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PE Weekly: Investment Bank Spins Out a New PE Firm

Plus, manufacturing and industrials are once again a bright spot for M&A

PE Weekly: Investment Bank Spins Out a New PE Firm

Manufacturing and industrials are, yet again, a bright spot for middle-market M&A this week with recent industry deals spanning the automotive, industrials and engineering end-markets. Plus, a new private equity firm spins out of an investment bank. Read up on the details below.

Platform Investments and Acquisitions

H.I.G. Carves Out Thermal Vehicle Unit from Valeo. Valeo, a publicly-listed French automotive supplier, is divesting its Thermal Commercial Vehicles unit to private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. A press release said the company, which develops and manufactures thermal management solutions for passenger buses, coaches and refrigerated transportation fleets, will operate under the name Spheros. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close this year.

J.F. Lehman Acquires Mission Microwave. J.F. Lehman & Company, a middle-market private equity firm focused on the aerospace, defense, maritime, government and environmental industries, has announced its completed acquisition of Mission Microwave. The business provides solid-state power amplifiers and block upconverters to the satellite communication (SATCOM) sector.

NewSpring’s Franchise Strategy Backs Fast-Casual Restaurant. NewSpring Capital’s Franchise investment strategy announced this week it has invested in Shake Smart Holdings, a healthy fast-casual concept restaurant. The investment marks the third acquisition from NewSpring’s NSF II, NewSpring Franchise’s investment fund focused on consumer-facing multi-unit businesses.

Ampersand Capital Acquires Cell Culture Media Manufacturer. Ampersand Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on the life sciences and healthcare sectors, announced its acquisition of Biologos, which manufactures cell culture media, reagents, buffers, enzymes and sera. The investment will support Biologos’ expansion of product offerings, capabilities and geographic reach, strengthening its position in the gene therapy, biopharmaceutical and other life sciences end-markets.

Trinity Hunt Creates Healthcare Advisory Platform. Trinity Hunt Partners, a services-focused private equity firm, announced its majority investment in Coker Group that establishes the firm’s healthcare advisory platform. A press release said Coker Group is a healthcare advisory servicing hospitals, physician groups and PE-backed platforms.

Leonard Green- and Aurora Capital-Backed Pace(R) Acquires Curia Assets. Pace(R) Life Sciences, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) backed by Leonard Green & Partners and Aurora Capital Partners, announced its acquisition of assets from CDMO Curia. Pace(R) has acquired the New Jersey laboratory facility from Curia, which provides development and commercial analytical laboratory services to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Clearlake Capital, Insight Partners Acquire Enterprise AI Business. Enterprise analytics artificial intelligence company Alteryx has been acquired by Clearlake Capital Group and Insight Partners, according to a recent press release. The take-private deal delists Alteryx from the New York Stock Exchange.

Propel Equity Launches with First Platform Investment. Propel Equity, a lower middle-market private equity firm, announced its formal launch on the market, coinciding with its first platform investment. The firm has backed Flow Services Holdings, a drain cleaning and sewer line repair business. Propel Equity was founded by Ryan Bruehlmann and Franklin Foster, who were formally both managing directors at Audax Private Equity.


OceanSound’s Gannett Fleming Acquires DEC. Gannett Fleming, an engineering and infrastructure solutions provider backed by private equity firm OceanSound Partners, announced its acquisition of DEC. The company provides water and transportation engineering services. In an announcement, Gannett Fleming said the investment will expand its presence in Texas, where DEC is based.


Wynnchurch Capital Exits Manufacturer to Oaktree. Wynnchurch Capital, a middle-market private equity firm, announced the sale of LPW Group Holdings, a designer and manufacturer of specialty valves, fittings and other flow control products for the chemical, renewable and other industrial end-markets. Oaktree Capital Management has acquired the business.

Freeman Spogli Exits Baseline. Fitness to Mayfair Capital. Freeman Spogli, a middle-market private equity firm, announced this week it has sold portfolio company Baseline Fitness, a franchise division of Planet Fitness centers. Mayfair Capital Partners, a division of Oxford Financial Group, has acquired the business, in which Freeman Spogli has retained a minority interest. Freeman Spogli first acquired Baseline Fitness in 2017.


Comvest Raises Sixth Fund at $881 Million. Comvest Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, announced the close of its sixth flagship private equity fund, Comvest Investment Partner VI, with $881 million in capital commitments. Foundations, insurance companies, pension funds, asset managers, consultants and family offices contributed to the fundraise, a press release said. The fund will pursue control investment in middle-market businesses throughout North America.


Cambridge Wilkinson Spins Out PE Firm. Investment bank Cambridge Wilkinson announced it has spun out BCB Equity Partners, an independent private equity firm that will focus on the lower middle market in North America. BCB will be led by David Barcus as CEO, as well as Cambridge Wilkinson cofounders Rob Bolandian and Howard Chernin, who will serve as co-chairmen.

Waud Capital Collabs with Mark Layden on Enterprise Software Investments. Waud Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm, announced that it is partnering with Mark Layden for a second time to collaborate on investing in enterprise application software investments. A press release said Waud Capital and Layden had previously collaborated to acquired CyberGrants, a corporate social responsibility software platform. Layden served as CEO of the company. Their renewed partnership will see Waud Capital and Layden co-invest in additional businesses.



Middle Market Growth is produced by the Association for Corporate Growth. To learn more about the organization and how to become a member, visit www.acg.org.