Red Arts’ Chad Strader: Diversity is ‘good for business’; US PE firms vie for public European names

Carlyle vet Clare retires from firm after 31 years.

Good morning Hubsters, Craig McGlashan here filling in for MK Flynn on the Monday Wire.

Opening up today we have Obey Martin Manayiti speaking to Chad Strader, managing partner and co-founder of Red Arts Capital, in the latest in our Black History Month interviews with private equity professionals who are Black.

We then take a look across to Europe as some US private equity companies try to snap up listed firms, and we examine a trend that Permira has spotted in European financial services.

Switching back to the States, a Carlyle veteran is retiring and we have a deal in the semiconductor industry to report.

Priorities. PE Hub’s Obey Martin Manayiti has the latest in our Black History Month series of interviews with private equity professionals who are Black.

Fielding the questions this time is Chad Strader, managing partner and co-founder of Red Arts Capital, a Chicago-based PE firm.

You can read the full interview here, but I wanted to share a couple of the answers with you.

What’s the biggest mistake PE firms make when it comes to underrepresented groups?
Red Arts Capital believes that DEI initiatives should be a priority. Our perspective is that diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. Diversity of thought and experience gives teams an advantage. With that belief, we take the approach that diversity on our team is imperative in an increasingly mature and competitive private equity landscape. There’s always room for improvement but, in addition to being a Black-owned business, we are proud that our company is 50 percent female.

Do you have any advice for PE firms that want to recruit, retain and develop private equity professionals who are Black?
Culture is important. In our opinion, if the culture does not embrace diversity of thought, experience and background, retention of diverse professionals will be difficult. Seeking out diverse talent from various backgrounds and walks of life will only benefit workplace culture and improve the input of unique perspectives and ideas. The first step should be identifying where diversity is lacking, and taking proactive steps to recruit.

Take-privates. Over on PE Hub Europe, we’ve been seeing a lot of interest from US private equity interest in taking publicly listed firms.

One of the most interesting is the bidding battle between Bain Capital and Triton Partners for Finnish construction firm Caverion (see here to get up to speed) and that story has taken another twist.

The Caverion board said this morning that it was mulling an improved offer from Triton that came in late last week, as well as Bain’s improved offer from 24 January – which the board unanimously recommended to shareholders.

That improved Bain offer was for €8 per share now, or €8.50 per share nine months after the tender offer closes.

But on Friday, Triton increased its previous offer of €8 per share to €8.95 per share. It also entered negotiations with some shareholders about purchasing their shares, with those already agreed set to increase Triton’s shareholding in Caverion to approximately 13.8 percent, excluding treasury shares.

For more take-private news involving US private equity companies and European listed firms, check out our coverage of Providence Equity bidding for conference firm Hyve Group and Apollo making a play for engineering firm John Wood Group.

Outsourcing. Another trend we’ve seen at PE Hub Europe is private equity interest in financial services companies. One driver in that industry is outsourcing, Permira principals Chris Pell and Daniel Tan told PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm.

Permira is acquiring a majority stake in Acuity Knowledge Partners from Equistone Partners Europe.

“Particularly within the financial services sector and big global corporates, firms are getting more comfortable with using global specialized providers, and outsourcing non-core parts of their operations is one part of it,” said Pell.

Read the full interview on PE Hub Europe to find out about Permira’s plans for growing Acuity.

Retirement. People news now, and Peter Clare, chief investment officer of corporate private equity and chairman of the Americas at Carlyle, is retiring on 30 April, after 31 years at the company.

Sandra Horbach and Brian Bernasek, co-heads of Carlyle’s US buyout and growth platform, become co-heads of the Americas to manage the firm’s private equity business across the region.

Horbach joined Carlyle in 2005 to launch its consumer and retail team and has overseen investments including Dunkin’ Brands and Beats Electronics.

Bernasek moved to Carlyle in 2000 and worked on investments such as Allison Transmission and Atotech.

Semiconductors. AEM, which is backed by Industrial Growth Partners, has acquired Hauppauge, Long Island-based Central Semiconductor, a maker of semiconductor solutions. No financial terms were disclosed.

Based in San Diego, AEM is an electronics platform of mission-critical circuit protection, power conditioning, and RF components.

Central Semiconductor was founded in 1974.

That’s it from me – MK will be back with you tomorrow after her well-deserved break.