OceanSound-backed Netrix marks 4th cybersecurity deal; Warburg Pincus move in secondaries; Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion while OceanSound-backed Netrix buys BTB Security.

Good morning, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with the Wire.

In corporate dealmaking news, Microsoft just announced it is buying videogame developer Activision Blizzard (maker of Warcraft and Call of Duty, among many others) for $68.7 billion, marking the software giant’s biggest acquisition by a long shot. Until now, that record was held by LinkedIn, which Microsoft bought for $26 billion in 2016.

Here’s a look at what’s going on in private capital.
Supply chain and ransomware cyberattacks are expected to rise in 2022, fueling ongoing private equity interest in cybersecurity companies. This morning, OceanSound Partners portfolio company Netrix, a provider of managed and professional IT and cybersecurity services, announced it has acquired BTB Security, a cybersecurity and digital forensics provider. “Amidst a constantly evolving cybersecurity threat environment, businesses and other institutions are increasingly looking to outsourced experts to assist them in navigating a complex landscape of security best practices, regulatory requirements, and third-party tools,” said Russell Reeder, CEO of Netrix. The deal marks the fourth acquisition since OceanSound Partners acquired Netrix in August 2020. The previous targets were PSC Group; the managed IT services business unit from Contegix; and the IT services business unit of Prosum.

Secondaries. Warburg Pincus, no stranger to secondaries transactions, is running a process for more time and capital with its portfolio company Duravant, sources told Buyouts. The deal comes after Warburg sold a stake in the packaging equipment services provider to Carlyle in October. The Duravant process is among a slew of single-asset processes to hit the market since last year, which is helping to drive total deal volume to record levels, potentially breaking the $100 billion level for the first time. Other recent single-asset secondaries deals include Clearlake Capital’s process for Symplr, which closed recently and was led by Goldman Sachs, Landmark Partners and Partners Group; and CCMP, which is moving two assets out of an older fund and into a continuation pool led by AlpInvest Partners, BlackRock’s secondaries group and Glendower Capital.

More Secondaries. Altamar CAM Partners has held final close on its fourth secondaries fund as it looks to rapidly grow its assets under management. The Madrid-headquartered firm raised €1.025 billion for ACP Secondaries 4, according to a statement seen by Secondaries Investor. This was helped by a late surge of interest from German investors brought into the fold by CAM Alternatives, which merged with Altamar Capital Partners last summer.

Gen Z VCs. The number of people born between 1997 and 2012 entering the workforce will triple over the next decade. Venture capital firms are hiring these entrepreneurial digital natives known for their activism and outspokenness, reports Venture Capital Journal. “Many venture firms are realizing the importance of hiring younger folks on their team,” said Megan Loyst, who graduated from Boston College in 2019 and is currently an associate at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage VC firm in New York City.

“Diversity in age and thought helps [organizations to] make more informed decisions, and this includes the Gen Z point of view.” Loyst founded Gen Z VCs in a bid to connect young investors.

Deal of the Year: Get your nominations in now for your best exits (either full or majority) that closed in 2021. Awards are given in seven categories: overall deal of the year, large-cap, middle-market, small-cap, international, turnaround and secondaries. Deadline is Friday, Feb. 11. Send to Chris Witkowsky, private equity editor, at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com. Go here for all the rules and regs!

In case you missed it. Check out PE Hub’s Q&A series with high-profile private equity pros, including: Pam Hendrickson, vice chairman of The Riverside Company, who was recently elected chair of the American Investment Council; Trevor Clark, founder and managing partner of Twin Brook Capital Partners; David Grain, founder and CEO of Grain Management; and Beatrice Mitchell, co-founder and managing director of Sperry, Mitchell & Co.

Until tomorrow, MK