KKR, L Catterton invests in Restaurant365; Sentinel Capital exits ECM for $1.1bn; 6 solar deals in PE

Private equity bets on solar energy.

Good morning dealmakers, thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s Obey Martin Manayiti here with the Wire.

To cap off the week, I’m looking at renewable energy deals, starting with six PE-backed deals in the solar energy sector and then the formation of Integral Energy Services, a clean energy and critical infrastructure services company, by Boyne Capital and Breakwater North.

But first, let’s look at the latest deal news:

Restaurant enterprise software
This morning, KKR and L Catterton, a Greenwich, Connecticut-headquartered firm, were among a consortium of investors funding Restaurant365, an enterprise management software provider for restaurants, to the tune of $135 million.

Other investors include ICONIQ Growth and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Restaurant365 provides operators with products that aim to increase sales, control food costs, and optimize labor. Its software suite includes services such as accounting, operational, and payroll-based processes in a single, cloud-based platform.

The investment is from KKR’s Tech Growth strategy and L Catterton’s Growth Fund.

Restaurant365 powers more than 40,000 restaurant locations, said Jimmy Miele, director for tech growth at New York-based KKR, adding that its “software has played a crucial role in helping many struggling operators keep their doors open during uncertain times. We look forward to being a part of this next chapter, helping even more operators achieve their highest potential.”

Automated data movement
Yesterday, Vista Credit Partners provided $125 million in financing to Fivetran, an Oakland, California-based provider of automated data movement out of, into and across cloud data platforms.

Fivetran said its product enables hundreds of brands across the globe, including Autodesk, Conagra Brands, JetBlue, Lionsgate, Morgan Stanley and Ziff Davis, to accelerate data-driven decisions and drive business growth.

“Fivetran is an ideal partner for Vista Credit Partners as a founder-led, scaled and growing category leader providing mission-critical solutions to modern businesses,” said David Flannery, president at Vista Credit Partners, in a statement.

At PE Hub, we are closely following enterprise software deals. Last month I wrote about why private equity firms still love enterprise software, with interviews from Thoma Bravo, Vista Equity Partners, Sumeru Equity Partners and others.

Yesterday, Sentinel Capital Partners sold ECM, a New Berlin, Wisconsin-based provider of electrical connectors, tools, and test instruments, to nVent Electric for $1.1 billion.
ECM is a global manufacturer and supplier of electrical products for construction and maintenance, irrigation and landscape supply, and natural gas/cathodic industries.

New York-headquartered Sentinel has been invested in ECM for over the past three and a half years. “ECM has performed exceedingly well during our partnership, and we believe it has a bright future ahead,” said John Van Sickle, a Sentinel partner.

Power up with solar
Renewable energy investments have become one of the most attractive sectors for private equity firms in the US and beyond. This is largely rooted in the desire to tap into the vast opportunities opened by the push to tackle climate change.

The US government has taken steps, including the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), to incentivize the development of renewable energy. Wood Mackenzie forecasts the US community solar market to grow 118 percent over the next five years.

PE Hub today rounded up six PE-backed deals focusing on the development of solar energy.
Westport, Connecticut, based True Green Capital (TGC) in April agreed to acquire a majority stake in CleanChoice Energy, a Washington, D.C.-headquartered company.

TGC will maintain the CleanChoice brand and team and invest an additional $100 million of capital into developing, acquiring, owning, and operating CleanChoice solar projects, according to the terms. The deal will expand TGC’s footprint to include solar power generation in sixteen US states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, along with approximately 215,000 residential customers.

Fiera Infrastructure, an affiliate of Fiera Capital, and Palisade Infrastructure Group acquired Amp US, a Denver, Colorado-based renewable energy generation and battery storage business.

The seller was Amp Energy, a Toronto-based renewable energy infrastructure manager, developer and owner. Amp is backed by Carlyle Group, which has invested $440 million.
Fiera Infrastructure and Palisade Infrastructure said they will support Amp US’s long-term strategy to develop, own and operate its growing portfolio and bring the financial and economic benefits of solar generation and battery storage to local communities across the US, including low-to-moderate income households and housing authorities.

Broadening the pool of technicians
Sticking with the renewables sector, and Florida-based Boyne Capital and Annapolis, Maryland-headquartered Breakwater North formed Integral Energy Services (IES), a North Carolina-based company that brings together three companies and over 1,000 technicians with diverse backgrounds on renewables.

These are Sonic Systems, which focuses on nuclear energy, International Wind, a repair, maintenance, and inspection services company for utility-scale wind turbine blades and Amperion, a company specializing in installation, testing, troubleshooting, and commissioning primarily in renewable construction.

“We believe that IES is well-positioned to support the clean energy transition, serving a diverse set of assets across the nuclear, wind, battery storage and solar sectors,” said Derek McDowell, Boyne managing partner and CEO.

“With up to $3 trillion of clean energy investment expected over the next decade driven by the Inflation Reduction Act, there is a clear need to bolster the current clean energy services supply chain to ensure that new and existing assets are properly constructed, maintained and optimized.”

For its growth, IES will pursue both organic and inorganic strategies, the company said.
That’s it for me today. PE Hub Europe editor Craig McGlashan will fill in for MK Flynn on Monday’s newsletter.

Have a great weekend!