GIC, Oak Street close STORE Capital deal; PE firms hire to smooth operations

Diversis Capital-backed Fishbowl lnventory buys Sellware.

Good morning dealmakers, thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s Obey Martin Manayiti here with the newsletter, and as I indicated with my debut last Friday, I will be capping each week with a deal trend that caught my attention in recent days.

Today we are looking at how seven senior hires at PE firms are oiling the operational machines at portfolio companies. Also, there are suggestions that Carlyle Group is courting former Goldman Sacks executive for the CEO role.

But first, let’s look at the PE deal news released this morning.

This just in. Oak Street, a division of Blue Owl, a Chicago-based firm, and Singapore-headquartered GIC announced today the completion of the previously announced acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of common stock of STORE Capital for $32.25 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $15 billion, including assumed debt.

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, STORE Capital is an internally managed net-lease REIT that acquires, invests and manage Single Tenant Operational Real Estate.

“As one of the largest M&A transactions in the US real estate market, it highlights GIC’s ability to execute at scale in areas we have high conviction in,” said Lee Kok Sun, chief investment officer, GIC. “With GIC’s long-term, committed capital and STORE’s demonstrated operational expertise, we will continue to prudently grow the company and drive strong returns for our portfolio.”

Also announced this morning: Fishbowl lnventory, which is backed by Diversis Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based PE firm, announced this morning that it acquired Sellware, a Cary, North Carolina based provider of inventory management and order management systems which helps clients to streamline day-to-day operations across ecommerce shopping carts, marketplaces, and ERP systems.

Fishbowl Inventory, based in Orem, Utah, focuses on ERP software for small-to-mid and mid-to-enterprise sized businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Uptime Institute, which is backed by New York-based Dominus Capital, has completed its acquisition of Academia Group Limited, a Suffolk, England-based technical education company and all of its global subsidiaries that include CNet Training. CNet Training has been designing and delivering professional network and data center infrastructure training programs since 1996 and has trained over 83,000 data center professionals across 45 countries, the company said.

Smooth operators: For most PE firms, the beginning of the year is a busy time for people moves, and this January was no exception. What felt new to us at PE Hub this year was a preponderance of new hires involving folks with hands-on operational experience. That’s a trend we have seen for several years, but it accelerated last month, as private equity firms sought to strengthen and smooth operations at their portfolio companies across different sectors, as the economy tightens.

London-headquartered Permira Advisers appointed Kelly Grier as a senior advisor to its global services team. Grier is based in New York. Previously, she spent decades at EY in the US in different senior roles.

“Kelly brings unrivaled experience in leading one of the most successful professional services companies globally through a period of robust growth,” Daniel Brenhouse, a partner at Permira, and Caroline Carr, a partner and chief human resources officer, said in a statement. “We look forward to benefiting from Kelly’s perspectives as we continue to execute on our global strategy in the services sector and help our management teams develop world-class people propositions.”

The firm also added Carolyn Everson as a senior advisor. Based in New York, Everson previously held senior roles at Meta, Instacart, Microsoft and Viacom’s MTV Networks.

“Carolyn has been at the heart of the internet and digital media economy for more than two decades, building high performance teams and delivering exceptional results across the globe,” said Permira partners Dipan Patel and Brian Ruder. “Her experience will be instrumental in both identifying new investment opportunities and helping our management teams realize their growth ambitions.”

Baton Rouge-based Bernhard Capital Partners hired Rhoman Hardy to work closely with portfolio company management teams to identify and implement operational improvements, optimize business functions and identify opportunities for scalable growth.
Hardy spent the entirety of his career at Shell, where he most recently served as senior vice president, chemicals and products, for the US Gulf Coast.

“Rhoman’s distinguished track record of driving operational excellence and creating value at scale is a natural fit, and I am confident our portfolio companies, investors and team members will benefit from his expertise as we continue to expand our portfolio of infrastructure and services-focused businesses,” said Jeff Koonce, a partner at Bernhard Capital.

Read the full story here for the rest of the hires.

Filling Up: continuing with the people moves theme, the Financial Times, citing sources, reports that Carlyle Group is courting Harvey Schwartz, Wall Street veteran and former Goldman Sachs executive about taking over as CEO to replace Kewsong Lee who resigned in August last year. Schwartz did not respond to a request for comment. Carlyle declined to comment.

That’s it for me today. Have a great weekend, and MK Flynn will be back with the Wire on