Sponsors investing behind temperature-controlled storage for covid-19 vaccines, Knox Lane, launched by TPG Growth alumni, strikes inaugural investment, why Carlyle is bullish on the men’s grooming industry

Blackstone Tactical Opportunities agrees to inject $275 million into Cryoport and Knox Lane invests in Fingerpaint.

As the rollout of the covid-19 vaccine in the coming months shines a light on pharma services businesses lesser known by the mainstream, I’m wondering if the cold-chain logistics sector is poised to field even more private equity investment in the coming year.

PE-backed businesses including PCI Pharma, backed by Kohlberg & Co and Partners Group, and publicly-traded Cryoport, backed by Blackstone, are poised to play a crucial role in the global distribution of covid-10 vaccines, according to a New York Times report. The virus has brought new attention to the temperature-controlled shipping and storage of therapeutics that is offered by such companies, the report says.

Both companies scored new investments earlier this year, with Kohlberg in August reaching a $3-billion-plus deal for PCI, preempting and concluding one of the summer’s most anticipated healthcare processes, PE Hub wrote. Partners rolled a minority stake while Thomas H. Lee and Frazier Healthcare Partners exited their investments.

Around the same time, Blackstone Tactical Opportunities agreed to inject $275 million into Cryoport, investing behind one of the fastest-growing fields of medicine. In cell and gene therapy, cells are extracted from the patient and transferred to a manufacturer or pharma company – and those cells in most cases have to be cryogenically stored. Cryoport solves that need.

Any other deals brewing in the space I should know about? Write to me at springle@buyoutsinsider.com.

First ever: Knox Lane, a new-to-the-scene San Francisco private equity firm, has clinched its first investment to date at the intersection of healthcare and advertising. The mid-market firm has made a strategic investment in Fingerpaint, a marketing, market-access and commercialization agency serving the life sciences industry.

The deal comes about a year after Knox Lane was launched by managing partner John Bailey and partner Shamik Patel, veterans of TPG Growth, the growth equity arm of TPG. Read my full story on PE Hub.

Clean beauty for men: Carlyle Group saw opportunity to invest in a men’s skin-care business even as work-from-home has scaled back grooming habits. The firm early this month agreed to buy a majority stake in Every Man Jack following an almost all-virtual process.

Lifestyle changes clearly impacted the industry and Carlyle spotted that: “Some categories like deodorant were hit harder than the others,” RJ David of Carlyle told PE Hub’s Karishma Vanjani.

The investment thesis was built around capitalizing on two existing trends that were sustained even during the pandemic: Increased engagement by male consumers in the personal care space and the importance of natural ingredients.
Read more behind the deal on PE Hub.

That’s it for me today. As always, write to me at springle@buyoutsinsider.com with your feedback, tips or just to say hello!

Note to Readers: It’s that time of year … for the 21st time, the editors of PE Hub and Buyouts honor exceptional buyouts with our Deal of the Year Awards.

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.

Go here for more information and to read about rules and methodology. Also check out past winners. Last year, New Mountain took the crown with its exit of Equian.

If you have additional questions, email Private Equity Editor Chris Witkowsky at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com.