CME Group and Oman Investment Fund to increase investments in Dubai Mercantile Exchange

Dubai Holding Retains 9% Stake – Partnership Will Build on Volume Growth with Increased Investment and Support

LONDON and DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, and Oman Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman, today announced that they will increase their investments in the Dubai Mercantile Exchange to enable it to continue growing its business.

As part of the restructuring of the DME’s equity shareholding, a recapitalization arrangement will increase the stake in DME held by CME Group’s NYMEX division from 25 percent to 50 percent.  Oman Investment Fund will increase its holding to 29 percent; a subsidiary of Dubai Holding will retain 9 percent; and 12 percent will be held on a non-voting basis by strategic investors, including Vitol, Shell, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Concord Energy.

Bryan Durkin, CME Group Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Products and Services, said: “The deepening of our relationship with DME further serves our strategy of providing risk managers and investors with access to key benchmark products via our global distribution networks.  By committing CME Group’s resources and know-how to DME’s increasingly well-received product set, participants in the Middle East and Asia will be able to access transparent pricing and risk management products as global energy markets focus ever further eastward.”

Hassan Al Nabhani, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Investment Fund, said: “DME’s development into a prominent venue for price discovery will prove to be of significant strategic and financial value for the oil markets. The exchange continues to attract customers from among the key participants in the global energy industry.  Our long-standing partnership with CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, is building the platform for the next phase in DME’s development.”

Ahmad Bin Byat, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Holding, said: “Our partners’ increased investment in the DME is a vote of confidence in the future growth of the exchange.  Today’s announcement marks a new phase in the development of the DME and we look forward to building on the real progress which has been made to date.”

Ahmad Sharaf, Chairman of the DME, said: “We welcome the continued commitment of our partners. With liquidity in the flagship Oman crude oil futures contract steadily growing and physical delivery reaching new heights in 2011, this recapitalization positions the DME to enter the next phase of development for existing and future customers seeking to manage price risk for crude oil markets East of Suez.”

To build on the success of the partnership to date, the new arrangement puts a robust plan in place to grow the business and ensure that it continues to deliver value to its customers and investors.  With the injection of new funds, the DME will retain its independence while benefiting from technology updates, product development support, technical services and CME Group’s skills and expertise in developing global markets.

In 2011, the DME delivered more than 145 million barrels of crude oil – a year-on-year trading volume growth of 19%.  Average Daily Volume (ADV) rose to 3,505 contracts, peaking at 4,427 in July, representing the highest monthly ADV since the DME began trading in 2007. New records in total volume were also set in consecutive months during July and August, the latter seeing 95,440 contracts traded.  Physical delivery of the DME Oman contract also grew through 2011, with an average of 12.115 million barrels of crude oil delivered each month and a new monthly record of 15.4 million barrels set in September.

About the CME Group

As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group (www.cmegroup.com) is where the world comes to manage risk.  CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather and real estate.  CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its CME Globex® electronic trading platform and its trading facilities in New York and Chicago.  CME Group also operates CME Clearing, one of the world’s leading central counterparty clearing providers, which offers clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts, as well as for over-the-counter derivatives transactions through CME ClearPort®.  These products and services ensure that businesses everywhere can substantially mitigate counterparty credit risk in both listed and over-the-counter derivatives markets.

About Oman Investment Fund

Oman Investment Fund is a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Oman. Founded in 2006, the fund focuses on investments in medium and long term projects in the private equity and real estate. The fund is based in Muscat, Oman and has a global investment mandate.

About Dubai Holding

Dubai Holding develops and manages an extensive portfolio of financial and real estate assets throughout the world.

Dubai Holding manages two business groups:

Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHIG), develops and manages world-class commercial and residential real estate and hospitality investments through four operating units; TECOM Investments, Dubai Property Group, Jumeirah Group and Emirates International Telecommunications.

Dubai Holding Investment Group (DHIG) includes diversified financial services offerings, banking, insurance and private equity.  DHIG’s operating units are Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital.

For more information on Dubai Holding, please visit www.dubaiholding.com

About the Dubai Mercantile Exchange

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME) is the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, providing a financially secure, well-regulated and transparent trading environment. The DME is majority owned by core shareholders CME Group, the Oman Investment Fund (OIF), and Dubai Holding). Global financial institutions and energy trading firms such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Shell, Vitol and Concord Energy have taken equity stakes in the DME, providing the exchange with a resounding vote of confidence by major players in global energy markets.

The exchange has developed and trades the DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract, addressing the growing market need for price discovery of sour crude oil destined for East of Suez markets, while simultaneously bridging the time-zone gap between Europe and Asia.  Launched in June 2007, DME Oman is the largest physically delivered crude oil futures contract in the world.

The DME is a fully electronic exchange, and its contracts are listed on the CME Globex® platform, the world’s leading electronic trading platform, providing access to the broadest array of futures and options products available on any exchange. The DME is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and all trades executed on the exchange are cleared through and guaranteed by NYMEX (a member of CME Group), which is regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  and is a  Recognized Body by the DFSA.

For the latest trading volumes on the DME, please visit: www.dubaimerc.com

Historical DME trading data can be found at: www.dubaimerc.com/historical.aspx

To register for daily updates, please visit: www.dubaimerc.com/daily_updates_reg.asp

CME Group is a trademark of CME Group Inc. The Globe Logo, CME, Globex and Chicago Mercantile Exchange are trademarks of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.  CBOT and the Chicago Board of Trade are trademarks of the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc.  NYMEX, New York Mercantile Exchange and ClearPort are registered trademarks of New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc.  COMEX is a trademark of Commodity Exchange, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Further information about CME Group (NASDAQ: CME) and its products can be found at www.cmegroup.com.

CME-G

SOURCE CME Group

American Industrial Partners Announces the Sale of Ichor Systems

NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – American Industrial Partners, a middle-market private equity group that is focused on acquiring and improving North American-headquartered industrial businesses, announced the sale of Ichor Systems (“Ichor”).  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ichor is a leading global designer and manufacturer of process tools, gas delivery modules, and chemical delivery modules purchased by original equipment manufacturers for use in the global semiconductor, alternative energy, LED, data storage, and flat panel display markets.  American Industrial Partners acquired Ichor in October 2009 at the trough of the semiconductor equipment market.

Headquartered in Tualatin, OR, Ichor employs approximately 540 employees over a global footprint, including operations in Malaysia and Singapore.  The Company’s gas and fluid management products and systems are used to produce: microelectronic semiconductor chips, solar panels, LEDs, superconductor wire and thin film magnetic heads.  Ichor has established strategic relationships with leading OEMs and serves as a design partner and outsourced manufacturer for its customers’ most critical products.

“The success of our Ichor investment was driven by our close partnership with an extraordinary Ichor management team.  During our ownership of Ichor, management, working closely with American Industrial Partners, rapidly effected an agenda of operating improvements such as: diversification of the core business into new markets including LED lighting and data storage as well as our relocation of operations to Singapore and Malaysia,” said Joel Stanwood, an American Industrial Partners associate.  “American Industrial Partners is primarily comprised of engineers and operators who support management in achieving growth objectives for their business.  In our Ichor investment, we not only achieved significant gains through lean manufacturing and low cost country sourcing, but also executed a transforming add-on acquisition and helped Ichor establish an impressive pipeline of new revenue opportunities.”

David Shimmon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ichor, said, “American Industrial Partners had both a unique insight into the semi industry at its 2009 trough and the deep technical skills to successfully work with management to execute numerous operational enhancements.  During management’s partnership with American Industrial Partners, Ichor has diversified into entirely new product markets and developed industry leading operational capabilities in Asia.  The Ichor team greatly values American Industrial Partners’ contribution to the success of the company and, with this chapter in our development now concluded, we look forward to continued growth.”

American Industrial Partners has a long record of successful investing in the industrial economy as demonstrated by prior fund exits that include: Stanadyne Corporation, Bucyrus International, Stolle Machinery Company and MECS, Inc.  On December 15, 2011, American Industrial Partners announced the first and final closing of American Industrial Partners Capital Fund V, L.P. (“Fund V”) at $700.0 million, excluding the GP commitment of $17.5 million. American Industrial Partners exceeded its target of $500 million and closed at its hard cap with broad support from both existing and new investors.


Background of American Industrial Partners

American Industrial Partners is an operationally oriented middle-market private equity firm that makes control investments in North American-based industrial businesses serving domestic and global markets.  American Industrial Partners has deep roots in the industrial economy and has been active in private equity investing since 1989. To date, the firm has completed over 30 transactions and is currently managing more than $1.1 billion in equity capital.  American Industrial Partners invests in all forms of corporate divestitures, management buyouts, recapitalizations, and going-private transactions of established businesses with revenues of $100 million to $500 million.

SOURCE American Industrial Partners

Resilience Capital Partners Acquires Weaber, Inc.

CLEVELAND, Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Resilience Capital Partners (www.resiliencecapital.com), a Cleveland-based private equity firm, has completed the acquisition of Weaber, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1941, Weaber, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading hardwood lumber producers. The Company is headquartered in Lebanon, PA and employs over 300 people. Weaber’s products include Surfaced Four Sides “S4S” boards, flooring and moulding products which consist of a variety of lumber species including oak, poplar and maple. The Company’s products are sold throughout the United States and internationally.

Resilience was able to negotiate a Letter of Intent and navigate to a successful close in a short amount of time. Company President, Matt Weaber, stated that “Resilience has been a great partner to work with. They came into a difficult situation with our bank group and quickly provided both financial and operational stability during an extremely challenging time in the lumber industry.”

“We are excited about acquiring a well-regarded market leader such as Weaber and look forward to writing a new chapter of growth in the Company’s proud 70+ year history under Matt’s leadership,” said Ki Mixon, a Principal at Resilience. Weaber will be Resilience’s second acquisition along with Taylor Lumber (acquired in 2010) under its platform investment focused on niche building supplies. Mr. Mixon added, “The Weaber acquisition effectively complements the strengths of Taylor Lumber by broadening the merged companies’ product mix and produces key operational and sales and marketing synergies.”

The Weaber acquisition is consistent with Resilience’s investment strategy of focusing on industries where it has an identified investment thesis. “A core tenet of our investment philosophy is that market leading companies that remain focused on operational excellence can perform very well and gain market share in today’s challenging environment,” added Bassem Mansour, one of Resilience’s Co-CEOs and founders.

About Resilience Capital Partners
Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, Resilience Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with a team of in-house operating experts that bring large company resources to the lower middle market. Founded in 2001, Resilience’s value oriented investment strategy focuses on acquiring companies experiencing a variety of special situations within a broad range of industries. Since its inception Resilience has invested in 22 companies under 16 platforms, together representing over $2 billion in revenue and over 5,000 employees. Resilience manages private equity funds with capital under management in excess of $250 million. For more information please visit www.resiliencecapital.com.

About Weaber, Inc.
Headquartered in Lebanon, PA, Weaber, Inc. is one of the largest single-site hardwood lumber sawmills and secondary processors in the US. Weaber focuses on added value hardwood products sold to distributors, contractors, the DIY chains, and co-ops. Weaber manufactures a wide range of lumber products including S4S boards, flooring, kiln-dried random width lumber, mouldings, stair parts, finger jointed products, and edge-glued products.

Contact Information
Ki Mixon
Resilience Capital Partners
216-292-0503

Jawbone Secures $40M in Growth Funding From Leading Investors

Deutsche Telekom, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Yuri Milner Invest in Jawbone

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Jawbone, a leading innovator in products and services for the mobile lifestyle, today announced it has just received a combined $40 million in funding from Deutsche Telekom, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, private investor Yuri Milner, and investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

“We are experiencing fantastic growth and the worldwide demand for our mobile lifestyle products and services is unprecedented,” said Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone. ”This new group of investors – with their world-class expertise in mobile, consumer Internet and technology, and international markets – will help us achieve the next level of expansion.”

The new capital brings Jawbone’s funding from investors to date close to $210 million, and will allow the company to broaden its end-to-end offerings and its global footprint. Deutsche Telekom, with its presence in over 50 countries worldwide, is Jawbone’s key strategic and lead carrier partner for Jawbone’s European expansion.

“We’re thrilled to be launching our products in Europe with Deutsche Telekom,” said Rahman. “Having the support of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Mary Meeker, who has predicted and helped guide some of the biggest technology trends in history; Bing Gordon, who is a master when it comes to engaging software and services; and Yuri Milner, who is a leading international investor with deep knowledge of building successful global companies, further sets us up for success. Working together, we’ll keep pushing the boundaries to deliver compelling solutions for the mobile lifestyle, on a global scale.”

The new backers join Jawbone’s existing investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

For more information, images and product demos, please visit www.Jawbone.com/Press , or follow @Jawbone on Twitter.

About Jawbone
For more than a decade, Jawbone has developed products and services for the mobile lifestyle unparalleled in their innovation, ease-of-use and sophistication of design. The company is the creator of the award-winning and best-selling premium Jawbone ICON™ Bluetooth headset; the inventor of NoiseAssassin® technology, the world’s first and only military-grade noise-eliminating technology; JAMBOX, the first intelligent wireless speaker and speakerphone; UP, a wristband and app system that tracks daily activity, sleep patterns and eating habits to help users live a healthier life; as well as THOUGHTS, a free mobile service that allows users to utilize their voice in a new way. A 2010 IDSA Design of the Decade winner, Jawbone is committed to delivering innovative products that improve the mobile lifestyle through ever-changing software and wearability. Jawbone is privately-held and headquartered in San Francisco.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with over 128 million mobile customers, around 35 million fixed-network lines and nearly 17 million broadband lines (as of September 30, 2011). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in over 50 countries and has approximately 238,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 62.4 billion in the 2010 financial year – more than half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2010).

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in more than 500 ventures including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign, webMD and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 350,000 people worldwide. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public, and many other KPCB ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. KPCB focuses its global investments in three practice areas – digital, greentech and life sciences – and provides entrepreneurs with company-building expertise out of its offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Shanghai.

About J.P. Morgan Asset Management
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with assets under supervision of approximately $1.9 trillion and assets under management of $1.3 trillion (as of 3/31/11), is a global leader in investment management. J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s clients include institutions, retail investors and high-net worth individuals in every major market throughout the world. J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity and liquidity. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the parent company of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, is a leading global asset management firm with assets of approximately $2.1 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the marketing name for the asset management businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Those businesses include, but are not limited to, J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., Security Capital Research & Management Incorporated, and J.P. Morgan Alternative Asset Management, Inc.

SOURCE Jawbone

RELATED LINKS
http://www.jawbone.com

Wingstop Names David Vernon Senior Vice President of Development

 

Vernon promoted to oversee Wingstop franchise development, construction and real estate departments

WINGSTOP DAVID VERNON</p>
<p>David Vernon, Wingstop Senior Vice President of Development.  (PRNewsFoto/Wingstop)<br />
RICHARDSON, TX UNITED STATES<br />

RICHARDSON, Texas, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Rapidly-expanding Wingstop, which recently opened its 500th restaurant, has promoted David Vernon to Senior Vice President of Development. In his new role, Vernon will oversee the franchise development, construction and real estate departments.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120104/DA29933)

“Since joining the Wingstop family, Dave has produced outstanding results and cultivated relationships with new franchise groups and existing brand partners,” said Jim Flynn, Wingstop president and CEO. “As our new senior vice president of development he will be even more involved in spearheading the company’s overall growth and development as we open 60 new restaurants in 2012.”

Vernon joined Wingstop in October 2010 as vice president of franchise sales. Under his leadership, Wingstop has signed franchise agreements to result in more than 150 new restaurant openings in the U.S. and 120 new openings in Mexico.

With more than 20 years of restaurant franchise experience, Vernon previously spent 13 years as vice president of sales at Sonic Corporation. Prior to that, he held development positions for Brinker International, Pizza Inn, Inc., USA Cafes and Signature Foods.

Vernon is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Journalism.

About Wingstop:

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Wingstop has 500 restaurants open across the United States and Mexico. The Wingstop menu features 10 wing flavors including Original Hot, Cajun, Atomic, Mild, Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Hawaiian, Garlic Parmesan, Hickory Smoked BBQ and the newest offering, Louisiana Rub. Wings are made fresh, cooked-to-order and customers can also choose from homemade side dishes including Wingstop’s award winning fresh-cut seasoned fries. Wingstop has experienced eight consecutive years of positive sales increases, was named a Top 10 Best Franchise Deal by QSR magazine, was crowned Wing King at the National Buffalo Wing Festival and has been voted ‘best wings’ in markets across the country. Troy Aikman, three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback, has served as the chain’s national spokesman since 2003 and recently joined the Wingstop Board of Directors. Wingstop was acquired in 2010 by Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in business and consumer service companies with attractive growth prospects and revenues ranging from $20 million to $1.0 billion. For more information visit wingstop.com, wingstopfranchise.com or facebook.com/Wingstop.

SOURCE Wingstop

RELATED LINKS
http://www.wingstop.com

Revelry Brands Acquires PACT Apparel, Inc

Acquisition augments Revelry’s portfolio of LOHAS companies

BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Revelry Brands (Revelry), a Boulder-based investment firm focused on providing growth-stage private equity to unique, innovative businesses in the natural foods and consumer products categories, announced today that it has acquired the Berkeley-based apparel company, PACT Apparel, Inc.

The transaction, which closed on December 21, 2011, represents the first acquisition by Revelry Brands since its founding in 2009. Revelry’s other investments include Only Natural Pet Store, EVOL Foods, Siggi’s Dairy, and Data Garden.

“Revelry’s acquisition of PACT extends our reach into LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) consumer categories,” said Brendan Synnott, Founder of Revelry Brands. Our unique understanding of the natural foods consumer coupled with our experience building strong, growth-oriented teams will allow us to accelerate growth through new distribution in the medium-term, and build an innovative apparel lifestyle platform in the long-term.”

In the next 18 months, Revelry will focus on building the PACT team, new product development and strategically expanding distribution.

Jason Kibbey and Jeff Denby founded PACT in 2009. The two wanted to develop an apparel company with a line of premium organic cotton basics that offers consumers sustainably manufactured products connected to powerful social and environmental causes while still being beautifully designed, luxurious in fit, and accessible in price. PACT launched its first product line, organic cotton underwear for men and women, in 2009.  In 2011, Pact expanded its product line to include men and women’s t-shirts and socks. All products give back to causes; past non-profit partners have included Sierra Club, Oceana, Citizen Effect, and more. This season, PACT teamed up with Architecture for Humanity to support the design and construction of a workhouse for a cooperative of 15 fishermen in Shizugawa, a Japanese town nearly destroyed by the earthquake and resulting tsunami in March.

About Revelry Brands
Revelry Brands is an investment firm focused on providing growth-stage private equity to unique, innovative businesses in the natural foods and consumer products categories. Our companies have management teams with proven track records, innovative offerings, and authentic stories that translate into successful lifestyle brands. Revelry’s commitment to investing hands-on operational expertise alongside our investment capital allows us to work with exceptional people and companies who are truly looking for a partner.

Founded in 2009, Revelry Brands is led by the former co-founder and CEO of Bear Naked and is advised by a seasoned team of financial stalwarts and LOHAS industry innovators. Revelry Brands is based in Boulder, CO. Please visit www.revelrybrands.com for more information.

For more information, contact:
Lindsay Whitcher
Lindsay@revelrybrands.com
303.579.5792

SOURCE Revelry Brands

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http://www.revelrybrands.com

Littlejohn & Co. Announces Leadership Promotions

Michael Klein Named CEO; Brian Ramsay Elevated to President

GREENWICH, Conn., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Littlejohn & Co., LLC, a private investment firm, announced today senior leadership promotions: Michael Klein, President, has been named CEO, and Brian Ramsay has been promoted to President from his position as Managing Director.  Angus Littlejohn will continue as Chairman.

“This organizational realignment recognizes the contributions of Michael and Brian and is a natural evolution for our firm as we move forward. Just as we focus on improving our investments, it is equally important that we further institutionalize our organization and plan for its long-term direction and management,” said Mr. Littlejohn.  “I remain fully committed to the firm and we are fortunate to have in Michael and Brian the management excellence that enables us to establish an orderly transition to the next generation of leadership.”

Mr. Klein, who has served as President since inception and is now CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce Brian’s promotion. He has been a major contributor to many of our successful investments and has played an increasing role in the firm’s management.  His new position as President recognizes the increased responsibilities he has assumed and will further improve the effectiveness of our management of the firm.”

Mr. Ramsay, said, “Together, we have built a leading middle market firm that demonstrates consistent success and we are very proud of our investment record. I have worked with Angus and Michael and the senior team at Littlejohn for the past 14 years and thank them for their support. We have an outstanding group of individuals in this organization and I look forward to playing a leading role in the ongoing development of the firm.”

Mr. Littlejohn, as Chairman, will remain active in strategy, oversight, investment committee and professional development of the organization. He will also advise on operational restructuring initiatives, a hallmark of the firm.

Littlejohn is currently investing from the $1.3 billion Littlejohn Fund IV, and a distressed opportunities fund.  Since its founding by Messrs. Littlejohn and Klein in 1996, the firm has grown to more than 25 private equity and distressed security investment and operating professionals.

About Littlejohn & Co., LLC

Littlejohn & Co. is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity and distressed securities firm focused on investing in middle-market companies that are undergoing a fundamental change in capital structure, strategy, operations or growth that can benefit from its operational and strategic approach.  The firm is currently investing from Littlejohn Fund IV, L.P., which has over $1.3 billion in capital commitments.  For more information, visit www.littlejohnllc.com.

Contact: Chris Tofalli
Chris Tofalli Public Relations, LLC
914-834-4334

SOURCE Littlejohn & Co., LLC

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http://www.littlejohnllc.com

Green Courte Partners Acquires Avenue of the Arts Parking Garage in Philadelphia

LAKE FOREST, Ill., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Green Courte Partners, LLC, a private equity investment firm targeting niche real estate sectors, such as parking garages and lots, announced today the acquisition of the Avenue of the Arts Parking Garage (the “Garage”), located in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Garage is a ten-level, 668-space, self-park parking garage with 17,272 square feet of ground level retail that is currently 100% occupied by Starbucks Coffee Company, Buca di Beppo, an Italian restaurant owned by Planet Hollywood, and Fox and Hound, a sports/entertainment restaurant owned by a Kansas-based operator. Located at the intersection of 15th and Spruce Streets, the Garage is conveniently located near multiple office, cultural, and retail/restaurant destinations as well as several nearby apartment towers. As the closest major parking garage to Philadelphia’s renowned Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Garage serves as the primary parking facility for all events that take place at that venue.

Commenting on the acquisition, Randy Rowe, Chairman of Green Courte Partners, LLC, stated, “The Avenue of the Arts Garage is one of the premier self-parking parking garages in Philadelphia. We have long targeted a parking investment in Philadelphia as the city’s strong and diversified economy makes it one the nation’s top parking markets. With the Garage’s location near The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, we have acquired a property which has multiple demand generators driving utilization at all times of the day and throughout the week.”

Mr. Rowe continued, “With this acquisition, we now own 19 parking properties representing more than 38,000 parking spaces around the nation. We believe that the next several years will present a continuing opportunity to acquire strong CBD and near-airport parking properties and our team is dedicated to achieving success within our parking strategy.”

About Green Courte Partners, LLC

Green Courte Partners, LLC is a Chicago-based private equity real estate investment firm targeting niche real estate sectors, including parking assets and land-lease/manufactured housing communities. The firm combines focused investment strategies with a disciplined approach to transaction execution and asset management. Green Courte’s goal is to invest in high quality assets that will generate attractive risk-adjusted returns over a long-term holding period. For additional information, please visit www.GreenCourtePartners.com.
SOURCE Green Courte Partners, LLC

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http://www.greencourtepartners.com

WTAS Promotes Three Directors in New York

WTAS LOGO</p>
<p>WTAS LLC Logo. (PRNewsFoto/WTAS)<br />
SAN FRANCISCO, CA UNITED STATES<br />

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Three Directors in WTAS New York were promoted to Managing Director. The internal promotes included Joseph R. Kluemper who serves the firm’s international private client services practice, Carl C. Fiore who is a lead member of the firm’s estate planning group and Janet Peng who works with the alternative investment fund practice. Peng joined WTAS in 2008 while Fiore and Kluemper have both been with WTAS since inception in 2002.

“These three individuals bring a myriad of expertise to the table, including international taxation, family wealth planning and private equity services,” said Joe Toce, the firm’s Office Managing Director for New York.

Combined, these Managing Directors bring nearly 40 years of experience to the firm.

“Janet, Carl and Joe have all shown the absolute commitment to our clients and our firm, alongside the outstanding technical proficiency it takes to be a leader here at WTAS. We continue to grow our practice in New York and across the firm with the goal of being best-in-class,” commented WTAS CEO, Mark Vorsatz.

Kluemper, Peng and Fiore are three of the five total promoted to Managing Director across the firm, bringing the total Managing Director count at WTAS to 105.

For additional information about Joseph R. Kluemper, Carl Fiore, Janet Peng or WTAS, contact Megan Williams or visit www.wtas.com.

About WTAS

WTAS LLC is one of the largest independent tax firms in the United States, providing a wide range of tax, valuation, financial advisory and related consulting services to individual and corporate clients across the country. The firm is comprised of over 500 personnel located in 14 major cities and encompasses top advisors with previous experience in the international accounting firms, law firms, IRS and state taxing authorities. Our advisors hold multiple professional credentials and have depth in a wide range of capabilities allowing us to provide clients with comprehensive, integrated solutions.

WTAS has offices serving Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Greenwich, Harrisburg, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York City, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach.

http://www.wtas.com

SOURCE WTAS

RELATED LINKS
http://www.wtas.com

Freepoint Commodities Hires Michael Gamson, Expanding Team of Experienced Traders

GREENWICH, Conn., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Freepoint Commodities LLC, a physical commodity trading and marketing company with more than $300 million in committed equity capital, today announced it has hired Michael Gamson, an international energy trader with more than 30 years of experience, as a Senior Managing Director in charge of developing a domestic refined petroleum products business.

Gamson, who specializes in physical arbitrage, futures trading, and refining and marketing in the oil products business, joins a growing team of experienced traders at Freepoint, a company founded by former Sempra Energy Trading executives. Since Freepoint commenced trading on June 1, 2011, the company has hired more than 25 traders, and established offices in Greenwich, Conn., Houston, Texas, Louisville, Ky., and Boise, Idaho, and foreign offices in London, U.K. and Toronto, Canada.

Gamson was most recently part of the management team at Vitol, serving as a senior partner, shareholder and vice chairman of its trading committee. Over 13 years beginning in 1996, he helped grow Vitol into the largest physical oil trading company in the world. He retired from Vitol in 2009.  Gamson began his career in 1979 with the commodity trading firm Philipp Brothers in Los Angeles, Calif. and managed the company’s Greenwich, Conn.-based clean products trading business from 1986 to 1990.  From 1990 to 1996, Gamson was a partner in Amerada Hess’s startup of a physical and paper oil trading platform.

“When we founded Freepoint Commodities, our vision was to assemble a team of the most experienced traders in the business. Michael Gamson, with a proven track record in international energy trading for more than 30 years, exemplifies this vision,” said David A. Messer, CEO of Freepoint. “We have known Michael for a long time, and are very excited to have him join the growing Freepoint team.”

“I have long been impressed with the trading platforms that David Messer and Frank Gallipoli built at AIG and Sempra Energy Trading.  I have known both David and Frank for more than 20 years and there are no two people I would rather work with on a start-up venture,” said Gamson.  “There is an enormous opportunity to recreate those successful trading platforms at Freepoint, and I am delighted to join this effort as both a trader and senior investor.”

About Freepoint Commodities

Founded by former Sempra Energy Trading executives, Freepoint Commodities is based in Greenwich, CT with 100 employees worldwide. Freepoint Commodities initiated trading and marketing in June 2011 and operates North American Natural Gas and North American and European Power groups out of locations in Connecticut, Texas, and Kentucky in the United States, as well as in Toronto, Canada, and London, United Kingdom.  Management, employees and private equity funds managed by Stone Point Capital have provided the initial equity capital for the company.

Media Contacts:

Ruby Landow
Vice President, Business Manager
+1 203 542 6012
info@freepointcommodities.com

Janine Savarese
RF|Binder
+1 212 994 7608
Janine.savarese@rfbinder.com

SOURCE Freepoint Commodities LLC

RELATED LINKS
http://www.freepoint.com