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Technical issues delayed this morning's wire. We apologize.
 
We have a big fintech deal this Thursday morning. Cross River Bank, which provides banking services for financial technology companies, has raised $100 million. KKR is leading the round and is injecting three-quarters of the funding. Cross River raised $28 million in late 2016 from Battery Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Ribbit Capital, which also participated in the current round. Find out who else invested here.
 
Bubble fears: Leon Black, co-founder of Apollo Global Management, joined the choir of execs worried about the credit market. “The credit markets, unlike the equity markets, have gone to bubble status,” Black said at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services conference yesterday, Bloomberg said. "The amount of covenant-less debt is more than 2007. You have a thirst for yield that exists on a global basis. So there is true excess."
 
Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the #metoo movement has prompted some Wall Street execs to freeze out women. Men are avoiding women "at all costs" and have adopted controversial strategies like not taking dinners with female colleagues, not sitting next to them on flights and avoiding one-on-one meetings to avoid allegations of sexual harassment, the story said.
 
We asked you, Hubsters, what you thought of this behavior and whether you are participating. A lot of men wrote in. Here's some of the responses:
 
Chris says: “I’m not sure why it shocked me, but the story about people avoiding innocuous situations with female colleagues was a little shocking or frustrating or both. I’m male and probably fit the proverbial ‘Wall Street’ executive description (although I live and work well outside physical Wall Street)...The depth and breadth of sexual harassment in our industry runs deeper than I suspected. There is zero reason to reflexively believe that women will make unfounded harassment accusations. I have to believe that men who fear such accusations have reason to fear those accusations.”
 
Ralph says he's avoided potentially risky behavior for years. This includes: no face to face meetings behind closed doors, no social time other than company sponsored events with multiple participants, no language that can in any way be misconstrued, even with male colleagues, and, in some cases, no elevator rides without company. "I've never had any problems but know people who have had them," he said.
 
Jeff says: “The ones who are ‘avoiding women at all costs’ are hiding something.  They have more skeletons than they want to admit is my bet. Wimps.”
 
Doug says: “My buddies and I will NOT get on an elevator with a woman anymore if we are alone with her...we avoid any and all situations/language where anything may become a ‘he said, she said’ scene....it’s just not worth it in the long run….!!”
 
Noneofyourbusiness said: “While it is true that ‘acting like a professional human being’ should prevent #metoo problems, it certainly does not guarantee it...I certainly do not condone bad behavior on anyone’s part, either in one’s professional or personal life, but it is criminally naive for anyone to say that simply ‘acting like a professional human being’ will guard against false accusations.  Men are not all sinners and women are not all saints.  Welcome to the human race.”
 
Laura said the Bloomberg report made her ill. "Once my nausea subsided, it occurred to me that guilt makes people do strange things.  Whilst 30 men are hardly an adequate sample, I don’t believe it would be a stretch to conclude that only men who are questioning their past behavior [would] take their present situation to this extreme. Professionalism is easy – treat your female colleagues like real people with an equal value and societal standing. We only need compliments and comments on our work, not on our appearance.  If you’re concerned you’re making them uncomfortable – ask them.  They’re literally standing right in front of you."
 
Fred said: “Of course men are going to treat women co-workers very differently in the age of #metoo. In this day and age people aren’t judged by their objective actions but by how those actions make other people feel. And if even one person gets an offensive feeling then you are toast. Who needs the risk. And you can’t blame men for simply not wanting to get involved in this stuff.”
 
Jon said: “It’s not a backlash. It’s an entirely rational measure intended for self-protection against harassment claims...Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s a good unintended consequence. However, the word ‘backlash’ connotes vindictiveness or retribution, whereas I think the motivation is more about self-preservation.”
 
A, who works in PE, said she experienced blatant versions of harassment at the firm she used to work at. “At our holiday party, our managing partner generously gave out gifts to those people who went 'above and beyond' for the firm that year. He gathered everyone around him and gave a short anecdote about the person's contribution before handing them AirPods and giving them a firm handshake, and onto the next person. Until he got to me. He gave a short description of how I helped with something, I walked up and took the AirPods, smiled, and extended my hand for a handshake. He dramatically withdrew his hand and said, 'Nope! I can't touch you because of all of this #metoo stuff!' in front of our firm, their guests, attending operating partners and executives. Many laughed uncomfortably, many just grimaced. I was mortified but tried to brush it off and didn't bring it up with anyone. People I was close with at the firm brought it up later as completely inappropriate and unnecessary. He never said anything."
 
Vincent said Bess Levin's Vanity Fair article didn't address one key matter: Women misinterpreting a social interaction as being harassment, file charges, ruin innocent men's careers, income, etc. Some women also would intentionally, falsely claim sexual harassment to sue the employer for millions, send a man to jail, maybe even removing a potential rival for future positions within a firm.
 
"Better to be safe than sorry," Vincent said," [and] avoid women outside the offices, keep it within the office and business hours, and with others around at all times if possible, so no false or misunderstood claims can be made."
 
David said: “The meToo backlash segregation unfortunately seems predictable. I'm actually a law school student and see this as a cross cultural mediation issue which may require training on both sides to define what consensual communication looks like so both parties feel more comfortable and the real legal risks are reduced.”
 
Roger said: “I've noticed over the years, not just a result of me too that more celebratory events are being done as lunches, most often without alcohol. (This may be a budget conscious decision as well).  Any after work events, senior folks are definitely leaving early after showing some face. Occasionally they will then meet up unofficially at another location to really let loose since they already got ‘permission’ from the wife to come home late and drunk for the event.  In general, though, I don't get the sense females are feeling left out, rather relieved that they aren't forced or obligated to partake in boozy dinners and late-night bar crawls.”
 
P, in the U.K., used to work in hedge funds. Here's what she said: “I saw my last CEO's nether regions (as have some of the other female/male staff) at a xmas party where he was so inebriated he didn't realise he had re-entered the main party room with his underpants and trousers off? I've been at an off-site with another hedge fund which resulted in people setting fire to beds, nudity in the hallways, a trader forcing himself into a colleagues room with sexually intimidating behaviour and a few other incidents, at a 5* hotel. I've had a significantly well-known hedge fund manager try and get his nether regions out in what I thought was a professional pitch meeting. I've been picked up by a 3rd party marketer (physically picked up) and patted on the bottom as he's put me down (in front of the investor who we had been pitching too).”
 
Hubsters, have you any responses to these specific remarks? Either way keep sending your thoughts at lbeltran@buyoutsinsider.com
 
A mystery: Steve Lefkowitz's Sagewind Capital has been busy. The firm today is announcing its seventh deal, its buy of Athene Group, since the launch of Sagewind in 2015. Sagewind has the backing of a large family office. Lefkowitz wouldn't disclose the name of the FO, saying only it’s a multifamily office with more than $10 billion of capital. Any thoughts, Hubsters?
 
Lefkowitz, of course, is the co-founder of CI Capital, the former Caxton-Iseman, which he started in 1993 with Frederick Iseman.
 
Read my story on Athene here.
 
News from Buyouts Insider/VCJ: Chris has a story on ArcLight Capital Partners, which is exploring a secondaries process on one of its older funds as it works to raise its seventh energy and power-focused pool. Read his story here.
 
Frontenac has agreed to sell Behavioral Health Group to fellow Chicago private equity shop Vistria Group, Sarah Pringle is reporting..
 
Active LPs: Kirk Falconer has discovered who acquired Global Franchise Group. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners announced the sale last month but didn't disclose the buyers or terms of the deal. Find out who bought GFG here.
 
That’s it for me. Email any tips, complaints or comments to lbeltran@buyoutsinsider.com

Who's the best: Buyouts is now accepting nominations for its 19th annual Deal of the Year awards, honoring exceptional buyouts that were fully or mostly realized in 2018. The deadline for submissions is Friday Feb. 22, 2019, but there’s no time like the present to apply. We’re also adding a new category this year, secondaries of the year, to recognize the top transaction relating to the sale of LP stakes, GP-led liquidity process, secondary-led spinout or some combination of all three.
 
Don’t miss this opportunity to be recognized by the editors of Buyouts for your outstanding work in 2018. Send Chris your submissions at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com.
 
Winners will be selected in six categories:
 
·         Deal of the year
·         Large market deal of the year
·         Middle market deal of the year
·         Small market deal of the year
·         Turnaround of the year
·         Secondaries of the year
·         International deal of the year
 
EMAIL ALERTS: Did you know that you can sign up for email alerts from Buyouts, VCJ and Active LPs even if you’re not a subscriber? Check out all of our FREE email alerts here.

Now is the time, ad placement deadline approaching! The Buyouts Year in Review issue is data-packed with over 80 pages of league tables and kept as a reference by our subscribers for years. Showcase your 2018 success in the biggest issue of the year. Contact Bob Raidt at rraidt@buyoutsinsider.com or by phone at 646-356-4501 to learn more. 

 
Today's  Take  

Chicago’s Vistria wins auction for Frontenac’s Behavioral Health Group

Frontenac has agreed to sell Behavioral Health Group to fellow Chicago private equity shop Vistria Group, according to three people familiar with the matter. The transaction is poised to close in 2019, one of the people said. While the deal has not been publicly announced, the agreement values the opioid-treatment network at a little north […]
Read more...  

Lefkowitz’s Sagewind Capital buys Athene Group

Sagewind Capital, the middle-market PE firm of Steve Lefkowitz, has clinched its seventh deal since it launched three years ago. The New York buyout shop, along with Berenson Holdings, acquired Athene Group. Insight Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures are also investing in the transaction. Terms of the deal, which closed Dec. 3, weren’t announced. Sagewind […]
Read more...  

ArcLight explores secondary process on older fund

ArcLight Capital Partners is exploring a secondaries process on one of its older funds as it works to raise its seventh energy and power-focused pool, sources told Buyouts. ArcLight is one of several energy-focused GPs considering a secondary market sale to give investors in older funds the option to cash out of their interests while […]
Read more...  

Serruya FO, Lion Capital partner in acquiring Global Franchise Group

Family office Serruya Private Equity partnered with Lion Capital in acquiring the owner of Great American Cookies, Round Table Pizza and other retail food brands. Last month, Lion and SPE acquired Global Franchise Group from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. The Los Angeles PE firm announced the sale but did not disclose the terms or buyers. The […]
Read more...  

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December 11-12, 2018
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pehw_66x25_VC.jpg pehw_66x25_PE.jpg pehw_49x25_IPOs.jpg pehw_49x25_M%26A.jpg pehw_94x25_firms.jpg pehw_110x25_HR.jpg pehw_83x25_odds.jpg

VC Deals 

 
 

Trustology raises $8 mln

Trustology said Dec. 6 that it raised $8 million in a seed round led by Two Sigma VenturesConsenSys also participated in the round. Trustology, of London, is developing technology and services to help private and institutional clients secure digital assets…
Read more
 

Contentful picks up $33.5 mln Series D

Contentful, a provider of content infrastructure for digital teams, has secured $33.5 million in Series D funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round with participation from other investors that included OMERS Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules…
Read more
 

Akumina locks in $7.5 mln Series A

Akumina, a modern intranet platform “powering personalized digital employee experiences,” has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Richard Berthy and RJB Investments led the round...
Read more
 

Alto Pharmacy fetches $50 mln Series C

San Francisco-based Alto Pharmacy, a digital pharmacy, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. Zola Global and Greenoaks Capital led the round with participation from other investors that included Jackson Square Ventures and Olive Tree Capital.
Read more
Mark Your Calendars!
PartnerConnect Event's 2019 Calendar is here!


PartnerConnect LP-GP Outlook- January 22nd, NYC
PartnerConnect East- March 25-27th, Boston
PartnerConnect Family Office & Independent Sponsor Spring- May 21-22nd, NYC
PartnerConnect Midwest- June 22-26th, Chicago
Emerging Manager Connect East- July 23rd, NYC
PartnerConnect West- September 23-25th, San Francisco
 PartnerConnect Family Office & Independent Sponsor Fall- October 29-30th, NYC
PartnerConnect Texas- December 9-11th, Dallas
PE Deals sponsored by  
 
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Salveo Capital scoops up minority of Ascend Wellness
Salveo Capital said Dec. 6 that it has acquired a minority equity interest in Ascend Wellness. Financial terms weren’t announced. Ascend is a cannabis company operating in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Michigan…
Read more
DFW Capital forms Continuum Research Group, which invests in Lotus Clinical Research
DFW Capital Partners has formed Continuum Research Group with Jeffrey Kinell, the former CEO of Bracket Global. CRG has made its first investment in Pasadena, California-based Lotus Clinical Research LLC, a CRO and research site focused on improving the scientific accuracy of analgesic programs. No financial terms were disclosed…
Read more
Sun Capital to buy Regal Beloit’s drive technologies businesses
Sun Capital Partners Inc has agreed to acquire Regal Beloit’s drive technologies businesses. No financial terms were disclosed…
Read more

Marlin acquires MOBI, will merge with Tangoe

Marlin Equity Partners has acquired Indianapolis-based MOBI Wireless Management LLC, a provider of cloud-based managed mobility services software solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Marlin will merge MOBI with portfolio company TangoeSchulte Roth & Zabel LLP served as legal adviser to Marlin and Tangoe on the transaction with Ice Miller LLP providing legal advice to MOBI…
Read more
 
PROMOTE YOUR BRAND! GENERATE AWARENESS!  SELL YOUR PRODUCTS & SERVICES! 
 
Don't miss the opportunity to get in front of key Private Equity decision makers by showcasing your company, products and services in upcoming issues of Buyouts and VCJ
 
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IPOs
 
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Blackstone plans IPO of U.S. benefits manager Alight: Reuters

Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) is readying an initial public offering (IPO) of Alight Solutions LLC, a U.S. provider of healthcare and retirement benefits services that could be valued at more than $7 billion, including debt, Reuters reported.
Read more...  
M&A Deals  
 
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TheStreet sells B2B business units to Euromoney for $87.3 million: Reuters

Financial news provider TheStreet Inc on Thursday said it will sell its B2B business units, The Deal and BoardEx, to London-based Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc for $87.3 million, as it explores wider options for the company, Reuters reported.
Read more...  

PE-backed Race Winning Brands acquires MGP Connecting Rods

Race Winning Brands, which is backed by Kinderhook Industries LLC, has acquired MGP Connecting Rods, a maker of high-performance aluminum connecting rods. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

PE-backed Tech Air acquires Scully

Tech Air, a portfolio company of CI Capital, has acquired Collingdale, Pennsylvania-based Scully, a provider of propane, industrial and welding supplies, and industrial gases. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

CI Capital-backed PRA buys event and communications agency One Smooth Stone

PRA, a portfolio company of CI Capital Partners, has acquired Downers Grove, Illinois-based One Smooth Stone, an event and communications agency. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

PE-backed collision repair companies Caliber and Abra to merge

Caliber Collision, which is backed by OMERS and Leonard Green & Partners LP and Abra Auto Body Repair of America, a portfolio company of Hellman & Friedman, have agreed to merge. No financial terms were disclosed. The newly combined company will create a collision repair provider. The deal is expected to close in early 2019. As part of the transaction, Hellman & Freidman LLC will become the majority shareholder of the combined company while OMERS and LGP will remain significant minority shareholders. Caliber CEO Steve Grimshaw will lead the combined company.
Read more...  
Real Estate
 
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Prudent Growth Partners buys two apartment communities for $7.25 mln

Prudent Growth Partners, a private equity real estate firm, has acquired two adjoining apartment communities in Greenville, North Carolina. The price of the acquisition was $7.25 million.
Read more...  
Firms & Funds
 
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TPG raises $12 bln for latest flagship, healthcare pool: Bloomberg

TPG has raised about $12 billion for its latest flagship fund and a pool that will invest alongside it in healthcare deals, Bloomberg reported. TPG’s goal is $14 billion for the fund, the story said.
Read more...  

Jay Z’s Arrive raises $20 mln toward opportunities fund

Jay Z's Arrive has raised $20 million toward a $40 million opportunities fund, according to a filing with the SEC.
Read more...  

Activant Capital to raise $250 mln for third venture fund

Activant Capital is seeking to raise $250 million for its third venture fund, according to an SEC filing. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based tech-focused firm invests in growth companies.
Read more...  

ABRY Partners targets $2.1 bln for ninth flagship fund

ABRY Partners is seeking to raise $2.1 billion for its ninth fund, according to an SEC filing. In 2014, the private equity firm raised $1.9 billion for its previous flagship fund.
Read more...  

AfricInvest closes fourth North African fund

AfricInvest has closed its fourth North African fund at 194 million euros. Maghreb Private Equity IV's investors include the African Development Bank. MPEF IV will invest in small and media companies in North Africa.
Read more...  

Salesforce Ventures launches $100 mln Japan Trailblazer Fund

Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce's corporate investment group, has unveiled a $100 million Japan Trailblazer Fund. The fund will focus on Japanese startups in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Read more...  

Ystrategies targets $25 mln for seed-stage fund

Pittsburgh and San Francisco-based Ystrategies, a venture firm focused on tech startups in the software and cleantech sectors, is seeking to raise over $25 million for a seed-stage fund. The fund will focus on science-based technology businesses.
Read more...  

Luminate Capital wraps up sophomore fund at $425 mln

Luminate Capital Partners has raised $425 million for its second fund. The limited partners of Luminate Capital Partners II include endowments, foundations, public and corporate pensions, ‎asset management firms and family offices. Moelis & Company LLC was placement agent while Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel for Luminate. In 2017, Luminate closed its debut fund at more than $265 million.
Read more...  
Human Resources
 
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Catalyst Investors promotes three

Catalyst Investors has promoted three of its staffers. Mia Hegazy is now principal, Samantha Lexton has become vice president of investor relations and Patty Xu is now chief financial officer. Catalyst Investors is a growth equity firm founded in 2000.
Read more...  

Harris Williams expands team with two new hires

Harris Williams, a middle-market investment bank, has named Kelly McPhilliamy as a managing director and William McBride as a vice president in the firm’s consumer group. Previously, McPhilliamy worked at Wells Fargo where she was a managing director and head of consumer investment banking while McBride was a vice president in Wells Fargo Securities' consumer and retail group.
Read more...  

Tillman recruits fund administration veteran as MD

Tillman Private Equity Services, a fund administrator for private equity and SBIC funds, has named Chris Rakers as managing director to lead the firm's fund administration and outsourced CFO business. Previously, Rakers worked at NAV Fund Administration Group where he was senior manager. Tillman is owned by E78 Partners LLC. 
Read more...  

PE-backed SRS Acquiom hires sales head

SRS Acquiom, which is backed by Lovell Minnick Partners, has named Greg Nelson head of sales. Previously, Nelson worked at Wilmington Trust where he was an M&A and public finance business development officer. Based in Denver, SRS Acquiom provides a platform of professional services, technology solutions and data for corporate acquirers, private equity firms and venture capital firms involved in M&A settlement support and risk mitigation.
Read more...  

VPC taps Burke as a partner

Victory Park Capital has appointed Kevin Burke as a partner. Previously, he worked at the University of Notre Dame where he spearheaded the launch of the Institute for Global Investing.
Read more...  

William Blair appoints Pontius as sustainable investing director

William Blair has named Blake Pontius as a director of sustainable investing. Pontius joined the firm in 2005 as an institutional relationship manager.
Read more...  
Credit
 
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Barings supports ECI Partners’ acquisition of virtual receptionist Moneypenny

Barings has provided a credit facility to back ECI Partners' acquisition of Moneypenny, a virtual receptionist. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

Churchill adds two VPs to team

Churchill Asset Management has named Marissa Short as vice president of finance and Robert Lin as vice president of operations. Previously, Short worked as a senior manager at Ernst and Young LLP's wealth and asset manage practice while Lin worked most recently at Ivy Hill Asset Management, a portfolio company of Ares Management.
Read more...  

Starwood appoints Rothauser to lead its transportation, infrastructure and energy lending business

Starwood Capital Group has named Armin Rothauser to lead its transportation, infrastructure and energy lending business. Previously, he was a managing director at Deutsche Bank where he ran its transportation, infrastructure, energy lending group.
Read more...  
Odds & Ends + Hot Links 
 
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PE HUB First Read

First Read starts the day with news that Blackstone is planning an IPO of Alight Solutions, USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy, and Canada has arrested the CFO of China’s Huawei Technologies.
Read more...  

PE HUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, documents show Facebook gave some companies special access to users' data, Apollo's Leon Black says credit markets are in "bubble status" and in a funeral attended by all living presidents, the nation bids farewell to the 41st president George H.W. Bush.
Read more...  

Napier Park and AAR form joint venture

Napier Park Global Capital and AAR, an aerospace and defense aftermarket solutions company, are teaming up to form a joint venture that will focus on acquiring late-life commercial aircraft. BNP Paribas served as financial and capital raising adviser to AAR on the transaction.
Read more...  

PE HUB Wire Highlights, 12.5.18

Audax nears buy of 3 Rivers’ Phoenix Rehab; J.H. Whitney puts C.J. Foods up for sale; TPG’s Bonderman gets NHL team
Read more...  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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