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Spotlight on Thoma Bravo’s Circle CVI deal; vote of confidence for Vista

Thoma Bravo's investment in Circle Cardiovascular Imaging goes under the microscope.

Good morning, dealmakers. MK Flynn here with today’s Wire.

As we wrap up the week, Aaron has another healthcare deal spotlight story.

Thoma Bravo recently announced a growth investment in Circle Cardiovascular Imaging, a venture capital-backed provider of cardiovascular imaging software. Aaron spoke with Thoma Bravo partner Carl Press about the opportunities the firm sees in medical imaging and about the growth avenues envisioned with the investment.

Based in Calgary and founded in 2007, Circle CVI develops artificial intelligence-based software for reading, reporting and processing CT and MRI scans. The company’s imaging platform, called cvi42, is used in more than 1,000 hospitals spanning 50 countries, according to the firm. Early-stage investors included BDC Capital, Epic Capital Management, Foundation Equity, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors and Yaletown Partners.

“As a firm, we had looked at other assets in the imaging and radiology space and thought it was super compelling and interesting because of high-quality revenue, great economics and buyer dynamics,” Press said. “We viewed that market as compelling due to all the spend going into technology and into radiology, and when we met this company, we wanted to invest behind it.”

When trying to identify opportunities in the space, the first box to check off is whether the company is a “category leader,” according to Press. “It can either be a huge category-killer company that our flagship fund invests in, or an emerging category leader, and that’s what we saw with Circle CVI,” he said. “Sometimes it can be hard to find category leaders at a smaller scale, but when you find one, it is really special.”

For more, read the full story.

Healthcare series. Aaron is profiling PE firms that are investing in healthcare and also spotlighting recent deals in an ongoing series for PE Hub. If you’d like to suggest a firm or a deal for him to cover, email Aaron at: aaron.w@peimedia.com

And, if you missed it, check out his profile of Oak HC/FT, featuring an interview with co-founder Andrew Adams. It’s one of the most read stories on pehub.com this month.

Vote of confidence for Vista. Oregon Investment Council, one of the most active limited partners in the business, is committing $250 million to Vista Equity’s next flagship fund in what will be viewed as a vote of support for the firm, Chris reports on Buyouts. “LPs have been watching closely to see which institutions – especially public organizations – back Vista’s fund after the firm’s chief, Robert Smith, admitted to tax fraud in 2020. Public pensions are especially sensitive to any hint of reputational issues as they must answer to elected boards, politicians and taxpayers. Vista’s eighth fund is targeting somewhere in the range of $18 billion to $20 billion, but could raise more, sources have told Buyouts. The fund is expected to have a first close in April, though it’s not clear on how much, sources said.”

Read the full story.

Recommended reading. Are you worrying about the SEC? Venture Capital Journal’s Lawrence Aragon reached out to Igor Rozenblit, who served as co-head of the SEC’s Private Funds Unit for more than 11 years, to answer burning questions about the SEC’s proposed new rules for private funds. Read the story to find out which proposals will have the biggest impact on private funds and which are most likely to be adopted.
Women’s History Month. In the Wire throughout March, we’re highlighting the dealmakers PE Hub and Buyouts named Women in private equity: The class of 2022.

Today, we’re focusing on Sherrese Clarke Soares, founder, HarbourView Equity Partners, profiled by Chris.

“From a young age, Sherrese Clarke Soares, who commands $1 billion for music and entertainment investments, was interested in the connection between the music she loved and the business behind the great artists,” Chris writes. “Her favorite album of all time is Stevie Wonder’s 1976 megahit Songs in the Key of Life.”

Here’s more from the story:
“Part of that was growing up as a child lover of the arts, I studied piano, I ran a theater group in college. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of business and culture,” Clarke Soares says.

“Clarke Soares wrote her Harvard Business School application essay about building an investment platform to invest in content. “I believed content could change the world,” she said. That belief never wavered through her career, but as a junior person at large organizations, Clarke Soares had to bide her time, learn investing skills and find opportunities to put her vision to work despite the market cynicism. “For a long time, investors looked at the opportunity to invest in content very skeptically, with one eye open,” she says. Her persistence over the years paid off. Last year, she partnered with Apollo Global Management on establishing a music and entertainment investing platform called HarbourView Equity Partners. The platform is structured as a fund of one, with Apollo contributing $1 billion.

For more, read the whole report, in which we profile 10 stellar dealmakers.

And see the companion piece, Women in PE: Covid’s unintended consequences at home and in the office.

Speaking of powerful women in the world of dealmaking, earlier this week, I had the pleasure of dining with Beatrice Mitchell, co-founder and managing director of boutique investment bank Sperry, Mitchell & Co. It was such a treat to meet face-to-face again after the last two years of covid limitations. Earlier this year, I conducted a Q&A with Mitchell. If you missed it, check it out here.

On that note, I’ll sign off and wish you a good weekend.

Until Monday,

MK