Chart of the Week: Although 2023 was a lull period for buyout activity, we still saw several large deals globally. The largest buyout of 2023 was Japan Industrial Partner’s acquisition of Toshiba, followed by Silver Lake’s take-private of Qualtrics, and GTCR’s majority-stake in Worldpay.
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German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is said to be taking bids for its logistics business, DB Schenker. The company is one of the world’s largest air and ocean freight service providers and could attract private equity suitors. Bankers say a buyout could range between $13 billion and $22 billion, depending on the terms. Schenker had an operating profit of $1.1 billion in 2023, down from $2 billion in 2022. If the company can’t find an outright buyer, it will likely seek an IPO. (Source)
Norwegian software provider Visma sold $1.1 billion of shares to a group of new investors, including Jane Street, that values the company at $21 billion. The deal includes an additional $3.3 billion of capital from existing shareholders, including Hg Capital and TPG. Visma has been raising money to fund international expansion. (Source)
Madison Dearborn Partners and HPS Investment Partners will exit middle-market insurance broker NFP for $13.4 billion to Aon. Vahe Dombalagian, who sits on NFP’s board, helped lead Madison Dearborn’s initial buyout for $1.3 billion in 2013. (Source)
Leonard Green & Partners has agreed to acquire a significant stake in Iris Software at a $4 billion valuation. Usama Cortas helped lead the deal for Leonard Green. The buyout firm will share a controlling stake with existing investor Hg Capital. It was previously reported that KKR was in the final stages to acquire the company. Iris Software produces software for accounting and HR functions. (Source)
Carlyle and Insight Partners have agreed to acquire risk management platform Exiger for approximately $1.2 billion. Steve Bailey and Dayne Baird helped lead the deal for Carlyle, as did Ryan Hinkle for Insight. Exiger got its start as a consulting firm that helped financial institutions stay out of regulatory troubles. It has since expanded into doing risk management for supply chain and other functions. (Source)
Cerberus is in talks to acquire aerospace manufacturer United Launch Alliance (ULA) at a valuation between $2 billion and $3 billion. The company manufacturers rockets for space travel and satellite deployment, and has successfully completed more than 155 missions over 20 years. It’s a key customer of government contracts. (Source)
KKR released its 2024 global macro outlook. The firm identified six key themes going into the new year: industrial automation, security for infrastructure, intra-Asia commerce, labor productivity, AI, and decarbonization. (KKR)
Warburg Pincus took out a $1 billion loan from Apollo Global Management to help pay down bank facilities tied to a 2018 fund. It’s the first time Warburg Pincus has sought private credit from an institution other than a bank, and yet another example of how buyout firms are lending to each other. (Bloomberg)
Abhay Puskoor and Ben Benson have each been promoted to managing director at Vista Equity Partners. Puskoor has been with Vista Equity for three years and previously worked at FTV Capital and Credit Suisse. Benson has also been with Vista Equity for about three years, and he previously worked at LLR Partners.
Chris Kelly has been promoted to senior partner at consumer-focused private equity firm, Bansk Group. Kelly has been with Bansk for about three years, and previously worked at TPG.
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