Bidding War for $12.5B DocuSign, PAI Partners to Exit $10B Nestlé Joint Venture, WPP to Divest Kantar Stake

Bidding War for $12.5B DocuSign, PAI Partners to Exit $10B Nestlé Joint Venture, WPP to Divest Kantar Stake

Private equity news the week of January 15th, 2024.


Chart of the Week: Approximately two-thirds of PE-backed CEOs have experience working in public companies. With take-private dealmaking at an all-time high, we're likely to see even more recruiting from public companies to fill CEO and other C-suite roles in portfolio companies. (Read More)

More Insights

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  • Turnaround Case Study: Dell Technologies (Read More)
  • The 100 Largest Private Equity Buyouts of All-Time (Read More)
  • Private Equity Firms Are Increasing Exposure to These Industries (Read More)

Deals News 

Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly competing to acquire DocuSign at a valuation of $12.5 billion. DocuSign, which went public in 2018 at a $6 billion valuation, has seen its stock price lag behind other rapidly growing tech companies. In 2022, the company appointed former Google President Allan Thygesen as CEO. (Source)

BlackRock has acquired Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a private equity firm, for $12.5 billion. This acquisition expands BlackRock's exposure to private companies in the energy, transportation, and digital infrastructure sectors. Notable GIP holdings include the $14.9 billion acquisition of Cyrus One with KKR and a $2 billion deal for Atlas Renewable. (Source)

PAI Partners is considering selling its stake in Froneri, formerly Nestlé’s ice cream business, for over $10 billion. Formed by merging Nestlé’s ice cream division with R&R Ice Cream, backed by PAI, Froneri includes brands like Häagen-Dazs and was valued at around $8 billion in 2019. (Source)

Media giant WPP plans to divest its 40% stake in Kantar at an enterprise valuation of approximately $8 billion. Kantar offers professional services in media, advertising, and digital domains. Bain Capital acquired the remaining 60% stake in 2019 at a valuation of $4 billion. (Source)

Hellman & Friedman is preparing to sell Enverus, a company providing software solutions for the energy sector, with a valuation exceeding $5 billion. Hellman & Friedman acquired Enverus in 2021 for $4.3 billion. (Source)

Broadcom has initiated the sale of its end-user computing business, acquired through the purchase of VMware, with an estimated value of $5 billion. The division specializes in software that enables remote access to desktops and applications. Potential buyers include KKR, EQT, and Thoma Bravo. (Source)

SoftwareOne has formally declined Bain Capital's $3.5 billion acquisition offer. This decision marks the end of extended negotiations with the buyout firm, despite recent statements from SoftwareOne’s Board about ongoing discussions. (Source)

CVC Capital has agreed to purchase supplement manufacturer Sunday Natural for $900 million. Established in 2013, Sunday Natural is one of the fastest-growing premium nutrition brands in German-speaking countries, generating around $100 million in revenue in 2022. (Source)

Industry News

Kroger, in partnership with MidOcean Partners, is launching MPearlRock, a new holding and insights company for CPG brands, to be managed by Brian Kelley, former CEO of Keurig Green Mountain. (Grocery Dive)

Barclay’s analyst Andrew Ross suggests Eastern European eCommerce platform Allegro as a prime target for private equity, noting its rapid growth but potential undervaluation due to regional geopolitical risks. (Yahoo)

Private equity firms are broadening their lists of approved lenders for portfolio companies as credit markets tighten, increasingly including even activist and litigious hedge funds. (Financial Times)

KKR is set to invest an additional $10 billion in India through various investment vehicles. Henry Kravis says India is the “most-important” market in the firm’s Asia Pacific strategy. (Times of India)

Bankruptcies of PE-backed companies reached an all-time in 2023. However, data shows the spike is more reflective of an overall uptick in bankruptcies and not specific to private equity holdings. (S&P Global)

Operating News

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, owner of UK grocer Morrisons, has appointed Sir Dave Lewis, former CEO of Tesco, as an Operating Adviser. (CD&R)

Eurazeo has named Jill Granoff as a Senior Adviser, following her tenure as CEO of the firm's brand management division. (WWD)

ATL Partners welcomes Caleb Clark as a Senior Partner, where he will spearhead the firm’s investment business and oversee portfolio operations. (ATL Partners)

The Body Shop, recently acquired by private equity firm Aurelius, is in search of a new CEO. (Global Cosmetics News)

Marc Nachmann, Global Head of Asset Management for Goldman Sachs, says that over the next decade, private equity will return “to its roots of sourcing goods deals and making operational improvements.” (Financial Times)

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