Blackstone bets a billion on PTC Therapeutics; Grant Ave brings in Brian Berkin for healthcare expertise

Blackstone inks deal with PTC Therapeutics.

Happy Fri-yay, Hubsters! Aaron here to end your week the right way.

Therapeutic financing. Blackstone announced a strategic financing with PTC Therapeutics to help support its mission to reach a steady state of delivering at least one therapy every two to three years to continue to bring transformative medicines to patients globally.

As part of the collaboration, funds managed by Blackstone Life Sciences and Blackstone Credit will provide PTC with an initial $500 million commitment, including $350 million in low-cost, low-dilution capital at close, according to a press release.

“This transaction demonstrates our unique ability, in partnership with Blackstone Credit, to combine deep domain expertise and flexible scale capital in the life sciences, helping to grow impressive companies like PTC Therapeutics as they optimize their capital structure and advance important treatments for patients,” said Kiran Reddy, managing director, and Craig Shepherd, senior managing director, at Blackstone Life Sciences. “PTC has a deep track record of bringing life-changing therapies to patients and we are excited to support them as they launch important initiatives with the goal of commercializing new medicines.”

You can find out more information on the transaction here.

Healthcare hire. Yesterday I broke the news of Grant Ave hiring Brian Berkin, who joins the emerging manager after nearly six years at Tailwind Capital. At Tailwind, he was in charge of coordinating all aspects of the investment process, including developing theses, identifying talent, managing diligence, structuring transactions and negotiating term sheets.

At Grant Ave, as managing director Berkin will work to implement the firm’s portfolio company growth playbook, based on six core tenets: human capital, operational efficiency, tech enablement, strategic sales and marketing, service or product line expansion, and M&A and de novos.
Grant Ave is a healthcare focused firm that was started in 2019 by Buddy Gumina, who left Apax Equity Partners after 20 years. He said he has been trying to find the best talent and has been really focused on the human capital aspect of the firm.

“Grant Avenue team members realize they can have a significant impact on the direction of the firm, and that they are appreciated and celebrated,” Gumina said. “We take that to heart at Grant Avenue, where team members are mentored, know they have a direct impact, and have true ownership. In my view, successful firms must combine an excellent, supportive culture with a competitive economic package to build extraordinary, committed teams.”

You can read the whole story here.

To learn more about Grant Ave’s investment strategy, read PE Hub’s profile of the firm’s healthcare investment approach.

Healthcare heavy. A little-known fact is that I started here at PEI Media writing for Buyouts on the LP beat. I left to come over to the Hub. Gregg Gethard filled my old role, and he recently wrote about how limited partners are focused on sector-specific strategies, with a focus on healthcare.

A survey by EisnerAmper showed that dislocation in the market and several niches could bode well for the healthcare sector.

According to the survey, LPs are expected to allocate more in the next year to sector-specific and growth equity over other strategies. The results showed that 33 percent of respondents listed sector-specific as a top-two strategy, up from 18 percent last year, Gregg wrote.

Over 40 percent of respondents in the survey ranked healthcare as the industry with the best investment potential for the remainder of the year. Tech investments, which held the top spot over the past four years, was the second favorite.

Nick Tsafos, a partner at EisnerAmper, said investors are bullish on healthcare due to America’s aging population and a market dislocation, indicating that the prices of some life sciences ETFs have dropped by 50 percent over the year, wrote Gregg.

“There’s a significant dislocation in capital and we are seeing some opportunities,” Tsafos said.

Many investors have specifically focused on mental health treatment and related facilities, Tsafos explained. “There’s not just an issue with our aging population. We have many social issues that society needs to solve. But these are really healthcare issues. That’s why we see a lot of investors putting more of their money in this space.”

You can read the entire story here.

Before I switch over to a non-healthcare topic, I want to write more listicle stories and am searching for my next topic. If you have done a deal this year in the dental, orthopedic, dermatology and/or ophthalmology sector then I would love to hear from you. Please reach out to me at aaron.w@peimedia.com.

You can read my healthcare staffing shortage listicle story here.

Onshoring. Obey Martin Manayiti wrote about how onshoring trends in industrial manufacturing spur PE appetite to make deals in the sector.

Obey spoke to Mike Burke, managing partner at Sky Peak Capital, about the firm’s latest holding company – Excelus Manufacturing Solutions, a holding company, as well as the announcement of the acquisition of Hicks Machine, a Walpole, New Hampshire-based precision machine shop.

There is an onshoring trend that is pushing up the domestic market, Burke said. The world suffered a snarled global supply chain at the height of the covid pandemic that forced many to scramble for domestic suppliers, shifting against the decades-long onshoring trend, Obey wrote.

“What we have seen from our customers in the market is not only reshoring to the US or North America but reshoring regionally too,” said Burke. Compared to foreign suppliers, where movement of goods was slowed down heavily, he said: “We try to be nimble and allow our customers some flexibility whereas when they are dealing with overseas suppliers, they face a longer lead time – the process is more rigid.”

Even though there is a cost advantage with overseas procurement, “customers are realizing there is a tradeoff between cost and certainty of delivering high-quality products on time,” Burke said.

You can read the entire story here.

That is a wrap for me. MK Flynn will be back from her much-deserved vacation and will be writing to you on Monday. It has been a busy week and I plan on just relaxing this weekend, going to a nice brunch on Saturday and watching sports. It is not the World Series match-up I was hoping for but I really need the Phillies to continue their magical run. I can’t live in a world where Houston are champions again – with or without cheating.

Cheers,

Aaron