Welsh, Carson on backing first-responder software provider ImageTrend, EQT explores single-asset for Waystar

WCAS makes health tech investment.

Morning Hubsters!

What is happening out there? Anything of note that should be on our radar to look into, especially if it involves interesting deals and/or some sort of Drama situation? Let us know! Reminder to make use of the anonymous tip features on PE Hub and Buyouts. It’s a great way to share info.

Thanks to everyone who sent over nominations for our Deal of the Year awards. We got a great crop of exciting exits and as always, your crack team of editors is gathering this week to make our final selections. Winners will be publicly announced in April.

EMS: Here’s something you might not think about. Data collected by first-responders like EMTs and firefighters needs to be delivered to the hospitals where potential patients might be heading after an incident.

There’s software to help manage that process. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe partners Ed Sobol and Ryan Harper talked to PE Hub about the firm’s majority investment in ImageTrend, which provides software used by emergency medical services professionals and hospitals to collect and analyze data.

That information collected in the field can provide hospitals with vital information about a patient that could prove to be lifesaving, writes Georgina Tzanetos on PE Hub today.

“As you think about the exchange of information between pre-hospital EMS and the hospital, if that hospital knows that there’s a stroke patient coming in five minutes or knows that there’s a cardiac arrest patient arriving soon, then they can get the right specialist in the unit that is elsewhere in the hospital. That time can be the difference between life and death,” said Sobol. “That’s what makes it so compelling to us from an investment standpoint but also from a public health standpoint if they can use some of that information to deliver better health outcomes for the overall population. We invest fundamentally to try to improve outcomes in the healthcare ecosystem.”

Healthcare tech is an important focus for WCAS. Other WCAS investments in the segment include Norstella, a pharma-data business and EnableComp, a healthcare comp company.

“We’re still optimistic about the resilience and the underlying growth drivers of the two sectors,” Sobol said about healthcare and technology. “We continue to see a wide bid/ask spread as we look at private markets and how deals are getting done. Notably, in healthcare technology, deal volume broadly was down by over half in Q4 – it really just fell off a cliff. But we still see opportunities to invest in growth areas.”

Read more here on PE Hub.

Car wash: There’s a growing car wash platform in the Richmond, Virginia-area. Garnett Station Partners, which closed its fourth fund on $850 million last month, invested in Flagstop Car Wash in January.

Flagstop announced today it added-on Hogwash Express Car Wash, a company formed in 2021, to service the Richmond “mid-town” area. Hogwash will rebrand under Flagstop and become the company’s 15th car wash location. Read more here on PE Hub.

More time: We’ve been reporting on a few GP-led deals that are hitting the market this year (or getting ready to go live). The expectation is the market will be robust this year, and at least inventory-wise, we’re seeing a busy first quarter. However, will processes find their way to final close? That’s the question, and as pricing remains uncertain, closing deals is the challenge.

We’re also seeing more action around traditional LP portfolio sales, which buyers seem to prefer for the great value they can get if they can reach agreement with sellers (who, word has it, are more open to taking discounts).

Big single-asset deals, well, those could be another story. Especially considering the need to syndicate such deals out to groups of investors beyond the leads. We have two big ones to start out the year – this week I reported on EQT, which is exploring a potential continuation fund deal for its software asset Waystar, which the firm has held since 2019. Waystar provides software to manage the healthcare revenue cycle, including payment processes and streamlining workflows.

The deal, if it goes live, would allow limited partners in EQT’s Fund VIII to cash out of their interests in Waystar, or roll or reinvest into the continuation fund for more time with the asset. Nothing is finalized yet as the deal is still being considered. EQT is working with Evercore on the potential process. Read more here on Buyouts for more information on Waystar and other deals hitting the market this year.

That’s it for me! Have a great rest of your day. Hit me up with tips n’ gossip, feedback or book recommendations at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com or find me on LinkedIn.