PE HUB Wire Highlights, 3.14.19


Photo of Luisa Beltran, PE HUB Senior Editor, courtesy of Buyouts Insider.

Reader outrage over college cheating scandal; GCM Grosvenor leads restructure of Denham Capital IV; Gryphon wins LEARN Behavioral auction

Happy Pi day, everyone. Yesterday, I heard the siren call — okay it was more of ding-dong-ding — of the ice cream truck. This surely means spring is on the way.

It feels as if many people are off on spring vacation this week. So take a break from the beach, and the college cheating scandal (which continues to dominate the headlines), to consider a rather big transaction that was announced yesterday. Brookfield Asset Management is buying 62 percent of Oaktree Capital Group. The deal, valued at $4.8 billion, is an attempt to create an alternative asset manager that would rival BlackstoneReuters said. It broadens Brookfield’s product offering to include debt.

Oaktree’s stock has underperformed the broader market and is down around 13 percent in the past five years, the story said. This compares to the S&P 500 Index, which is up more than 50 percent, and even Blackstone’s share price is up. Read the Reuters story here.

In another deal, Fastsigns International Inc, which provides signs, banners and graphics to businesses and organizations, was sold to a PE firm for the third time in its 34-year history. Now, PE firms flipping companies between them is not new. But this is one of the first deals for LightBay Capital, which was founded in 2017 by former Ares Management private equity executives. LightBay is teaming up with Freeman Spogli to buy Fastsigns from Levine Leichtman Capital PartnersRead my story here.

Chris has a story on GCM Grosvenor, which led a deal to pull remaining assets out ofDenham Capital’s 2005 fund and move them into a new pool that gives the GP more time to manage the investments. Check out Chris’s story here.

Now back to the college cheating scandal. The case has ensnared some pretty big names in the PE and venture world. TPG has put William McGlashan, one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful investors, on indefinite leave after he was charged in the scandal. Manuel Henriquez, also charged, stepped aside Wednesday as chairman and CEO ofHercules Capital. Also named in the scandal was Gordon Caplan, a top M&A attorney and co-chairman of Willkie Farr, as well as Doug Hodge, retired CEO of Pimco.

There was very little compassion for those executives and parents accused of paying bribes to “help” their kids in the college admissions process. No one had anything nice to say and here are your responses:

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