Blackstone’s growth strategy drives profits, Ontario Teachers, Stella Point to exit First American Payment

Ontario Teachers and Stella Point Capital to sell First American Payment Systems and Spectrum Equity invests in Empyrean Solutions.

Happy Thursday!

Stake: Late-breaking news this morning that Goldman Sachs acquired a stake in Incline Equity Partners. Check it out here.

Payments: Big exit from Ontario Teachers and Stella Point Capital — the two groups agreed to sell First American Payment Systems, which they’ve held since 2014, for $960 million to Deluxe. First American Payment Systems is a tech-enabled payment processing company.

Ontario Teachers and Stella Point worked with management to build out the tech platform, pursue strategic acquisitions and expand into high-growth payment verticals. The company provides payment services to more than 159,000 merchants throughout the Americas and Europe. Check it out here.

Growthy: Spectrum Equity led a $74 million growth investment in Empyrean Solutions, a financial risk management provider for banks and credit unions, writes Milana Vinn today. Spectrum was joined in the financing by Information Venture Partners. This was the first institutional funding for the company, Milana writes. Read more here on PE Hub.

Moms: TZP Group is finding opportunity in the mom-focused segment of the retail market. After buying maternity apparel brand Kindred Bravely, the firm has now closed a platform deal for Quintessential Tots (operating as Itzy Ritzy), which specializes in travel bags for infants, writes Karishma Vanjani.

TZP deployed up to $30 million for the deal, with debt provided by PineBridge Investments. Itzy Ritzy follows an omni-channel approach and sells at mass retail stores like Target, Kohl’s and Nordstrom, along with e-commerce sites and its own website, Karishma writes.

“We think there’s a lot of white space opportunities,” said Erin Edwards, who co-led the deal for TZP. The sub-$10 million EBITDA business added toys to its collection last year, in addition to teething rings and pacifiers. Read more here on PE Hub.

That’s it for me, Dear Reader. As always, hit me up with feedback, tips n’ gossip or Scotch recommendations at or find me on LinkedIn.