Baleon Capital to back launch of media consultancy Avenue Z; MidOcean acquires food and ingredient company

MidOcean scoops up food and ingredients firm QualiTech.

Morning Hubs!

This is Chris, on for Wire Wednesday.

If you’re on the East Coast, are you being smoked out? That was some strange sunset Tuesday night.

Baleon Capital is expected to announce later it is backing the launch of Avenue Z, a communications and media consultancy, along with its acquisition of The Snow Agency, writes Obey Martin Manayiti on PE Hub this morning.

“What I see right now in the digital marketing space is obviously continued evolution of new channels for people to explore and find information to connect to the brands,” Jeffrey Herzog, CEO and chairman of Avenue Z, said in an interview with Obey.

The company plans to make use of new technologies like generative AI to better understand client needs.

“That’s the future of advocacy,” Herzog said. “The opportunity that I see today is that the industry of public relations is going to merge or converge with digital media. I see two large industries converging, and I see a new way for influence to be established across all channels, [including] search engine, social media, ChatGPT and other AI channels, and we are going to make those connections for large brands.”

Avenue Z will work with companies from climate tech, frontier tech, fin tech, health tech, space tech, among others, offering them a suite of services such as public relations, SEO and web developers.

Recession-resilient segments are getting more attention these days from PE. We’ve noticed a string of deals in the food, beverage and ingredients segment, including a transaction announced this morning.

MidOcean acquired QualiTech, which makes plant nutrition, animal nutrition and food ingredient products and services, the firm said this morning. The firm is buying the company, which was formed in 1967, from the Ploen family.

MidOcean has several other investors in the segment, including its acquisition in 2018 of Florida Food Products, which makes natural and clean label ingredients, and Casper’s Ice Cream, which the firm acquired in 2022. Casper’s makes and supplies branded and co-packed frozen novelty products sold through grocery and mass customers in the US.

A few things on the travails of the fundraising market right now – research has found that the time it takes to raise a fund has elongated to record lengths, writes Kirk Falconer on Buyouts.

Sponsors closing funds between January and March took an average of 13.4 months to reach the finish line, well above the annual averages stretching back to the GFC, according to the report. Extended timelines help explain the recent sharp drop in North American PE fund closings. Read more here on Buyouts.

As well, we’ve seen the rise of a strategy that has been used in the past, but that managers are turning to much more in the challenged fundraising markets. That is, GPs are seeding funds with deals as they raise them so that LPs coming in aren’t committing to a blind pool, but rather have a sense of what the portfolio will look like. LPs who commit early also can see how the firm works on deals, getting a view on style and strategy.
However, some LPs have become skeptical of this strategy, as they’ve seen early deals in a fund that is still in the market get hammered in the volatile markets. Read it here on Buyouts.

That’s it for me! Reach me at or find me on LinkedIn with tips n’ gossip, feedback or book recommendations.