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PE HUB Wire Highlights, 9.18.18

Blackboard seeks buyer for Cashnet; Och-Ziff seeks $2 bln real estate fund; Vista Equity invests in Dispatch

It’s Tuesday, Hubsters. How is everyone? Not too much Florence action up here.

The M&A market is surging, with multiples remaining very high. A survey of 100 PE executives from Dechert LLP (which Mergermarket conducted) reveals that a majority think competition for deals will lead to increased consolidation between firms. It doesn’t sound like outright mergers are on the horizon but rather more partnerships like KKR-FS Investments. More than half of respondents, 59 percent, think that returns on deals made about five to seven years ago will now exceed their initial forecast. See the survey here.

Forty-two percent of GPs said they’ve been expanding into new asset classes due to the oversupply of capital. More than half, 54 percent, expect to diversify their asset class. We’ve noticed that a lot of firms are launching credit arms, and new types of funds, like infrastructure, long-hold, etc. My question is this: Does it work? With so many firms expanding out of their focus, how well do they do? What dangers lurk in these new worlds? Email me your thoughts at

Last week, I did a story on Thompson Street Capital Partners, a St. Louis middle market shop. It was somewhat a relief to just talk about PE M&A deals and how Thompson doesn’t plan to drift. Nothing fancy, just old-fashioned mergers.

More #metoo: Andrew Jennings, the founder and CEO of Ekdesk LLC, says that #metoo reps are starting to appear in merger agreements and may be on their way to becoming market terms. Read his article here on the 10 best practices for #metoo due diligence.

FundsOch-Ziff Capital Management Group is looking to raise a $2 billion real estate fund, according to The Real DealCheck out our brief here.

Deals: Vista Equity Partners and GrandBanks Capital have invested in Dispatch, a Boston logistics company. See our brief here.

News from Buyouts/VCJBlackboard Inc, which failed to sell itself a couple of years ago, is trying to deal with its $1.4 billion debt load. Now the pioneer edtech company has put Cashnet, its payments unit, up for sale. Providence Equity Partners owns Blackboard btw. Find out how much they are seeking here.

Sarah Pringle has a story on K1 Investment Management, which quietly purchased healthcare-communications company PerfectServe this year. See her story here.


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