This is Chris, on for Wire Wednesday.
Thanks for all the Deal of the Year nominations. We’ve made our choices and are working on the deal write-ups. The winning firms have been alerted, though as always we’ve asked everyone to keep it quiet until we go public in early April.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, we present an interview with Natacha Jamar, managing director in Blackstone Group’s corporate private equity division. Some of Jamar’s deals with Blackstone include ICS, Pulse, Versace and ISD. Here’s an excerpt:
Tell us about your first PE deal.
The first deal I worked on was the acquisition of ICS, a UK clinical staffing business, in 2010. We bought that business and then very quickly did an add-on that doubled the size of the company – so it was a good introduction to buy-and-builds.
I was a first-year analyst, and it seemed both crazy and awesome that I was getting to ask questions and voice my opinions in management meetings. I also had a more senior analyst who very patiently answered all my ‘private equity 101’ questions, which made it an especially good learning experience.
Can you tell us about your journey in a male-dominated industry and your advice for future women leaders?
I’ve always tried not to spend too much time worrying about how I might be at a disadvantage as a woman, and instead focus on how I can turn it into an advantage. Firms are now so keen to attract and retain women, and as a result there are great networking, mentoring and training opportunities. My advice would be to take advantage of these programs. I’ve been fortunate to meet so many inspiring women at my own and other PE firms, who have become a great support network.
Food waste: Ara Partners-backed Divert announced a $1 billion infrastructure development agreement with Enbridge, a multinational pipeline and energy company in Calgary. As part of the deal, Divert secured $80 million in growth equity from Enbridge and another $20 million from Ara, writes Obey Martin Manayiti on PE Hub. Divert is working on opportunities to convert waste food into renewable natural gas.
“Renewable natural gas is an incredibly hot market from an acquisition standpoint,” he said. “There is such a supply-demand imbalance of renewable natural gas, and that’s getting worse,” said Ara partner Cory Steffek.
Divert collects waste food from multiple sources including grocery stores. The food is divided into two categories: first to preserve the food, which can be donated to communities in need, Obey writes. The second involves the RNG process, where wasted food is taken in as a feedstock.
Divert has plans to build at least 30 facilities in North America, making use of the $1 billion to implement that focus. “That would be about 10 to 15 facilities put in the ground in North America in the next five years,” he said, adding that the $100 million is what Divert is using for early stage development of those plants.
Each facility will process between 100,000 to 150,000 tons of food waste per year and produce about 230,000 to 350,000 MMBtu of carbon negative natural gas per year.
Back in market: New Mountain is raising its next flagship fund as private equity fundraising gets tougher, with LPs mostly sticking with their deepest relationships. A handful of firms out there right now will be the recipients of LP largesse, and it’s those with established reputations and strong past performance.
New Mountain closed its prior flagship pool in 2021 on $9.6 billion (with $600 million of that from the GP). It also closed its first non-control fund on $640 million at the time. Read more here on Buyouts for the details.
That’s it for me! Have a great rest of your day. Reach me with tips n’ gossip, feedback or Scotch recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on LinkedIn.