BUYOUT KING, QUEEN

The degrees of separation between David Bonderman, the multi-talented founder of Texas Pacific Group, and Queen Latifah, the multi-talented recording artist, movie actress and television personality: the two are linked through a recent Hollywood studio buyout backed by private equity.

▪David Bonderman is a top performer among GPs. His firm, Texas Pacific Group, has been behind some of private equity's biggest success stories, including the turnaround of Continental Airlines. Texas Pacific was part of a trio of buyout firms, including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Providence Equity Partners, that recently agreed to back Sony's buyout of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for nearly $3 billion. Leading that deal is the head of Sony America…

▪Howard Stringer, who reportedly has a vision to shift MGM's fabled, tarnished movie-production unit to Sony and mine the studio's rich library of movies for digital distribution. To win the deal, Stringer negotiated fiercely with lead MGM shareholder…

▪Kirk Kerkorian, the elusive mogul who has bought and sold MGM before – with eerily perfect timing. In 1999, Kerkorian handed the reins of MGM to Hollywood outsider…

▪Alex Yemenidjian, a no-nonsense, profit-focused manager who, in rejuvenating MGM, cut back on pricy movie projects in favor of smaller-budget features. Among the biggest successes in this later category have been “Barbershop” and “Barbershop 2”, starring…

▪Queen Latifah, whose early career as a rapper blossomed into movies and a television talk show. Latifah was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in “Chicago”. MGM is about to release a “Barbershop” spinoff called “Beauty Shop” starring Latifah. Friends know Latifah by her birth name, Dana Owens; friends call Bonderman Bondo. In their respective fields, no one out-blings Latifah or Bondo.