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Genstar buys Primus’s stake in Forte Research

Primus Capital is selling its stake in Forte Research Systems after more than four years, according to an FTC filing.

Genstar Capital is the buyer, an Aug. 23 notice on the FTC site said. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

M&A transactions valued at a minimum of $90 million are required to be reported to the FTC and the Department of Justice prior to consummation. Early-termination notices appear on the FTC site after the regulator has conducted an antitrust review of a deal.

Forte, based in Madison, Wisconsin, develops clinical research management software that’s used by cancer centers, academic medical centers and health systems. Shree Kalluri, Forte’s CEO, co-founded the company in 2000.

Primus invested an undisclosed amount in Forte in April 2015. The investment came from Primus’s seventh fund, which closed on $353 million in 2013, Buyouts reported at the time.

Active deal-maker

Forte is the latest deal for Genstar. The San Francisco buyout shop recently invested in insightsoftware, a provider of ERP reporting and corporate performance management software. Insightsoftware is backed by TA Associates.

Genstar also bought OEConnection, which makes software for automakers and their franchised dealers. The deal is valued at nearly $1.3 billion, Buyouts reported Aug. 1.

Primus, with offices in Cleveland and Atlanta, is a middle-market PE firm. It focuses on deals in healthcare, software and technology-enabled services companies. It typically invests between $15 million to $70 million in equity per deal. Primus is currently managing its eighth fund. It’s unclear if Fund VIII held a final close. The fund had a target of $500 million, Buyouts reported in 2017.

Primus scored a major exit when it sold Hyperwallet to PayPal in 2018 for $400 million. More recently, Primus decided to sell its stake in SkillSurvey, Buyouts reported in July.

Executives for Forte and Genstar declined comment. Primus could not be reached for comment.

*UPDATE: A prior version of this story said that M&A transactions valued at $90 million must be reported to the FTC. That is incorrect. Earlier this year, the FTC set the threshold for M&A transactions to be reported to regulators at $90 million. The story has been changed.

Action Item: For more information, email Primus Director Aaron Davis at adavis@primuscapital.com.