Clairvest, Yaletown win CVCA’s 2017 deal of the year awards

Hand holding up a gold trophy cup as a winner in a competition; Photo courtesy of azizhjyaras/iStock/Getty Images

Clairvest Group and Yaletown Partners are the 2017 recipients of the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association‘s (CVCA) Deal of the Year awards. Toronto-based Clairvest won in the private equity category for its recent sale of outdoor advertising business Cieslok Media Inc to Bell Media Inc. The sale provided Clairvest with cash proceeds equal to 8.4x invested capital and an IRR of 92 percent. Vancouver-based Yaletown won in the venture capital category for last year’s sale of industrial internet platform Bit Stew Systems Inc to GE Digital. The sale gave Yaletown 7x on its initial outlay, and a total of 4.3x on combined rounds, resulting in an IRR of 98.3 percent.


CVCA announces 2017 Deal of the Year and Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award recipients

Clairvest Group Inc. and Yaletown Partners recognized for outstanding returns in PE and VC respectively; Kristi Miller, National Managing Director, First West Capital, recognized for impressive community involvement with Junior Achievement, British Columbia

Montreal, QC – June 7, 2017 – The Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) announced winners of its annual Deal of the Year awards during its 2017 annual conference, Invest Canada ’17 (hosted in conjunction with Réseau Capital), in Montreal today. Vancouver-based Yaletown Partners won in the venture capital category for its investment in Bit Stew Systems Inc. – now GE Digital – while Toronto-based Clairvest Group Inc. won in the private equity category for its investment in Cieslok Media Inc. Both deals were selected for outstanding cash realization value, and multiple of invested capital returned.

The CVCA’s Deal of the Year awards are presented annually and promote, highlight and celebrate the achievements of CVCA members who have had outstanding investment successes. The selection process recognizes CVCA members with the most significant investment return realized via an exit during the 2016 calendar year.

“The CVCA Awards are an integral component of what our organization does,” said Mike Woollatt, Chief Executive Officer, CVCA. “Recognizing industry successes is hugely important in shining a spotlight on how investors are contributing to the broader Canadian business economy.”

The CVCA also announced the winner of the 2017 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award which honours an individual CVCA member for community involvement. The CVCA is proud to announce Kristi Miller, National Managing Director, First West Capital, as this year’s recipient.

In addition to supporting Canada’s economic productivity, The Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award recipients also foster strong corporate social responsibility as a foundation for building solid vibrant communities. The award recognizes the commitment of time and effort to an organization or cause over a number of years, highlighting the winner’s impact.

Venture Capital Deal of the Year

Yaletown Partners (“Yaletown”), a Vancouver-headquartered venture capital firm that invests in emerging-growth technology companies in Canada, invested CAD $7.5 million in Bit Stew Systems, and realized proceeds of CAD $31.9 million representing 7x on its initial capital and an aggregate 4.3X through all rounds of financing l, generating an internal rate of return of 98.3% in just under 3 years. Bit Stew, now known as GE Digital, expanded to become the premier data integration platform for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Bit Stew’s artificial intelligence machine learning technology is used by global customers in a variety of industries including utilities, manufacturing, aviation and oil and gas.

“Bit Stew’s acquisition by GE Digital validates the promise of Canada’s innovation in artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things – core areas of focus for Yaletown’s investments,” said Salil Munjal, Managing Partner, Yaletown Partners.

Private Equity Deal of the Year

Clairvest Group Inc. (“Clairvest”), a Toronto-based private equity management firm, which selects industries or segments within industries where there is an opportunity to create substantial equity value, generated CAD $125.3 million from its initial investment of CAD $15 million, representing cash proceeds equal to 8.4X. The exit generated an internal rate of return of 92% over a period of just over three years. Since investing Cieslok Media Inc. has grown its presence across Canada, with major moves including the acquisition of the assets of Toronto and Vancouver-based OOH company Clarity Outdoor Media and Edmonton-based AdQ Media. Cieslok Media Inc. also launched its integrated mobile advertising product through a partnership with Sito Mobile.

This is the fifth time Clairvest has taken home the CVCA private equity deal of the year award. In 2008, Clairvest was recognized for it’s deal in Gateway Casinos Inc. and in 2009 they were acknowledged for their deal in Shepell Fgi. The last time Clairvest won the private equity deal of the year award was in 2013 for their investment in PEER 1.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of our investment in Cieslok Media and are honored to be recognized by our industry peers. This is Clairvest’s fifth win over the last 10 years and we are very proud of our team and our investment partners to have earned this recognition on multiple occasions,” Mitch Green, Managing Director. “The growth Cieslok Media accomplished in just three years is also a testament to the kind of value private equity investors, with a disciplined and proven investment strategy, can offer to their investment partners.”

Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award

The CVCA is proud to announce Kristi Miller, National Managing Director, First West Capital, as the recipient of the 2017 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award in recognition of her contributions to the Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC) organization which is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers—all working together to prepare and inspire young people to reach their potential and succeed in today’s global economy.

Kristi has been involved with JABC since 2013 occupying a variety of roles including Director, member of the Executive Committee, and is currently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors. Through Kristi’s active role at JABC, she has created opportunities for youth in finance and business; and, has been able to contribute expertise and enthusiasm to the organization.

JABC will reach more than 38,000 students across almost all school districts in BC this year. It has dedicated aboriginal, technology and girls’ programs, and is the largest of the JA Charters in Canada. In addition, JA Canada makes significant impact on Canada’s economy through encouraging entrepreneurship and teaching financial literacy skills, and creates an annual return to society of $45 for every dollar it spends.

“This award is an acknowledgement that the Canadian venture capital and investment community values and supports the next generation of leaders in finance and business,” said Kristi Miller. “Junior Achievement has a significant impact on Canadian youth by making them financially literate and workplace ready. This empowers kids to become self-sufficient and entrepreneurial. I am very proud to highlight the work of Junior Achievement through this award.”

CVCA Media Assets:
CVCA 2017 PE Deal Of The Year Award Video
CVCA 2017 VC Deal Of The Year Award Video
CVCA 2017 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award Video

About the CVCA

The CVCA is the voice of Canada’s venture capital and private equity industry. We are focused on improving the
private capital ecosystem by broadening industry awareness and providing market research, networking, and
professional development opportunities. We also advocate on behalf of the industry to ensure sound public policy
that encourages a favourable investment environment. The CVCA works alongside its members, who represent the
vast majority of private capital firms in Canada, to improve the industry and drive innovation and growth. Please

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Photo courtesy of azizhjyaras/iStock/Getty Images