Thomas H. Lee completes HighTower secondary, Comvest’s D&S Community Services seeks buyer, Five Questions with Growth Catalyst Partners, Thoma Bravo looks to raise SPAC

Thomas H. Lee closes secondary sale of HighTower Advisors and Comvest Partners is seeking a buyer for D&S Community Services.

Happy Friday!

The long hold: We’re not only seeing more private equity investors selling partial stakes and reinvesting in certain businesses they aren’t quite ready to let go of. As such, we’ve got some big secondaries news to wrap up the week.

Thomas H. Lee has closed its single-asset secondary sale of HighTower Advisors, through which the wealth advisor will move out of an older fund and into a continuation vehicle. Read PE Hub’s brief. Interestingly, Goldman Sachs not only advised on the transaction alongside Evercore, but simultaneously participated in the process as a buyer.

That’s not all. Amid the successful closing the deal, Goldman has hired Alex Mejia from Lazard to build out its secondary market advisory platform, the firm confirmed for Buyouts. Further accelerated by the pandemic, GP-led deals are on the rise.

“We feel like we can be differentiated in that we have a leading M&A franchise and some single-asset deals, even with two assets, are akin to M&A processes in terms of process, structure and tactics,” said David Kamo, managing director at Goldman Sachs.

Read Chris Witkowsky’s full report on Buyouts.

First-timer: Growth Catalyst Partners is one fund new on the scene that has navigated 2020’s rough seas as a first-timer. The firm, which is investing across the marketing, media and business services industries, has deployed over half of its debut fund, which closed on $130 million last month.
Karishma Vanjani sat down virtually with Managing Partner Scott Peters for a rundown on the GCP playbook and the current investment climate.

Here’s a quick preview: Explain the firm’s rationale behind placing limited partners as advisors, CEOs and board members within its portfolio companies?

Lot of firms will go and hire and bring industry partners on staff, then try and find places to put them within the portfolio – I call it the square pegs in round holes. But we took the view that we don’t want to have anybody on staff; we want our network to be actual LPs in our fund so that they are economically aligned.

Read PE Hub’s full Q&A with Peters.

Up for sale: Nearly five years into its investment, Comvest Partners is seeking a buyer for D&S Community Services, according to four people with knowledge of the process. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, D&S is a provider of residential services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky. Check out my report for the details.

That’s it for me today. As always, write to me at springle@buyoutsinsider.com with any tips, feedback 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.