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THL investment values Bazaarvoice at $1.5b-plus, Ares gains secondaries business through $1b Landmark acquisition, Avista sees opportunity to simplify early-stage drug-development

THL's investment in Bazaarvoice puts company at an over $1.5 billion valuation and Ares agrees to buy secondaries shop Landmark Partners.

Morning!

Another tech deal: Thomas H. Lee’s recently announced investment in Bazaarvoice Network values the advertising technology provider at over $1.5 billion, sources familiar with the deal’s terms told PE Hub.

The private equity firm announced its acquisition of Bazaarvoice on Monday, providing a partial exit for existing investor Marlin Equity Partners. The sale looks set to produce a significant return for Marlin Equity, which took Bazaarvoice private in February 2018 for approximately $521 million.

Bazaarvoice, headquartered in Austin, Texas, provides software that allows brands and retailers to collect and display several types of user-generated content on their e-commerce websites.

Read Milana Vinn’s full report on PE Hub.

Joining the game: Ares Management has agreed to buy secondaries shop Landmark Partners from BrightSphere Investment Group. The deal is valued at $1.08 billion, including about $787 million in cash and about $293 million in Ares operating units.
In February, affiliate title Secondaries Investor reported that Landmark was targeting “north of $10 billion” in its latest fundraising cycle across its private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds, amid the covid-19-related disruption.

The move by Los Angeles-based Ares is akin to those taken by peers like TPG, which formed a secondaries group, and Blackstone, which bought into secondaries.

“We believe secondary investments are only increasing in their appeal to a growing group of investors and we are excited to include these strategies in our comprehensive alternatives offering,” Ares CEO Michael Arougheti said in the announcement.

Read PE Hub’s brief on the deal.

Healthcare: Already an experienced investor in both outsourced pharma services and procurement processes, Avista Capital Partners through eMolecules is now looking to address the needs of scientists occurring early on in drug discovery research.

“eMolecules occupies a pretty unique position within the marketplace,” Sriram Venkataraman, partner at New York’s Avista, told PE Hub in an interview. “This is at the very front-end of drug discovery, which is the largest portion of spend. Scientists have to procure compounds, and you can either start with a commodity chemical or an advanced intermediate closer to the target compound.”

Accounting for eMolecules and its pending investment in French drugmaker Cooper, which it is buying alongside CVC Capital Partners, Fund V is 50 percent deployed, Avista said. Read more on PE Hub.

Have tips, questions or comments? As always, write to me at springle@buyoutsinsider.com. Have a great week ahead!