NORTH AMERICA IN BRIEF

CFOS IN FEAR OF LP DEFAULT
A third of the roughly 200 private equity chief financial officers and chief operation officers at the Private Equity International CFO and COO forum in New York said they expected to see limited partner defaults in future, while 9 percent have recently experienced defaults by their LPs. According to the survey, 33 percent of respondents expected to see more LP defaults in the future; 38 percent did not; and 29 percent were not sure.

TZP COMPLETES DEBUT DEAL
New York-based private equity firm TZP Group, founded in 2007, has executed its maiden transaction, investing $20 million in online marketing and production services company avVenta Worldwide. The firm, which looked at around 150 transactions last year, is raising an undisclosed amount for its first fund.

WARBURG READIES TECHNOLOGY FIRM FOR ADD-ONS
Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus has made a $175 million investment in speech and image technology company Nuance Communications that will be used for future acquisitions. Warburg, which has a long history of investing in technology companies, took a large stake in the company in 2005.

ONEX CUTS FUND TARGET
Publicly listed Canadian alternative asset manager Onex Corporation is cutting the final target for its latest private equity fund, Onex Partners III, to $4 billion from $4.5 billion. The reduction is a result of the firm cutting its balance sheet commitment to the fund by $500 million from $1 billion, although it can increase its commitment in the future.

VECTOR CAPITAL BUYS SOFTWARE COMPANY
San Francisco-basedVector Capital has agreed to take software maker Aladdin Knowledge Systems private for roughly $160 million at $11.50 per share. Aladdin had previously rejected Vector's unsolicited offer of $13 per share in August on the basis that it “significantly undervalue[d] the company and its prospects for the future”.

KKR TARGETS $4BN FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
NewYork-based buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is reportedly targeting $4 billion for its debut infrastructure fund. Last May KKR made public plans to launch a global infrastructure initiative, and has been building up its infrastructure team by adding, among others, Bill Bryson, John Brookout and Clint Johnstone as advisers.

JPMORGAN GROUP INVESTS IN RURAL INTERNET
JPMorgan private equity unit One Equity Partners has invested $100 million in broadband company Open Range Communications, allowing the company to access $267 million in loans from the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program. One Equity recently saw an agreed deal to purchase TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online for $300 million fall through.

AVISTA-BACKED PAPER FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Avista Capital Partners-backed Star Tribune Co., which owns the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, has collapsed into bankruptcy under a heavy debt load and dwindling sales. Avista bought the Star Tribune, which at the time was the largest newspaper in the Twin Cities area ofMinneapolis, for $530 million inMarch 2007.

KAYNE HOLDS INITIAL CLOSE FOR FIFTH ENERGY FUND
Alternative investment firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors has raised $700 million towards its $1.6 billion Kayne Anderson Energy FundV, with a second close scheduled for the first half of the year.

FIRST EQUITY TO BUY MORTGAGES
US private equity firm First Equity Capital is set to close its debut fund on $100 million in the next three months. The fund, established in 2008 by First Equity Mortgage and home insurance firm new Vision Title, will buy pools of badly performing mortgages.

TPG AND GS CAPITAL MAKE HISTORIC EXIT
US private equity firms TPG and GS Capital Partners closed the largest-ever private equity exit with the $28 billion sale of wireless carrier Alltel to Verizon in January. The two firms, which purchased Alltel in June 2007, will make $1.3 billion from the deal. Meanwhile, TPG announced it is cutting the size of its financial services-focused fund, TPG Financial Partners, which closed on $6 billion in 2008, by roughly $1.5 billion. The move was made in part to give some relief to capital-constrained limited partners.