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Happy Friday! 

We've been catching some big-name private equity executives making seemingly informal (but probably well-rehearsed) talks at large pension systems. I say informal because these types of executives of the biggest firms in the market are hyped when they speak in public, but these talks in front of their pension clients aren't usually advertised. 

I'm always amazed that these types of talks are buried inside hours of pension board agenda. For us here at Buyouts, this is the gold buried in the ant hill. 

LP reporter Dietrich Knauth recently wrote about Jonathan Coslet of TPG talking to a CalPERS board about long-term private equity. This week, he listened to Blackstone's Private Equity Chief Joe Baratta talking to the Oregon Investment Board about the megafirm's views on the market. 

Unlike many firms that over recent years have tried to burnish their commitments to the middle market, Baratta told the pension officials Blackstone is harvesting opportunities in the "unloved" large side of the market. 

“There’s a wide swath of companies in the $3 [billion] to $10 billion market cap of public companies, probably thousands of them in the U.S., that nobody really cares about,” Baratta said.

“They’re not well followed, they’re not well understood, they’re not particularly well managed — that’s where I think we’re going to live over the next five or six years in producing investment opportunities.”

Blackstone also likes to be the first private equity owner of a company, rather than the next in a series of private equity backers. 

Check out Dietrich's story here. Let me know if you've heard other big-name PE execs who have given talks that haven't been noticed by the market or who are planning to speak. I'm at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com

Spinouts: I wrote earlier this week that Alex Navab is quietly talking to potential investors about his first fund, which could target as much as $4 billion. Navab left Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, where he was head of Americas private equity, in 2017 and started Navab Holdings with seed backing from Goldman Sachs.

Nothing is finalized on the target and it's not clear when he'll officially launch Fund I. 

Navab joins several other high-profile executives who left their original firms to start their own ventures. Former Lone Star Funds head of North American investments Samuel Loughlin is targeting $1.25 billion for his new shop, Paceline Equity Partners, which he launched in 2018. Sanjay Swani, former co-head of information and business services group at Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, formed Saroras Private Capital along with other former Welsh Carson professionals. Saroras is targeting $600 million for its debut fund. 

Andrew Berman, former credit executive at Fortress Investment Group, was eyeing a $500 million target for his debut fund at Graticule Asset Management Asia, which he joined after leaving Fortress in 2017. 

Check out our archive of spinouts and emerging manager coverage here. And let me know if you've heard of other executives leaving their shops to start their own thing. We love those stories. I'm at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com

Secondaries: What can I say about secondaries? I've been talking to sources all week about deals in the market, and the consensus is activity didn't stop at the end of the year and just got busier once the new year began. I have a list of activity sitting on my desk I'm trying to work through, which is great for me but also kind of overwhelming. I can't imagine what kind of hours buyers and intermediaries are logging. 

This week I wrote that Accel-KKR is considering bringing a process to market in the spring on its third fund, which closed in 2008 on $600 million. Fund III has three remaining companies that the firm would like to hold longer. And today I have news that Ardian took the bulk of the $1 billion-plus private equity portfolio shopped by Canadian pension system Public Sector Pension Investment Board. Blackstone's Strategic Partners picked off a few individual stakes from the sale, sources told me. 

What are you hearing? Which secondary processes of interest are you tracking? Hit me up and let's compare notes. 

Books: Just finished a book about the decolonization era in Africa and a conspiracy around the death of the UN's second secretary-general, Dag Hammarskjöld, in a plane crash in 1961. The book is called "Who Killed Hammarskjold? The UN, the Cold War and White Supremacy in Africa." Highly recommended. 

That's it! Have a great weekend. As always, reach me with tips n' gossip, feedback, thoughts, Scotch recommendations or just to chat at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com, on Twitter @chriswitkowsky or find me on LinkedIn. 

Get Plugged In:  It’s time to start thinking about our 31st Annual PartnerConnect East, March 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency in Boston. This is the big one folks. Close to 500 decisionmakers across Private Equity, Venture Capital and Real Estate...200+ LPs…100+ dealmakers…400-odd private meetings between GPs & LPs…tons of A-list speakers. The ultimate networking event for senior professionals in the industry. Make your plans now to attend. Click here for more info.

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.comRead more here
 
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

 
Today's  Take  

PE HUB First Read

First Read closes out the week with news that Mattel shares soar after strong Barbie sales fuel surprise profit, Sears gets a second life and Twitter's user count falls for three quarters in a row, so the company will stop reporting the number.
Read more...  

PE HUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, Food delivery startup Postmates files for an IPO, Dell is exploring a sale of cybersecurity company SecureWorks and Woody Allen is suing Amazon Studios for killing his movie deal.
Read more...  

PE HUB Heathcare Wire Highlights, 2.7.19

Which GPs will go backcountry skiing for hospital RCM
Read more...  

PE HUB Wire Highlights, 2.7.19

KKR invests in OneStream; Accel-KKR considers liquidity options for 2008 fund; Great Hill makes 6x on ZoomInfo sale
Read more...  

Baratta: Blackstone to focus on ‘unloved’ large side of the market

Blackstone Group’s private equity head, speaking at a recent Oregon pension meeting, said the frenzy for middle-market private equity deals has made the larger end of the market relatively more attractive than ever. While many LPs are skeptical of megafunds’ ability to continue to provide top-tier returns, Blackstone’s Joseph Baratta said many “unloved” large companies or […]
Read more...  

TPG bulks up tech-advisory bench with three veteran execs

TPG named three veteran tech executives to its board of advisers to help identify and lead investments in data, development and operations and digital transformation. TPG added Sohaib Abbasi, Stephen Elop, and Jeffrey Tarr as senior advisers to the six-member technology advisory group. The advisers will spend half their time at the firm, helping TPG […]
Read more...  

Via M&A, GTCR’s Resonetics doubles revenue in a year

Making good on its aggressive M&A strategy, GTCR’s Resonetics is quickly becoming a medical device contract manufacturing operation of scale. Resonetics this week bought Caribou Technologies, of Blaine, Minnesota, its third add-on since receiving investment from the Chicago PE firm a year ago. Terms weren’t disclosed, but Resonetics has seen revenue about double since the initial […]
Read more...  

Ardian, Blackstone take down $1 bln-plus PSP portfolio

Ardian is buying the bulk of a large portfolio of private equity stakes shopped by Canadian institution Public Sector Pension Investment Board, while Blackstone Group’s secondary team is picking up a few individual fund interests from the sale, sources told Buyouts. The PSP portfolio is one of numerous large LP deals in the market since […]
Read more...  

John Vrionis on his unusual approach to venture capital

Last year, John Vrionis, who was previously a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, launched Unusual Ventures together with Joyti Bansal, the founder of Lightspeed-backed AppDynamics, which was sold to Cisco for $3.7 billion in 2017. Vrionis has an impressive track record leading investments in enterprise technologies. Besides AppDynamics, he led deals in Nicira, which sold […]
Read more...  

SWaN and Legend nears the halfway mark of $250 mln fourth fund

SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, a Virginia-based firm that backs companies in the area and whose partners have their hands in the region’s sports teams, has raised less than half of its latest fund, which is also its largest to date. The firm raised $109.8 million from 97 LPs towards its $250 million fourth venture […]
Read more...  

Early-stage performance fell in Q3, while late-stage advanced

Venture capital returns were mixed in Q3, reflecting relatively benign financial markets before the tumultuous declines of the fourth quarter. Early-stage returns retreated while late- and multi-stage performances moved higher, Cambridge Associates reports. Most longer-term benchmarks advanced. In aggregate, U.S. venture capital posted a 5.2 percent quarterly IRR in Q3, down from 5.99 percent in Q2. […]
Read more...  

Slower GP deployment hampers NH’s 2019 PE pacing plan

New Hampshire Retirement System will commit less than a quarter of its annual pacing for private equity and private debt in 2019, a presentation by NEPC, its investment consultant, shows. That’s because several funds to which the pension system committed in 2017 and 2018 had not started drawing capital. These funds would be considered vintage-year […]
Read more...  

Emerging managers offer FOs a path to build alternatives exposure

Multigenerational family offices seeking to invest in alternatives might look to emerging managers who deliver desired returns with less complexity, risk and resources than co-investments, direct investments and secondaries. That’s the upshot of Cambridge Associates’ report “Private Investing for Private Investors.” FOs should not lament the lack of access to established and prominent funds, the […]
Read more...  
 
PartnerConnect East 2019
Celebrating 31 Years of Excellence
March 25-27, 2019
Hyatt Regency, Boston

The Premier Networking Event for LPs & GPs in the Private Equity, Venture
Capital and Private Real Estate Sector


Register Now

 
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 

 
 

Connected car service Zubie drives off with funding

Minneapolis-based Zubie, a connected car service, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding. The investors were BP and Melody Capital. In addition to the funding, Paget L. Alves and Dennis Huber will join Zubie's board of directors.
Read more...  

Plant wellness brand Prima rallies $3.275 mln seed

Santa Monica, California-based Prima, a plant wellness brand, has secured $3.275 million in seed funding. Lerer Hippeau led the round with participation from other investors that included Greycroft.
Read more...  

KenSci takes in $22 mln Series B

Seattle-based KenSci, a machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered risk prediction platform for healthcare, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. Polaris Partners led the round with participation from Ignition Partners, Osage University Partners, Mindset Ventures and UL Ventures.
Read more...  

Illumio raises $65 mln, J.P. Morgan Asset Management leads round: Reuters

Cyber security firm Illumio said on Thursday it raised $65 million in a funding round led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management that will be used to help the money-losing company expand outside the United States.
Read more...  

Luxury handbag brand Rebag attracts $25 mln Series C

Rebag, a luxury handbag brand, has secured $25 million in Series C funding. Novator led the round with participation from other backers that included General Catalyst and FJ Labs.
Read more...  

Trend Forward Capital funds Turbonomic

Turbonomic, a provider of workload automation software, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding. The investor was Trend Forward Capital.
Read more...  

Frazier leads Series A round for Recida Therapeutics

Recida Therapeutics Inc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for serious antibiotic-resistant infections, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. Frazier Healthcare Partners led the round.
Read more...  

HiberCell nets $60.75 mln Series A

New York City-based HiberCell, a biotechnology company focused on preventing cancer relapse and metastasis, has launched with $60.75 million in Series A funding. ARCH Venture Partners led the round.
Read more...  

ChartIQ procures $17.4 mln Series B

Charlottesville, Virginia-based ChartIQ, a financial technology company, has raised $17.4 million in Series B funding. Digital+ Partners led the round.
Read more...  

DataSine fetches $5.2 mln Series A

London-based AI startup DataSine, which is building an automated content-creation platform based on psychology and machine learning, has raised $5.2 million in Series A funding. Pentech and Propel Venture Partner led the round.
Read more...  

Swedish fintech startup Tink lands funding

Swedish fintech startup Tink has raised 56 million euros in funding, according to a blog post on its site. Insight Venture Partners led the round.
Read more...  

Green Diot Bioplastics nabs $6.5 mln

Emporia, Kansas-based Green Dot Bioplastics, a material science company, has raised $6.5 million in funding. Fulcrum Global Capital led the round with participation from other investors that included Open Prairie and iiM.
Read more...  

AI life sciences company rMark Bio gathers $1.5 mln seed

Chicago and Seattle-based rMark Bio, a provider of AI solutions for life sciences companies, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Lincoln Park Capital led the round with participation from M25 Group, SaaS Ventures and MATH Venture Partners.
Read more...  

Social platform Everdays locks in $12 mln Series A

Everdays, a social platform that builds communities around milestone life events, has secured $12 million in Series A funding. Gordy Companies led the round.
Read more...  

Health Catalyst racks up $100 mln in OrbiMed-led round

Health Catalyst, a provider of next-generation data, analytics and improvement for the healthcare industry, has raised $100 million in funding. OrbiMed led the round with participation from other investors that included Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Sands Capital Ventures, UPMC Enterprises and Kaiser Permanente Ventures.
Read more...  

Zoovu pulls in $14 mln Series B

Zoovu, an artificial intelligence digital sales assistant platform, has raised $14 million in Series B funding. Target Global and Beringea led the round. In addition to the funding, Rytis Vitkauskas, a venture partner at Target Global, will join Zoovu's board of directors.
Read more...  

Conversation intelligence platform Gong.io inks $40 mln Series B

Israel and San Francisco-based Gong.io, a conversation intelligence platform, has raised $40 million in Series B funding. Battery Ventures and Battery General Partner Dharmesh Thakker led the round with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Shlomo Kramer, Wing Venture Capital, NextWorld Capital and Cisco Investments.
Read more...  
Mark Your Calendars!
PartnerConnect Event's 2019 Calendar is here!


PartnerConnect East- March 25-27th, Boston
Family Office Connect: PE Deals, Funds & the Land of OZ- May 21-22nd, NYC
PartnerConnect Midwest- June 24-26th, Chicago
Emerging Manager Connect East- July 23rd, NYC
PartnerConnect West- September 23-25th, San Francisco
 Family Office Connect- October 29-30th, NYC
PartnerConnect Texas- December 9-11th, Dallas
PE Deals sponsored by  
 
Back to Top

One Rock agrees to buy plastics distribution business of Nexeo Solutions

One Rock Capital Partners agreed to buy the plastics distribution business of Nexeo Solutions Inc. The deal will follow Nexeo's pending acquisition by Univar Inc. The acquisition will create a standalone plastics distribution business.
Read more...  

Riverstone commits up to $500 mln to Three Rivers IV

Riverstone Holdings LLC has invested up to $500 million to Three Rivers Natural Resource Holdings IV LLC. Based in Austin, Three Rivers IV is an oil and gas company focused on opportunities in the Permian Basin.
Read more...  

LLCP buys Club Champion

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has acquired Willowbrook, Illinois-based Club Champion, a provider of custom fitting services and golf equipment in the U.S. No financial terms were disclosed. Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised LLCP on the deal.
Read more...  

Periscope invests in Power Digital Marketing

Periscope Equity LLC has made an investment in Power Digital Marketing, a tech-enabled digital marketing agency. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

L Catterton backs Hydrow

Hydrow by CREW, a live outdoor reality rower, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding. L Catterton was the lead backer.
Read more...  

TSCP recaps BCM One

Thompson Street Capital Partners has recapitalized New York-based BCM One, a managed technology solutions provider. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

H.I.G. buys Taconic Biosciences

H.I.G. Capital has acquired Rensselaer, New York-based Taconic Biosciences Inc, a provider of genetically engineered models and service solutions used in life sciences research. No financial terms were disclosed.
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
 
For more information about advertising, print & digital content contribution opportunities please click here       
 
IPOs
 
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VC-backed biotech company Alector goes public

South San Francisco-based Alector Inc, a biotechnology company focused on treating neurodegeneration, has raised $176 million for its IPO after pricing its 9.25 million shares at $19 per share. The stock began trading February 7, 2019 on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "ALEC." Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, Cowen and Barclays are the lead underwriters. Alector's pre-IPO backers include Deerfield Management, AbbVie Ventures, Federated Kaufmann Fund, Section 32, Euclidean Capital, Foresite Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, Polaris Partners, OrbiMed, MRL Ventures, GV and the Dementia Discovery Fund.
Read more...  

Venture-backed Lightspeed files for IPO in Canada

Lightspeed POS, a Montréal-based point-of-sale solution for retailers, restaurants and e-commerce businesses, has filed a preliminary prospectus with Canadian regulators for an initial public offering. The company has not yet determined the number and price of subordinate voting shares to be sold on the Toronto Stock Exchange. BMO Capital Markets, National Bank Financial and J.P. Morgan Securities Canada are the IPO’s lead underwriters and joint bookrunners. Founded in 2005 by CEO Dax Dasilva, Lightspeed raised about $166 million in a Series D financing in 2017, the largest round for a Canadian IT company in 25 years. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec led and was joined by IQ, iNovia Capital and Silicon Valley Bank.
Read more...  
M&A Deals  
 
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PE-backed DexKo Global to buy PCI

DexKo Global, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, has agreed to acquire Preston Chassis Industries Pty Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Australia, PCI is a provider of chassis.
Read more...  

AEG Facilities and Onex-backed SMG to merge

AEG Facilities, AEG's venue management subsidiary and SMG, which is backed by Onex, have agreed to merge to form a global facility management and venue services company. No financial terms were disclosed. The newly combined company will operate as ASM Global and be headquartered in Los Angeles. At the closing of the deal, Onex and AEG's subsidiary will each own 50 percent of ASM Global.
Read more...  

Audax-backed PIP to buy West Chester Protective Gear

Protective Industrial Products Inc, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, has agreed to acquire Cincinnati, Ohio-based West Chester Protective Gear, a provider of personal protective equipment. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  

Spotify to buy podcasting companies Gimlet and Anchor

Music streaming service Spotify has agreed to acquire two podcasting companies Gimlet Media and Anchor. No financial terms were disclosed. Gimlet's backers included Stripes Group, Refinery29, Blue Apron, Craftsy, Emerson Collective, Cross Culture Ventures, Betaworks and Graham Holdings.
Read more...  

Nutrien to buy plant health products maker Actagro for $340 million: Reuters

Canadian fertilizer and farm supply dealer Nutrien Ltd said on Tuesday it would buy Actagro LLC, a privately held maker of soil and plant health products, in a deal valued at $340 million.
Read more...  

PE-backed 1 Priority merges with Earth Sciences & Abatement

1 Priority Environmental Services, a portfolio company of O2 Investment Partners LLC, has closed a merger with Earth Services & Abatement Inc, a provider of environmental remediation and selective demolition services in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  
Real Estate
 
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Heitman amasses more than $1.1 bln for fourth real estate fund

Heitman LLC, a real estate investment management firm, has closed its fourth fund at more than $1.1 billion, beating its $750 million target. Heitman Value Partners IV invests in in industrial, multi and single-family rental, medical office, self-storage and student housing properties.
Read more...  

TPCO and private real estate fund buy Texas student housing community

The Preiss Company and a private real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital have acquired the 694-bed Luxx, a student housing community that serves the University of Texas at San Antonio. No financial terms were disclosed.
Read more...  
Firms & Funds
 
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PIR Equities garners $312 mln for third fund

PIR Equities has raised $312 million for its third flagship fund. PIR Equities is an employee-owned private equity firm.
Read more...  

Hone Capital raises $50 mln venture-capital fund

Hone Capital has raised a $50 million venture-capital fund, according to a filing with the SEC.
Read more...  

Ben Franklin launches regional venture fund

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania has raised $15 million for a regional venture fund focused on early-stage tech businesses in the Greater Philadelphia region. The GO Philly Fund seeks to raise up to $50 million. EPAM Systems is the lead investor. The GO Philly Fund will mostly operate as a co-investment fund with Ben Franklin. The fund will seek to make initial investments of between $50,000 and $500,000, with follow-on investments of up to $3 million.
Read more...  
Human Resources
 
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Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures recruits Sledzik to head North America practice

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has hired Jim Sledzik as managing director and head of its North America practice. Previously, he was managing director at Hall Labs.
Read more...  

VC-backed Infoworks appoints Pati as CEO

Palo Alto, California-based Infoworks, a software platform provider for agile data engineering, has named Buno Pati as CEO. Also, Infoworks has appointed Amar Arsikere, co-founder of Infoworks, as chief product officer and chief technology officer and David Dorman, ex-chairman and CEO of AT&T, as board chairman. Infoworks is backed by New Enterprise Associates, Nexus Venture Partners, Centerview Capital Technology and Knoll Ventures.
Read more...  
Credit
 
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Tree Line collects over $130 mln for sophomore direct lending fund

Tree Line Capital Partners has raised over $130 million for its second direct lending fund, according to an SEC filing. The target is $300 million.
Read more...  
Odds & Ends + Hot Links 
 
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PE HUB First Read

First Read closes out the week with news that Mattel shares soar after strong Barbie sales fuel surprise profit, Sears gets a second life and Twitter's user count falls for three quarters in a row, so the company will stop reporting the number.
Read more...  

PE HUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, Food delivery startup Postmates files for an IPO, Dell is exploring a sale of cybersecurity company SecureWorks and Woody Allen is suing Amazon Studios for killing his movie deal.
Read more...  

PE HUB Heathcare Wire Highlights, 2.7.19

Which GPs will go backcountry skiing for hospital RCM
Read more...  

PE HUB Wire Highlights, 2.7.19

KKR invests in OneStream; Accel-KKR considers liquidity options for 2008 fund; Great Hill makes 6x on ZoomInfo sale
Read more...  
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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