PE HUB Wire Highlights, 5.13.19

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

ION to buy Acuris for $1.8 bln from BC Partners, GIC; Fundraising set to surge in 2019; As society changes, PE finds growing opportunities in fertility

Happy belated Mom’s day, everyone. As I told all my friends with kids, eat up. Calories don’t count. Notice that I’m not mentioning the predictable storyline of “Game of Thrones.” Nope, I’m not complaining about this at all.

We have some big deals this morning. First up is Acuris, the firm formerly known as Mergermarket, which has inked a deal with ION Investment. ION, which is backed by Carlyle Group, is buying a majority of Acuris. BC Partners and GIC are the sellers but will retain a minority. The deal is valued at more than $1.35 billion pounds ($1.76 billion). See our brief here.

In truth, I was confused by this deal when I first heard about it a few weeks ago. ION acquired a majority of Dealogic, a data and analytics provider, back in 2017. Apparently, they’re going to merge the companies, I’m told.

This is the latest deal for ION, which has been on a buying spree. ION acquired OpenLink Financial from Hellman & Friedman last year. It tried to buy eFront from BridgePoint earlier this year but failed. It then acquired Allegro Development from sellers Vector Capital and Cerium TechnologyBuyouts reported in April. (Disclosure: BridgePoint owns PEI Media which acquired Buyouts, publisher of this report.)

Speaking of surprises, I’m still digesting that Reverence Capital Partners is acquiring Advisor Group. Reverence is buying 75 percent of Advisor Group, a wealth management platform that supports over 7,000 financial advisers. Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments, the sellers, will have 25 percent. Centerbridge Partners was supposed to buy AG for more than $2 billion, Bloomberg reported. What have I learned? Never count out Reverence’s Milton Berlinski.

Let’s talk hard to get. Sycamore Partners has revived its bid for Chico’s, the womens’ apparel retailer. Sycamore, a retail-focused PE firm that also owns Staples, offered to buy Chico’s for $407.8 million. Chico’s is studying the offer to see if it’s in the best interest of shareholders. Chico’s said it recently rejected another unsolicited offer from Sycamore for $4.30 a share cash because the offer was too low. See our brief here.


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