That's been the strategy for a handful of private equity firms that have recently chosen to reunite with a former portfolio company. In some cases, investors have bought back into a business after it's grown substantially. In others, they've returned to help pull the company out of financial struggles. And in both cases, some of these deals have stretched into the billions.
Here's a list of companies that have recently rejoined forces with their past PE owners.
Smart & FinalEarlier this month, Leon Black's Apollo Global Management announced it would take grocery store chain Smart & Final private for $6.50 per share, or about $1.1 billion, including debt. The deal marked a 21% premium to the California-based company's closing price the day before the agreement was announced. It also marked a premium to the roughly $813 million Apollo paid in 2007 to take the company private for the first time.
In 2012, the New York-based buyout shop sold Smart & Final to Ares Management for about $975 million, including debt. Two years later, Ares took the business public again, raising about $161 million by selling 13.5 million shares at $12 apiece. Smart & Final has since struggled in the hyper-competitive supermarket space. Apollo's turnaround strategy will involve splitting the business into separate units; one will consist of its network of 257 discount grocery stores and the other will be a foodservice operation for restaurants and other food companies, per Reuters.
AssuredPartnersIn February, Chicago-based GTCR agreed to purchase insurance brokerage AssuredPartners from Apax Partners for a reported $5.1 billion, including debt, marking one of the first mega-deals of 2019. It also marked a return to running an insurance business for GTCR, which originally launched AssuredPartners in 2011 and then sold the Florida-based business to a pair of funds associated with Apax four years later. GTCR retained a minority stake in the company as part of the deal.
That proved to be a wise decision. Under Apax's guidance, AssuredPartners, which specializes in casualty, property and employee insurance, claims to have completed a staggering 124 acquisitions while investing in IT, infrastructure and more. The company reported that, as a result, its revenue and EBITDA have more than doubled, with the former figure exceeding $1.1 billion annually.
GlobalTranzPerhaps sensing that the recent boom in transportation tech companies could help juice future returns, Providence Equity Partners agreed to acquire GlobalTranz from The Jordan Company in April. The announcement came just 10 months after Providence and a slew of other investors announced it would sell the provider of logistics software for the trucking industry to TJC for around $400 million, per reports.
So why would a private equity firm sell a company in less than a year? Apparently, TJC was poised to realize a 100% return on its initial investment, according to reports. Providence Equity, in turn, was ready to purchase a company it first backed through its growth arm in a $40 million Series C in 2014 after pulling in more than $4.4 billion for its latest flagship buyout fund.
LogicorBlackstone announced a massive exit in June 2017 when it agreed to sell Logicor, an operator of warehouses across the globe, to sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. for €12.25 billion (about $13.8 billion at today's conversion rate). But the buyout juggernaut simply couldn't stay away, buying back a 10% stake in the business it originally launched in 2012 through its $2 billion Europe-based real estate fund in December 2017. As part of the agreement, Blackstone agreed to operate Logicor's warehouses and other related properties, which at the time spanned 147 million square feet of space across 17 countries.
GenesisCareLast October, KKR joined in on the buyback trend when it agreed to purchase a 20% stake in GenesisCare for A$400 million (about $287 million at today's conversion rate), with the option to invest an additional A$250 million more in the Australian provider of cancer and cardiac treatment clinics. The firm originally purchased a majority stake in GenesisCare for A$600 million in 2012 before selling it off four years later to a consortium backed by China Resources and Macquarie Capital.
AhlsellWhen CVC Capital Partners took Ahlsell public in 2016 for $770 million, it reportedly marked the largest initial public offering in Sweden in 16 years. Just three years later, the UK-based buyout shop has repurchased the Nordic maker of plumbing and electrical equipment it first acquired in 2012. In December, the firm offered to take the business private for 24 billion Swedish crowns (about $2.65 billion), or about 55 crowns per share, a move that would see it purchase the remaining shares in the business it doesn't already own. After a review period, the deal was completed in February.
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