Covid beneficiary Velocity Clinical Research explores sale, L Catterton invests in Birkinstock, First-timer Twist joins SPAC game

New tech-focused SPAC Twist Capital is targeting $175 million and L Catterton backs Birkinstock.

Happy Friday, everybody!

While the pandemic environment in many instances meant that fewer patients were going into physical clinical trial sites in 2020, the opposite was true for certain players playing a critical role in coronavirus-related vaccine and treatment studies.

One such company, NaviMed Capital-backed Velocity Clinical Research, has experienced booming business because of its coronavirus-related work – and is now up for sale, according to five people with knowledge of the process. First round bids for Velocity were fielded at the start of the week.

Valuing Velocity is poised to prove a challenging task given how rapidly the company has grown, sources said. Private equity firms participating in the process are examining the extent to which covid-related work is long-standing versus poised to drop off – assessing what a normalized EBITDA figure would look like, they said.

Check out my full report here.

On the hunt: Chris Witkowsky over at Buyouts has some SPAC news involving another first-time manager, hubsters. Twist Capital, formed by an ex-Guggenheim and Blackstone executive, is targeting $175 million for a special purpose acquisition company to pursue growth tech deals.

Strong tech opportunities exist in smaller cities in regions removed from the East Coast and West Coast hubs, its S-1 filing says.

Twist, formed by Sean Madnani, is also is targeting $500 million for his debut tech dislocation fund, Buyouts previously reported. Another first-timer raising a SPAC is Patient Square Capital, led by ex-KKR healthcare chief Jim Momtazee.

Read more here.

Shoes: Birkinstock, the iconic sandal maker long run by its founder family, is selling a majority stake to L Catterton and Financière Agache, the family investment company of Bernard Arnault. Read PE Hub’s brief on the deal.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Bloomberg wrote that the deal values the German company at about 4 billion euros ($4.9 billion) after L Catterton outbid CVC Capital Partners. L Catterton’s track record with family-backed consumer brands plus its ability to expand in Asia appealed to the Birkinstock family, the report said. Read more here.

That’s it for today! Have a great weekend, and in meantime, hit me up with feedback or tips n’ gossip at springle@buyoutsinsider.com.

Correction: An earlier headline and version of this post misspelled Birkinstock. It has since been corrected.