American Capital Strategies, a Bethesda-based buyout fund, invested $71 million in Life-Like Products. Life-Like is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of expanded polystyrene foam consumer and industrial products like picnic coolers, as well as a marketer and distributor of hobby trains, train sets and race cars. American Capital, which owns about 80 percent of Life-Like, is also providing a revolving credit facility. In another deal, American Capital invested $74 million in the recapitalization of Directed Electronics Inc., a diversified consumer electronics company and the world's largest designer and marketer of vehicle security and convenience systems. The company's products include vehicle security systems, GPS tracking units and keyless entry devices that are marketed under brands such as Viper, Clifford, Python and Hornet, and home and car audio systems marketed under the a/d/s, Precision Power, Orion and Xtreme brands. Company management retains an equity investment in Directed Electronics. Trivest Partners, a private investment firm based in Miami, is majority owner.


Ritz-Carlton Hotel of Chevy Chase plans to open a luxury hotel in China in fall 2006 in Beijing's Financial Street area, the capital city's emerging financial district. The 256-room hotel -- Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, Finance Street -- is to be the hotel chain's second in the city. The Ritz-Carlton's other Beijing property, a 320-room hotel, is to open in late 2006.

First Potomac Realty Trust of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust that acquires and operates industrial properties in the District, Virginia and Maryland, announced the pricing of a follow-on offering of 4.8 million common shares at $17.60 per share. The net proceeds are to be about $80 million. The company plans to use the proceeds to fund the cash portion of its previously announced acquisition, to pay down the balance on its revolving line of credit and for general corporate and working capital purposes, including possible future acquisitions.

Jacobs Gardner Supply Company/Penny Wise Office Products of Bowie said Kathryn Morley and Gary Luiza bought the office supply company from founder Daniel Grossman. Terms were not disclosed.

Marriott International of Bethesda said its board elected two new members: Richard S. Braddock, chairman at the private equity firm MidOcean Partners; and Debra L. Lee, president and chief operating officer of Black Entertainment Television, a media and entertainment company owned by Viacom.


QuadraMed of Reston said it sold $100 million of convertible preferred stock in a private, unregistered offering to qualified institutional buyers at $25 a share. The health care information technology company had previously announced its intent to sell up to $94 million of such preferred stock, but the amount was increased as a result of strong demand.

Circuit City Stores of Richmond said its board authorized a $200 million increase in the company's stock repurchase authorization, raising the total to $400 million. As of May 31, the chain of consumer electronics stores had repurchased and retired 15 million shares at a cost of $155.4 million.


CarrAmerica Realty signed three new office management contracts in Washington and Northern Virginia, bringing the company's third-party management portfolio to a total of 6.4 million square feet in the area. The offices are at 919 18th St. in the District, 1735 N. Lynn St. in Rosslyn and 8550 Arlington Blvd. in Fairfax.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.

An artist's conception of the Ritz-Carlton's second Beijing hotel, which the Maryland-based chain said will open in 2006.