Hg brings on ex-Vista exec for North America push; Morgan Stanley Capital to acquire Apex Companies

Ex-Vista exec Cline to lead Hg activity in North America.

Morning Hubsters!

Before we get started, a quick reminder that we’ve opened nominations for our Deal of the Year awards for top exits in 2022 (a concept that seems to have gained even more significance in the tough exit environment). Winners are chosen in seven categories: Deal of the Year, Large-Market Deal of the Year, Middle-Market Deal of the Year, Small-Market Deal of the Year, Turnaround of the Year, International Deal of the Year, and Secondaries Deal of the Year. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 13.

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For more information, the application and a review of past winners, visit us here.

Big hire: We’ve been waiting to see where this person landed. Software investor Hg said today it is hiring ex-Vista Equity executive Alan Cline to lead its activity in North America. Cline left Vista in 2021 after spending more than a decade at the firm, first building up its middle-market focused Foundation funds and then co-leading its smaller-market Endeavor strategy. He worked on Vista’s acquisitions of software firms like Accruent, Autotask Corp, LogicMonitor and Bullhorn, Reuters reported.

Cline will join Hg’s senior leadership team and share management responsibilities. The firm has about $55 billion of assets under management and invests globally, with about two-thirds of its portfolio comprising businesses that work with customers in both North America and Europe. Hg raised more than $20 billion in the last 12 months. Read more here on PE Hub.

Consulting: As the US contends with its crumbling infrastructure, deals targeting the sector, especially companies that provide services to infra companies, have become more of a target for private equity. Morgan Stanley Capital Partners will announce today that it will acquire Apex Companies, which provides environmental and infrastructure consulting and engineering services, from Sentinel Capital Partners, writes Obey Martin Manayiti on PE Hub.

Apex works with clients at the federal, state and municipal level as well as private sector clients in the retail, industrial, real estate, technology, energy and financial services market. This includes municipal water infra markets, which are regulatory-driven.

Some of the opportunities lie in the work that Apex does to help companies provide safe environments for workers through its health and safety division, according to Gian Turco, vice president with Morgan Stanley Capital.

He also described the environmental and infrastructure consultancy and engineering services as highly fragmented: “M&A will be a core piece of our strategy in providing a good and skilled home for many of these smaller businesses that gives them greater opportunity and greater access to technical resources.” Read more here on PE Hub.

Exit: Orangewood Partners will announce today it’s exited ABTB, a Louisville, Kentucky Taco Bell franchise. The firm doubled Ebitda during its ownership period, writes Aaron Weitzman on PE Hub.

“We have a specific investment model, which starts with a theme. With regards to our Taco Bell franchise investment, we are investing behind food service, sophistication, and convenience – which we think are long-term tailwinds in the consumer and food sectors – not just restaurants or quick service restaurants more broadly,” said Alan Goldfarb, founder and managing partner of Orangewood. Read more here on PE Hub.

That’s it for me! Reach me with tips n’ gossip, feedback or book recs at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com or find me on LinkedIn.