Goldman’s Pulford expands Americas sponsor coverage as dealmaking picks up, VSS’s Coretelligent steps up to the covid-19 challenge, Ascend Partners, led by ex-Warburg healthcare head, unveils $300m fund

Francisco Partners agrees acquire Forcepoint from Raytheon Technologies and sponsored-driven M&A activity surges.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Morning! This is Milana, with your weekly Tech Take, Dear Reader.

I recently caught up with Rob Pulford, head of North Americas financial and strategic investors group (FSIG) at Goldman Sachs. Pulford this summer moved to New York from London to lead North Americas sponsor effort at the bank, working closely with Pete Lyon, the global head of FSIG. Pulford previously led FSIG in EMEA.

Rob shared that sponsor-driven M&A activity in the past two months was tremendous, fueled by pent-up demand for exits and an acceleration of growth in certain businesses.

“On the exit side, we missed this whole period of time where we did not see any activity at all, so there is a built-up pipeline there,” Pulford said. “We have many clients that raised a lot of capital and now have to make up for the five to six months during which the pandemic saw a temporary pause in deal activity. So, there is a significant amount of catch-up to do for the right deal on the right terms.”

The banker also said the pandemic created winners and losers, with some business models having benefited from the shutdown and the remote environment and others challenged.

“The thing that’s fascinating about the pandemic is that the market is polarized: we have companies that were very positively impacted by covid in tech and healthcare, and on the other hand, we have businesses that have been challenged, like leisure, travel, airlines and transportation, or anything that requires gathering of large groups of people,” Pulford said.

Read more here on PE Hub.

Top Scoops
Francisco Partners agreed to acquire Forcepoint from Raytheon Technologies, a provider of cybersecurity solutions. Read our brief here on PE Hub.

Francisco has been active both on the buy-side and sell-side as of late. In case you missed it, Francisco last week sold a partial stake in SmartBear to Vista Equity, valuing the provider of software development and quality tools north of $1.8 billion.

Read my story here.

That’s all from me! Have a great day. Reach me with thoughts and feedback at