The killer op

The redefined role of operating experts at private equity firms has enhanced the industry's allure for corporate executives.By Ken MacFadyen

New hire Firm Previous employment Shaun Kingsbury 3i Group ITI Energy (Commercial director) Michael Farello Catterton Partners Dell Inc. (VP consumer electronics) Leo Hindery InterMedia Partners&#42 The YES Network (CEO) Michael Marks Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Flextronics (CEO) Sir Deryck Maughan Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Citigroup International (Chairman and CEO) Bruce Klatsky LNK Partners&#42 Phillips Van Heusen (CEO) Marco De Benedetti The Carlyle Group Telecom Italia Mobile (CEO) Roderick Sherwood The Gores Group Gateway Inc. (CFO) Richard Bressler Thomas H. Lee Partners Viacom (Sr. executive VP and CFO) Andrew Rolfe TowerBrook Capital Partners The Gap (President of Intl. division) John Alm Undetermined Coca Cola (CEO) David Coulter Warburg Pincus JP Morgan (Vice chairman)

Interim ruling in ABRY vs. Providence
The Delaware Court of Chancery has dismissed a number of claims brought against Providence, Rhode Island-based private equity giant Providence Equity by ABRY Partners, but left open the possibility that Providencecan still be held accountable if it is found to have engaged in a ?communication of lies? to ABRY. The case centers on the $500 million sale of former Providence portfolio company F&W Publications to ABRY last year. ABRY claimed in a subsequent suit that F&W, a seller of specialty books, had artificially inflated its EBITDA to command a higher price, and that Providence knew about this. The alleged overstatement in question is was the result of ?channel stuffing? and ?back starting.? The deal was reportedly priced at 10 times EBITDA. In the suit, ABRY is seeking to unwind the transaction. According to a client memo from law firm Goodwin Procter, although Providence signed a certificate the F&W's representations and warranties were true, the firm sought to dismiss ABRY's case, arguing that its liability should be limited to the $20 million indemnification cap negotiated in the sale. The Delaware court ruled that the liability be limited to $20 million, provided it cannot be proved that Providencelied. Court papers allegedly contain a statement by a Providence employee to F&W management that they should ?get [ABRY] to the right EBITDA number.?

TVM adds ?Capital?
TVM, the life sciences and information technology-focused venture capital firm with offices in Boston and Munich, has announced a name change to TVM Capital, effective immediately. The firm was founded in Germany in 1983 as Techno Venture Management. According to a press release, the name change, ?enables the firm to marry its brand heritage with its current position as a leading venture capital investor in innovative life sciences and technology companies in both the US and Europe.? Helmut Schuhsler, managing partner of TVM Capital, said the change ?allows us to provide clarity and focus around what we do – namely, provide capital?? A major focus of the firm is to create ?transnational businesses? that can go public on either European or US stock exchanges.

Hicks Muse changes name
There is no more Hicks Muse Tate & Furst. The Dallas-based buyout firm has changed its name to HM Capital Partners. The move comes less than a year after co-founder Thomas Hicks left the firm to pursue investments from his own family office. The name change was meant to reflect an ?evolution and mark the emergence of a new generation of partners at the firm,? according to HM Capital chairman John Muse. The firm has been at pains to distance itself from the Hicks name following disastrous telecom investments in the early 2000s. Last year, the firm's European arm declared independence and renamed itself Lion Capital. In related news, HM Capital professionals Edward Herring, Eric Lindberg and Jason Downie were named partners.

Clayton Dubilier names IR partner
Thomas Franco, a long-time communications advisor to New York buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, has been named a partner at the firm. Franco is the founder of New York strategic communications firm Broadgate Consultants. He will leave his post as chief executive officer of the firm but remain chairman emeritus. Broadgate Consultant's new CEO is Alexander Leventhal, who formerly served in the president's office of DF King, a Wall Street investment bank. Broadgate is a unit of DF King. Franco founded Broadgate in 1987. Before that he was a securities lawyer in New York. Clayton Dubilier is putting the finishing touches on a new fund that has reportedly drawn roughly $4 billion in LP interest. Clayton Dubilier was founded in 1978 and is currently led by chairman Joseph Rice and chief executive officer Donald Gogel.