Private-equity dealmakers to descend on Philadelphia

What does $125 billion look like?

Save for a serious payroll error, none of us will ever see that many zeroes.

But this week at the Convention Center, there will be 93 private-equity firms who oversee that much capital attending the 2008 M&A East conference.

Now these aren’t the top-tier firms like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. or Blackstone Group. Rather, these are financial firms that hunt for deals in the corporate middle market.

Berwind Corp. , Graham Partners and LLR Partners Inc. are some of the local private-equity firms that will work the rooms on Thursday.

This is the sixth year for the conference, which is organized by the Association for Corporate Growth’s Philadelphia chapter.

Philly Ticker

Weak quarterly sales at Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack sank the Philadelphia auto-parts retailer’s shares last week.

Pep Boys closed Friday at $6.18, down 29 percent, making it the biggest mover among local companies last week. Its same-store sales were down 7.5 percent for its second quarter compared with a year ago.

“We are pleased with our progress on our strategic priorities, but we are disappointed with our sales,” interim CEO Michael R. Odell said on a call with analysts.

One problem area noted by management was its repair business. “We have seen customers repair only what is necessary to safely operate their vehicles rather than to improve their performance or to restore their vehicles to like-new condition,” Odell said.

Annual meetings

This week’s shareholders meetings:

* Hemispherx Biopharma at Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1800 Market St., 10 a.m. (Wednesday.)

* Sedona at the Radisson Hotel, Valley Forge, 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia, 10 a.m. (Thursday.)