Carlyle readies Newport Academy sale amid Beautycounter investment, KKR wins Ensono auction, Hellman & Friedman bets on energy-tech

Carlyle to explore the sale of Newport Academy and H&F is buying Enervus

Morning, everybody!

In today’s news, we’ve got yet another PE-backed behavioral health company preparing to kick off a sale process, plus a couple interesting tech investments by buyout firms including KKR and Hellman & Friedman, and more investment behind the clean beauty trend.

New opp: Carlyle Group has engaged Jefferies to explore the sale of Newport Academy, whose teen rehab centers treat everything from mental health issues to substance abuse, sources familiar with the firm’s plan said. Although Carlyle’s investment was never publicly disclosed, PE Hub learned in 2017 that the PE firm had invested through its US Equity Opportunity Fund, which focuses on North American mid-market and growth opportunities.

This time around, a sale ought to value Newport Academy at more than $1 billion, sources said, with EBITDA having appeared to have grown at least fourfold since Carlyle’s investment. Read PE Hub’s full report.

Just a few days ago, I wrote on KKR’s $1.2 billion-plus bet for Lightyear’s Therapy Brands – whose various technology offerings are tailored to the growing behavioral healthcare market.

Now … KKR this morning revealed yet another tech investment, shaking hands on a deal to acquire Ensono from Charlesbank Capital Partners and M/C Partners. The deal comes on the heels of the IT services provider’s acquisition of UK cloud-native consultancy Amido.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but PE Hub wrote ­in February that Sonoco was being shopped via UBS, with sources citing value expectations in the $1.5 billion to $2 billion range. Reuters placed valuation at around $1.7 billion.

Either way, Sonoco appears a winning investment for exiting investors. Charlesbank and M/C Partners initially invested in the company in July 2015 through a carveout from publicly-traded Acxiom. At that time, Acxiom was expected to transact its IT managed services business for a total cash consideration of up to $190 million.

Elsewhere in tech, Hellman & Friedman said Tuesday it would buy Enervus, a data analytics and SaaS technology company focused on the worlds largest market – energy. Genstar, an investor since 2018, will remain a significant shareholder following the transaction. Read PE Hub’s brief on the deal.

Zoom effect: Turns out, everyone has stared at themselves a lot on Zoom over the last year. How much of an impact is that having on the skincare and cosmetics industry, readers?

Carlyle, both an active seller and buyer as of late, is also investing behind beauty trends. The firm said Tuesday it has acquired a majority stake in Beautycounter, valuing the Santa Monica clean skincare and cosmetics founded less than a decade ago at $1 billion. Read PE Hub’s brief on the deal.

That’s all for me! Have a great rest of the week ahead, and as always, hit me up with your questions, comments or tips at