Rising rates fail to halt deal march as Charlesbank and Motive invest in Accordion

Falfurrias Capital Partners has made an investment in Said Differently, a marketing agency.

Good morning Hubsters, it’s Craig McGlashan here, filling in on the Wire.

A three-quarters of a percentage point interest rate rise looks increasingly likely at the next Federal Reserve policy meeting in just over a week’s time. But the likely rising cost of debt is doing little to dampen dealflow in the private equity market, with a series of deals across various sectors getting over the line late in the week.

Partnering up. Charlesbank Capital Partners and Motive Partners have made an investment in Accordion, a private equity-focused financial and technology consulting firm. No financial terms were disclosed.

FFL Partners exited Accordion via the transaction after surpassing its investment goals in less than four years. FFL made a minority investment in Accordion in 2018.

Nick Leopard, a founder and CEO, and the Accordion team will remain major shareholders.

“We are thrilled to partner with Nick and the broader management team to help support more PE-backed CFOs, while helping Accordion reach its full potential as an organization, growth company, and transformative industry innovator,” said Michael Choe, managing director and CEO at Charlesbank, in a statement. “This is also our first investment in partnership with Motive Partners and we are excited to work together to help Accordion reach the next level.”

Upside down. Falfurrias Capital Partners has made an investment in Said Differently, a marketing agency. No financial terms were disclosed.

As part of the investment, Falfurrias’ Alexander Jutkowitz will join Said Differently as executive chairman. Jutkowitz has been an executive in residence for four years at Falfurrias, where he has been actively involved with the firm’s investments across marketing, media and information services including My Code, Ballast Research and Industry Dive.

“The Covid pandemic opened a lot of people’s eyes to how technology can turn the traditional employment model upside down,” said Jutkowitz, in a statement. “Said Differently has completely revolutionized the traditional agency model by amassing a collection of global talent that would rival any agency, and I know Falfurrias is excited for them to be the launching pad for additional investments in similarly innovative companies.”

European shopping. Over on PE Hub Europe, we’ve been writing a lot about the growing interest from US private equity firms in European assets – a trend that the dollar’s strength against the euro and sterling is intensifying.

That’s also allowed us to write some interesting crossover stories, such as EnergyCAP, a portfolio company of Resurgens Technology Partners, buying Dublin, Ireland-based Wattics.

Boalsburg, Pennsylvania-headquartered EnergyCAP is an energy and sustainability enterprise resource planning software provider. Resurgens invested in the founder-owned and operated business in March 2021.
The company provides energy analytics, with a bent towards financial analytics, and helps organizations with complex underlying energy infrastructure and billing requirements to monitor and optimize energy consumption, Resurgens managing director and co-founder Fred Sturgis told me.

“The company’s primarily sold historically to the education space, K-12, higher ed and government,” added Sturgis. “While they have commercial customers, it’s been largely focused on those sectors.”

Buying Wattics in late August will help the firm expand into the commercial market, according to Sturgis. Wattics provides what he calls “interval data.” Rather than just providing information on energy consumption at the end of the billing cycle, Wattics allows daily – “or even more frequent if you need it” – consumption information, which allows for richer analytics, he said.

Atlanta, Georgia-based Resurgens is a software buyout private equity firm that focuses on the lower mid-market. The purchase of founder-owned Wattics was its third European transaction, the first two being UK-based. All three have been add-on investments.

“We haven’t made a platform investment in Europe yet,” said Sturgis. “But we do have a high degree of interest and continue to invest across the board in Europe.”

You can read the whole interview on PE Hub.

Expansion. Not only are US private equity firms looking at European assets, they are also increasing their footprints on the continent.

Not long after Thoma Bravo officially announced that it was opening a London office, another US private equity firm made a hire to boost its European presence.

Beverley Hills, California-based Levine Leichtman Capital Partners announced on Thursday that William Trevelyan Thomas has joined the firm as a director in its investment management group.

“Will brings great experience and intelligence to the team, and we are excited for the contributions he will make to our growing European business,” said Josh Kaufman, head of Europe at LLCP.

Trevelyan Thomas joins from Charterhouse Capital Partners where he served as director for six years. Before that he was a senior investment manager at HIG Capital for five years.

The move follows the appointment of Kaufman as Levine’s head of Europe in June, as reported by PE Hub Europe. LLCP has expanded its European business with expansion across offices in London, Stockholm, Frankfurt and The Hague.

That’s it from me. Have a great weekend and MK Flynn will be back with you for Monday’s Wire.