Crosspoint and Enlightenment snatch up cybersecurity providers; Crestview goes to the movies

BDT invests in movie theater operator National Amusements.

Good morning dealmakers, thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s Obey Martin Manayiti here with the Wire.

As we are heading into this holiday weekend, I have some entertainment-focused deals for movie lovers, including one from BDT.

And to cap off the week, I will start with six PE-backed cybersecurity deals – all of which were announced this month, demonstrating a very robust market.

Modern times
As cybersecurity threats proliferate, the companies defending against them continue to attract private equity. Witness Vista Equity Partners’ $4.6 billion take-private deal for cybersecurity training specialist KnowBe4, which closed on February 1.

Since then, the pace of dealmaking within the space has quickened, especially in the mid-market. In the month of May alone, I identified six deal announcements, with three of them coming from portfolio companies of Enlightenment Capital.

Here’s a look at a couple of cybersecurity deals from my story:
Menlo Park, California-based Crosspoint Capital Partners has agreed to take Vancouver-based Absolute Software private for $870 million, including debt. The target is focused on cybersecurity services for devices, data, and security controls.

“In the modern remote and hybrid work environment, maintaining device integrity and protection is more difficult than ever,” said Greg Clark, managing partner of Crosspoint, in a statement. “We are impressed with how Absolute has built upon its asset visibility and control heritage and expanded into solutions that provide endpoint resilience and the reliable access needed in today’s hybrid work environments.”

Agile Defense, a Reston, Virginia-based portfolio company of Washington, DC-based Enlightenment Capital, earlier this week announced the acquisition of XOR Security, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia.

Founded in 2013, XOR Security provides cybersecurity services to federal government, civilian, law enforcement, national security and commercial customers.

“XOR brings expertise in network defense, zero trust architecture, managed detection and advanced threat response,” said Devin Talbott, Enlightenment founder and managing partner, in a statement.

Part of your world
As many people head to movie theaters this weekend to see The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy and other films, you may want to take another look at Iris Dorbian’s coverage of how PE firms are investing in Hollywood.

Iris spoke with Crestview Partners’ Brian Cassidy about the firm’s recent investment in talent firm The Gersh Agency.

Crestview hopes the returns for this deal will ultimately echo an earlier one the firm sealed with former portfolio company ICM.

In 2019, Crestview made an initial investment of $100 million in ICM, and later bought a further stake of around $50 million. When ICM was sold to TPG-backed Creative Artists Agency for $750 million in 2022, Crestview earned a return of 2.2x, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

“We think there is a lot of room to grow in [Gersh’s] existing lines of businesses,” explained Cassidy. “We also would like to opportunistically expand into other adjacencies within talent representation, such as sports and music.”

More popcorn please
BDT Capital Partners announced this morning a $125 million investment in National Amusements, a Norwood, Massachusetts-based movie theater operator. BDT Capital Partners is an affiliate of BDT & MSD Partners, a merchant bank.

National Amusements is also a majority voting shareholder of mass media and entertainment conglomerate Paramount Global. The deal is expected to close next week.

“We are pleased to partner with National Amusements in a transaction that supports its stewardship of Paramount Global,” said Byron Trott, chairman and co-CEO of BDT & MSD Partners. “Paramount has an incredible legacy, underpinned by its industry-leading content and media assets. We believe strongly in the value creation opportunities ahead for the company and its shareholders.”

Also check out Iris’s recent story, highlighting six Hollywood deals in six months here.

That’s all from me.

Note: The Wire will not be published on Monday in Observance of Memorial Day.

Have a nice long weekend, and MK will be back with you on Tuesday.