Secondary Transactions Staging a Comeback
July 28, 2010
The Jordan Company has agreed to sell Harrington Holdings to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and GS Capital Partners for a reported $850 million. The company provides mail-order specialty medical products. Goldman Sachs, Jefferies & Company, Morgan Stanley and GSO Capital Partners are providing the debt financing for the deal, while Debevoise & Plimpton is legally advising the buy-side, and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is also advising GS Capital. Harrington was acquired by Jordan, along with Edgewater Growth Capital Partners, in a 2007 LBO.
Since the beginning of 2009, 97 U.S. companies have been involved in secondary transactions, the sale of a company by one PE investor to another, according to the PitchBook Platform. Secondary transactions are experiencing a resurgence this year with 56 deals already completed, compared to only 45 for all of 2009. They accounted for 28.1% of total U.S. exit activity in the first half of 2010, up from 23.5% in 1H 2009 and 18.7% in 2H 2009. 2010's median deal amount is about the same as last year's at $206 million, much higher than the overall PE deal median at $120 million. With a $400 billion capital overhang, portfolios of mature investments and favorable credit markets, it's likely we'll continue to see many more secondary deals during the remainder of the year.