This is Chris, on the Wire today for Sarah. Hope you had a great week! It’s been a busy one on our end, as has been the case for a while now. We’re hearing that first quarter private equity fundraising was the strongest in years, despite the slow down in the health crisis.
Expecting: TZP Group acquired Kindred Bravely, an apparel brand for pregnant and nursing mothers, writes Karishma Vanjani today. The firm invested up to $30 million through its $250 million Small Cap Partners II fund, Karishma writes.
Kindred Bravely has some interesting aspects — its workers are all remote, and its workforce is made up almost entirely of women, most of whom are mothers, Karishma writes. The company was formed in 2014 by husband and wife Deeanne and Garret Akerson.
“If you are eight months pregnant, trying stuff on at a retail shop is not an appealing experience,” Dan Gaspar, partner at TZP, said.
TZP will look to further develop product lines and boost digital marketing, as well as expand into international markets. Read more here on PE Hub.
Promotion: Monument MicroCap, which launched in 2018 as an independent sponsor, promoted Tim Hildebrand to president and partner. Hildebrand joined the firm in 2019 as a vice president and works on deal evaluation and value creation process.
Hildebrand appears to be stepping into the role formerly held by Bob Erwin, who has worked as president and CEO but who no longer appears on the firm’s website.
Hildebrand, like most of the partners at Monument MicroCap, joined from Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Co. before completing his MBA at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the firm said.
Monument completed eight acquisitions since inception, including four platform investments and four add-ons. The firm was formed by CEO Glenn Scolnik along with partners Roy Whitney, Rob Troxel and Jim Futterknecht.
Whitney was former chairman and CEO of HKW; Scolnik, a former professional football player, became president and CEO of HKW in 1998 and retired from the firm in 2017; and Futterknecht was an operating partner at HKW.
Curious: Software company Blue Yonder confidentially filed papers with the SEC last week to go public. The company, backed by New Mountain Capital and Blackstone Group, was also reportedly in talks to be acquired by Panasonic, which picked up a 20 percent stake in the company last year.
The market moves brought New Mountain back to the negotiating table with Ardian over its GP-led fund restructuring deal that had been close to the finish line. Blue Yonder is one of five assets New Mountain wanted to move out of its 2007 fund and into a continuation pool for more time and capital to manage the investments. Blue Yonder represented a significant chunk of the deal, which was expected to total $2 billion or more.
With Blue Yonder potentially out of the transaction, the GP-led deal, which would have been among the largest in the market, would shrink, crowding out smaller investors who were hoping for a piece of the process. Ardian, which was expecting to cut a big check as lead investor on the deal, is now looking at a smaller transaction that may not ‘move the needle’ for a firm with a $19 billion fund.
The New Mountain deal is an example of the risk GP-led processes face when they linger in the market too long. With assets live on the markets, there’s always the chance an external bidder comes in with a superior offer and picks off vital pieces of secondary transactions that suddenly change the calculation and potentially even the rationale for such deals. Read more here.
Book: Just finished “The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders” by Connie Bruck about the rise and fall of Drexel Burnham Lambert. Drexel nearly single-handedly, through its superstar bond trader Michael Milken, created a market for junk bonds. Lots of anecdotes about the early days of buyouts. Great read!
That’s it! As always, don’t hesitate to hit me up with feedback, tips n’ gossip or book recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on LinkedIn.