flanagan is responsible for identifying and implementing financial initiatives across the Firm’s portfolio. He has twenty-seven years of financial experience. Before joining WCAS, he served most recently as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Consumer Products Group, at Honeywell. Prior to joining Honeywell in 2007, he worked at General Electric for twenty-five years in a variety of financial and executive roles in numerous divisions, including GE Money, Industrial Systems, Asset Management, Plastics, Appliances and GE’s Corporate Audit Staff. He received a BA from Vanderbilt University.

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Select Medical Sets IPO Terms

Select Medical Corp., a Mechanicsburg, Penn.-based operator of specialty hospitals, has set its IPO terms to 33.33 million common shares being offered at between $11 and $13 per share. It would have an initial market cap of approximately $1.94 billion, were it to price at the top end of its range.

The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol SEM, with Goldman Sachs, BoA Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley serving as co-lead underwriters.

Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe holds a 65.8% pre-IPO stake, while and Thoma Cressey Bravo holds a 10% stake. www.selectmedicalcorp.com

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Robert Goldbaum Joins Paul Weiss

Robert Goldbaum has agreed to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP as a partner in the firm’s corporate department, with a focus on transactions in the investment management industry. He previously was a principal with HighView Investment Group.

PRESS RELEASE

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announced today that Robert D.  Goldbaum will join the firm as a partner in the Corporate Department, focusing on mergers and acquisitions transactions in the  investment management industry.  He will be resident in the firm’s New York office.

“We are delighted that Rob will be joining Paul, Weiss,” said Brad S. Karp, chair of the firm.  “Rob’s diverse asset management transactions experience, and his unique combination of legal and business acumen, will make a significant contribution to our clients and the firm,” Mr. Karp continued.

Prior to joining Paul, Weiss, Mr. Goldbaum was a principal at HighView Investment Group, an investment management firm targeting acquisitions of minority interests in independent alternative asset managers.  Before that he was a senior vice president focusing on new investments at Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., an asset management holding company.

Robert B. Schumer, chair of Paul, Weiss’s Corporate Department and partner in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group, stated that “Rob is a significant player in asset management transactions, and his substantive and strategic skills will enhance our ability to serve our clients in this arena.  Rob has extraordinary depth and versatility, and has also handled leveraged buyout transactions for mega-buyout funds.”

“The addition of Rob will bolster our capabilities and augment the firm’s leading investment management transactional practice,” added Marco V. Masotti, deputy chair of Paul, Weiss’s Corporate Department and partner in the Investment Funds Group.  “His knowledge and expertise in asset management is a natural fit with the firm’s fund formation practice and roster of clients.”

Mr. Goldbaum previously was a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice group until the end of 2006, focusing primarily on transactions in the asset management industry, including acquisitions and divestitures of investment managers, minority investments in alternative asset management firms, and domestic and international asset management joint ventures.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues at Paul, Weiss and their clients, and believe the firm also offers the ideal platform for continuing to service my existing client relationships,” said Mr. Goldbaum. “Paul, Weiss’s reputation for world-class work as well as its impressive roster of premier financial institution clients, including asset managers of all types, made this an irresistible choice as I considered the next chapter of my career.”

Mr. Goldbaum received a B.A. with distinction from Cornell University in 1989, and a J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992.  He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York Bar Association and the California Bar Association.

Paul, Weiss Mergers and Acquisitions Group
Paul, Weiss’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group consistently ranks among the world’s leading practices, and has been involved in some of the most highly publicized merger, acquisition, divestiture and takeover transactions across the globe.  The firm is well known for its creative and innovative solutions that reflect deep insight into the specialized demands of each transaction and decades of sophisticated experience. The firm regularly represents financial advisers in high-profile public mergers and acquisitions, both contested and negotiated.

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