Court Square starts MKG process, Gryphon takes a piece of growing vitamins category, West Monroe readies for global expansion post-MSD deal

Court Square's MKG returns to market while Gryphon buys Metagenics.

Happy Monday, hubsters!

Before I hit you with your Monday rundown of deal news, let’s take a moment to recognize the level of PE activity produced so far in this whirlwind of a year.

According to Pitchbook’s Q3 report, US PE dealmaking has already achieved record annual deal value through the third quarter of 2021. In the third quarter alone, that included a record 6,004 transactions for a combined $787.6 billion.

One interesting data point that stands out: For the first time on record, roughly as many growth equity deals closed as did platform buyouts, not including add-ons, Pitchbook says. This acceleration of growth equity deals is fueled by the opportunities investors see in technology, healthcare, and ESG-related disruption, the report says.

MedComms: This is starting to feel repetitive, but it’s true, another medical communications agency is in the market.

Less than two years into its investment, Court Square Partners kicked off a sale process for analytics-driven Medical Knowledge Group, which educates doctors on the efficacy of drug therapies and rare disease states, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell me. Harris Williams is advising the sell-side.

MKG is marketing EBITDA of $50 million, the sources said. One person expects the company could trade in the $850 million to $900 million range, while another said MKG could be valued as high as $1 billion.

Driving this? As I noted amid TPG’s recent bet in the segment, biopharma and pharma companies are putting huge and growing sums of capital to work to develop new therapies and successfully reach their target audience. With that, these businesses are seeing growth in demand.

A massive level of fragmentation also gives platforms an opportunity to build out and diversify beyond their core offerings, while at the same time the overall digital transformation of the industry adds another tailwind. Read my full report here.

Going global: West Monroe, a digital consultancy, has plans to expand operations internationally after an investment from MSD Partners valued the company at roughly $2.5 billion.

“Once we set up shop in London, we will start looking at companies to acquire that fit what we do here at West Monroe,” Kevin McCarty, CEO of West Monroe, told PE Hub. MSD will be a silent partner, not involved in the day-to-day business but its capital will be used for expansion and growth. “This gives us a bigger war chest to do more acquisitions not only in the US but throughout the world.”

Concluding a process that was three years in the making, the CEO told my colleague Aaron Weitzman that having 50/50 governance was crucial because it allows the consultancy to maintain the West Monroe brand, leadership and culture.

This investment won’t impact West Monroe Capital, the investing arm of West Monroe that is a co-investment vehicle and partner-fund approach. Monroe Capital co-invests on specific deals with West Monroe’s PE clients. Read Aaron’s full report on PE Hub.

Vitamins! San Francisco’s Gryphon Investors is getting into the popular vitamins category, acquiring Metagenics from Alticor.

What makes Metagenics unique? With its more than 850 natural health products supporting everything from digestive health to women’s health, it partners with global healthcare practitioners and develops clinically proven and transparent nutrition programs.

Gryphon will seek “potential acquisitions for Metagenics as well as incremental independent platforms in the health and wellness category” said managing director Ryan Fagan, who will join the board alongside partner Matt Farron and a Gryphon executive partner and operating partner.

Read PE Hub’s brief on the deal.

On the move: Charlesbank Capital Partners hired Bert Duarte, who most recently spent more than seven years at Advent International, growing its roster in the competitive healthcare sector.

Charlesbank’s current umbrella of healthcare investments include MB2Dental, MyEyeDoctor and Tecomet. In healthcare technology, its portfolio includes Symplr and Healthcare Fraud Shield. Read more on PE Hub.

That’s it for me! Have a great week ahead. Reach me at springle@buyoutsinsider.com with thoughts and feedback, tips and drama, or anything else!