Textkernel expands value proposition for staffers through combination with Akyla

Main Capital Partners

Textkernel, an Amsterdam-based global leader in AI-driven recruitment and talent management technology, has made a strategic combination with best-of-breed staffing app and portal specialist Akyla.

Akyla marks the second step in the international buy-and-build strategy of Textkernel since its management teamed up with strategic software investor Main Capital Partners (“Main”) in October 2020. Last year, Textkernel successfully acquired U.S-based competitor Sovren to solidify the group’s position as a global market leader in AI-driven parsing and search-&-match technology.

Like Textkernel, Akyla is considered a true best-of-breed solutions provider in the HR software market. Akyla is a provider of flexible mid-office working platform solutions that enable automated recruitment, selection and efficient management of flex workers. The company offers two innovative solutions (e-UUR and Xplican) that assist customers with administrative processes involved in the management of flex workers, including onboarding, hourly registration, time interpretation, digital signing and vendor management.

The organizations foresee opportunities for a strong and unique combined product proposition that will competitively position the combination in the market. Notably, by gathering richer and more actionable data, the combination will improve the effectiveness of the search & match algorithms of Textkernel and empower staffing organizations to more effectively match candidates and jobs at the right time automatically. Candidates will enjoy a more tailored and suitable offering of potential jobs, which should lead to higher redeployment and placement rates for staffing agencies and a higher degree of job satisfaction and employee productivity for flex workers, while lowering the sourcing costs and efforts of staffing agencies.

Together, Akyla and Textkernel serve a combined customer base of more than 2,500 organizations, including staffing organizations, payrollers, corporates, job boards, HR solutions providers and other participants in the broader HR market.

Martin Schievink, CEO of Akyla, is excited to join forces with the internationally experienced Textkernel team and looking forward to the cooperation: “Textkernel is an excellent strategic match for Akyla. We share similar cultures and ambitions to help staffing organizations around the globe with our propositions.

Gerard Mulder, CEO of Textkernel, foresees a fruitful strategic partnership with strong potential to offer a value-added proposition together with Akyla to staffing organizations and software partners across international markets: “While exploring the opportunity for cooperation the response to our ideas from customers and partners were nothing but extremely positive. That feedback, combined with our very similar cultures and go-to-market strategy and Akyla’s wish to become more internationally active, strengthened our belief that joining forces will accelerate the growth of both companies significantly.

Main Capital has long been in contact with the leadership of Akyla and envisions a productive strategic combination that could bring sustainable competitive advantage, according to Pieter van Bodegraven, Partner at Main and Chair of the Supervisory Board of Textkernel: “We strongly believe in putting together driven and passionate entrepreneurs to accelerate innovation for the benefit of their clients. Over the past 20 years, this has been a key value creation driver in the successful organic and buy-and-build growth strategies we have executed together with our business partners. With Akyla and Textkernel, we combine two organizations that are both renowned for their skills and expertise within their respective adjacent domains of the HR ecosystem.

Textkernel
Textkernel is an international leader in AI-driven solutions for parsing, data enrichment and matching people and jobs. Textkernel enables thousands of recruitment & staffing agencies, employers, job boards, HR software vendors and outplacement & redeployment agencies worldwide to work smarter and more effectively by creating efficiencies in the HR and recruitment process. Textkernel is headquartered in Amsterdam, with satellite offices in Dusseldorf, Paris and the United States. Including Akyla, the group employs ca. 175 people.

Akyla
Akyla is a provider of flexible mid-office working platform solutions that enable automated recruitment, selection and efficient management of flex workers. The company offers innovative solutions that assist customers with all administrative processes involved in the management of flex workers. Headed by its co-founders, Akyla’s ca. 30 employees serve a loyal customer base of more than 200 staffers, payrollers and HR services providers across the Benelux and Nordics regions.

Main Capital Partners
Main Capital Partners is a leading software investor in the Benelux, DACH and the Nordics. Main has almost 20 years of experience in strengthening software companies and works closely together with management teams of its portfolio companies as a strategic partner, in order to realize sustainable growth and build excellent software groups. Main counts over 50 employees and has offices in The Hague, Stockholm and Düsseldorf. As of October 2021, Main has over EUR 2.2 billion of assets under management. Main has invested in more than 130 software companies to date. These companies have created jobs for approximately 5,000 employees.

Antares Partners with Hello Alice to Allocate $1M in Grants to Underrepresented Founders

Antares

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Antares today announced the launch of REACH, a program designed to help level the playing field for entrepreneurs who are members of diverse and historically underrepresented groups including women, people of color, military-affiliated, persons with disabilities, or LGBTQ+. The initiative will allocate $1M of Antares’ own capital to a grant program in partnership with Hello Alice, a multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow.

“champion middle market growth so that its people, partners and communities achieve their full potential.”

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REACH aims to expand access to capital to historically underrepresented groups at their earliest foundational stages, which would otherwise be challenging to obtain due to a lack of personal or “Friends and Family” funds and a discrepancy in how venture capital dollars are disseminated. For example, in 2021, women-founded companies garnered less than 2 percent of capital invested in VC-backed startups in the US, and Black-owned startups received just over 1 percent.

“When we support entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups in their nascent stages, we’re helping to drive a more diverse pipeline of companies that will ultimately benefit from the support and capital that private equity provides,” said Timothy Lyne, CEO of Antares. “We are eager to partner with Hello Alice in an effort to accelerate the growth of these companies and drive sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the industry.”

REACH was designed and will be led by Antares’ Employee Impact Groups. It aligns to the firm’s business heritage and brings to life the company’s purpose which is to “champion middle market growth so that its people, partners and communities achieve their full potential.” The grant program, in partnership with Hello Alice, will award $20,000 grants to approximately 40 small businesses. To qualify, businesses must have a viable product or service with less than $5M in annual revenue and be operated by entrepreneurs of historically underrepresented groups. All recipients will be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 unrestricted grant after completing a post-grant report and will be given access to professional development opportunities through Hello Alice.

“Underrepresented founders continue to face hurdles when attempting to raise capital for their company, a discrepancy that only hinders their ability to grow and scale their businesses,” said Carolyn Rodz, Co-Founder and CEO of Hello Alice. “That’s why we are excited to partner with a company like Antares, a firm that is committed to leveraging its leadership and access to resources in the middle market to contribute to a meaningful and measurable impact for those who need it most.”

REACH is a key tenet of Antares’ We Build Community efforts, which also focuses on grassroots organizations that support historically underrepresented groups as well as giving back to the communities where Antares employees live and work. To learn more and apply, visit https://helloalice.com/grants/antares-capital/

About Hello Alice

Hello Alice is a free platform that provides small business owners the tools, resources and access to funding they need to grow their businesses. With a community of over 800,000 business owners in all 50 states, Hello Alice is building the largest community of small business owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for that group. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. A Latina owned company, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, we believe in business for all by providing access to all small business owners including women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

About Antares

With more than $50 billion of capital under management and administration as of December 31, 2021, Antares is a private debt credit manager and a leading provider of financing and investment solutions for middle-market private equity-backed borrowers and investors. Since its founding in 1996, Antares has built one of the industry’s largest and longest-tenured portfolios of middle market companies and has been recognized by industry organizations as a leading provider of middle market private debt. Through its Asset Management & Funding team, Antares offers investors the opportunity to invest in collateralized loan obligations, funds and separately managed accounts. Antares is committed to championing middle market growth throughout market cycles. Doing so allows its people, partners and communities to achieve their full potential. The company maintains offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. Visit Antares at www.antares.com or follow the company on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/antares-capital-lp. Antares Capital is a subsidiary of Antares Holdings LP, (collectively, “Antares”).

Contacts

Antares Capital
Carol Ann Wharton
475-266-8053
carolann.wharton@antares.com

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The Specialist Group to be sold to Oaktree and TSG Management

Parcom

The Specialist Group (“TSG”), Parcom and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”) today announced that TSG founder Francois Claeijs and Parcom have reached an agreement to sell their stake in TSG to Oaktree and TSG management.

Headquartered in Moerdijk, Netherlands, TSG is a leading staffing provider of technical engineering specialists for attractive, structurally growing end markets such as power, chemicals, infrastructure, renewables and life sciences. TSG also serves as a key partner to its clients and asset owners, supporting them on their energy transition agenda, a segment underpinned by persistent tailwinds. Parcom acquired STAR Group, TSG’s flagship label, in 2011, and has supported the company’s expansion strategy through the acquisitions of Sentijn in 2018 and Or-Quest in 2020.

The proposed transaction will support TSG as it accelerates its next phase of growth. As an Oaktree portfolio company, TSG will benefit from Oaktree’s expertise in energy transition and from the exposure to the wider portfolio of Brookfield, one of the world’s largest infrastructure and renewable asset owners and developers.

Sil Hoeve, Chief Executive Officer at The Specialist Group: “In Oaktree we found a partner that can help us accelerate our strategy, adding scale, diversification and complementary offerings to the existing platform of TSG. We are grateful for the support and opportunities that Parcom has provided to TSG over the past years and we look forward to working with Francesco and the Oaktree team in the years to come.

Anouar Noudari, Board Member at The Specialist Group: “Throughout our ownership period, TSG has been on a steady growth trajectory. Sil and the TSG team have done an outstanding job leading the transition from a world class niche staffing business in the Oil & Gas industry to a highly scalable, multi brand specialist staffing platform for engineers driving the energy transition.”

Francesco Giuliani, Managing Director in Oaktree’s Power Opportunities Group: “Building on TSG’s established platform and track-record of successful acquisitions, we see a clear path to take TSG to the next phase of growth both organically and through additional acquisitions with a focus on energy transition. Working closely with Sil and the broader team, our goal is to create a European leader in white collar technical engineering recruitment services with a focus on enabling the energy transition for key companies across various target industries.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Q3 2022.

About The Specialist Group
Group is a platform that deploys technical specialists on a secondment and project basis. TSG serves >350 clients across technical end-markets such as power, chemicals, infrastructure, renewables and life sciences with a focus on enabling the energy transition. The Company operates via five labels (STAR Group, Sentijn, Or-Quest, Fellow and ECC Solutions) and provides regional coverage across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, focussing on both young professionals and experienced candidates. More information: https://www.thespecialistgroup.com/.

About Oaktree
among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $164 billion in assets under management as of 31 March 2022. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in credit, private equity, real assets and listed equities. The firm has over 1,000 employees and offices in 20 cities worldwide. More information: http://www.oaktreecapital.com/.

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BDC exits HKA

Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint Development Capital (‘BDC’) today announced the sale of HKA, a leading global consultancy in risk mitigation and dispute resolution, to PAI Partners.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, HKA provides a comprehensive set of specialist offerings, including Expert, Claims and Advisory services for the capital projects and infrastructure sector. The Company has over 130 partners and more than 1,000 experts, consultants and advisors across 40+ offices in 18 countries.

HKA works with law firms, contractors, owners, operators, and other professional service providers across the breadth of the risk mitigation and dispute resolution market. The Company’s global portfolio includes some of the world’s largest and most prestigious commissions across a wide range of industries including industrial & manufacturing, power & utilities, resources and energy transition, transportation infrastructure, buildings, technology, financial services and government contracts.

Under Bridgepoint’s ownership, HKA has seen significant growth in its Claims, Dispute Resolution and Litigation Support business and successfully developed new service lines, including its offerings in Forensic Technical Services and Forensic Accounting and Commercial Damages. The Company significantly expanded its US operations through the transformational acquisition of The Kenrich Group in 2019, creating the region’s largest construction claims consultancy as well as significantly strengthening HKA’s global capabilities in forensics, commercial damages and government contract services. In 2020, the Company bolstered its Forensic Technical Services offering by acquiring Probyn Miers, the UK’s leading firm of Expert Architects in the field of Construction Dispute Avoidance and Resolution.

PAI will support HKA’s management team in delivering their future growth plans, including accelerating HKA’s growth through development into adjacent services and through selective and targeted M&A opportunities.

“HKA has been a successful investment for Bridgepoint. Working closely with management, together we built significant value by establishing a strong partnership culture, focusing on strategic geographic markets and undertaking selective M&A as well as a comprehensive operational improvement programme. These initiatives mean that the business is now well positioned for further growth under new ownership,” said Jeannele M’Bembath, Director at Bridgepoint Development Capital.

Renny Borhan, CEO of HKA, commented: “I am extremely proud of the successes the team at HKA has achieved to date, and I am very thankful for Bridgepoint’s support and expertise over the last five years. We are very excited to be partnering with PAI Partners in the next phase of our growth.”

Neil McIlroy, Partner at PAI Partners, added: “HKA is uniquely positioned in the large and fragmented risk mitigation and dispute resolution market, with attractive long term growth prospects. We look forward to supporting Renny and his talented team as they pursue organic and inorganic initiatives to deliver their ambitious business strategy.”

PAI Partners was advised by Rothschild & Co. and DC Advisory (M&A); Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (Legal); Alvarez & Marsal (Financial); and Bain & Company (Commercial).

Bridgepoint was advised by J.P. Morgan (M&A); Travers Smith (Legal); BDO (Financial); and OC&C (Commercial).

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

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Technology & Strategy merges Intys Partners and pursues further growth, with support of Ardian

Ardian

Technology & Strategy (T&S), the European specialist in technology consulting, announces that it has merged Intys Partners, one of the leading Belgian consulting firms in operations management and digital transformation, formerly held by Omnes.

With the support of Ardian’s Expansion team, T&S is positioned at the forefront of the European consulting and engineering industry.

Founded in 2008, T&S has established itself as a specialist in engineering, digital and project management consulting, with recognized expertise in embedded systems. The company has experienced very strong growth of more than 20% every year, both organically and externally. The merger with Intys Partners, a European firm recognized as a major partner in management consulting with more than 450 employees, is a new step for T&S in its “scale up 2024” plan. It aims to create a one-stop-shop for clients to access the best combination of specialists for their technological transformation.

The combined group will count more than 2,400 employees and show strong expertise, sector and geographic complementarities.

It is now a leading consulting firm, offering expertise in three primary areas: engineering consulting, digital consulting, and operational performance consulting. The geographical footprint is strongly reinforced in the Benelux and now extends from Europe (France, Switzerland, Germany, Benelux) to Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore).

As a multi-specialist player in high-growth niche markets, the merger with Intys Partners will enable the group to strengthen its sector expertise in Healthcare, which now represents 13% of combined revenues.

Attracting new talent – an essential pillar to the Group’s strategy – will be strengthened by offering opportunities for career growth and opportunities to work abroad.

Globally, new synergies resulting from the integration of Intys Partners will enable T&S group to develop around strong brands which are better able to serve clients.

“Intys is above all a meeting with a manager and a company with a similar history to the one of T&S. The strong complementarity of our offers, our businesses and above all of our people will enable us to achieve our common ambition of going further, stronger, together. ” Jérémie Huss, Co-Founder and CEO of T&S Group

“Recently, one of our major clients told me: “Intys, we greatly appreciate your ability to understand our business, but also the innovative way you look at our projects. The question I want to ask you is, when will you be ready to deliver the same level of quality not only in Belgium, but also further abroad?” Today, with this merger, I am convinced that we are ready. “ Philippe Metz, CEO of Intys

“Supporting high-growth, ambitious companies looking to expand outside their home market is at the heart of our investment philosophy. We are pleased to support the management of T&S in this new stage of development, which confirms the group’s abilitý to continue its growth while participating in the consolidation of the sector.” Marie Arnaud-Battandier, Managing Director Ardian Expansion

List of Participants

  • Technology & Strategy:

    • Jérémie Huss, Fabrice Tricaud
  • Intys Partners:

    • Philippe Metz, Michel Van Hemele, Katrien De Both
  • Ardian Expansion:

    • Marie Arnaud-Battandier, Arthur de Salins, Thomas Grétéré
  • Buyer Legal advisors:

    • CMS (Arnaud Van Oekel, David Prync, Candice Kunkera)
  • Tax structuring:

    • CMS (Olivier Querinjean), Delaby & Dorison (Emmanuel Delaby, Florian Tumoine, Guillaume Lacombe)
  • Buyer financing advisors:

    • Latham & Watkins (Michel Houdayer, Aurélie Buchinet, Matthieu Herviaux)
  • Buyer M&A advisors:

    • Houlihan Lokey (Sara Napolitano, Gary Kurtz, Zaid Lahsiba)
  • Commercial Due Diligence:

    • Roland Berger (Grégoire Tondreau, Benjamin Verhelst)
  • Financial Due Diligence:

    • 8 Advisory (Philippe Fimmers, Margot De Vylder, Florent Garnier, Pierre-David Forterre, Alain Kabera)
  • Legal, Tax and Social Due Diligence:

    • CMS (Arnaud Van Oekel, Benoit Gomel, David Prync, Candice Kunkera)
  • Omnes :

    • Stéphane Roussilhe, Jess Wizman, Céleste Lauriot Dit Prevost
  • Seller Legal advisors :

    • Hoche Avocats (Grine Lahreche, Sophie Millet)
  • Management Legal advisors:

    • Liedekerke (Damien Conem, Charline Cogels)

ABOUT TECHNOLOGY & STRATEGY

Technology & Strategy is a company created in 2008. Specialized in Engineering, IT, Digital and Project Management, T&S supports its customers on innovative development projects. T&S also has an integrated design office to meet the requirements of the market.
Human oriented, and definitely focused on excellence, T&S is a company that shares its expertise with a constant concern for transparency. Technology & Strategy has been able to build trusting relationships with major clients in the industrial, automotive and financial sectors.
International, with a Franco-German DNA, T&S defends an entrepreneurial model supported by its 2000 employees, composed of 30 nationalities spread over 16 agencies and 7 countries (France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong).

ABOUT INTYS PARTNERS

Created in 2007, Intys now has more than 450 employees in 3 countries, with a strong base in Belgium. The company is recognized as a major consulting partner, particularly in the support and operationalization of strategies.
Its activities are structured around business expertise through 6 brands. Intys Consulting, Intys FSA and Univers Retail in Management Consulting, and Intys Data, Agir, and Vadis Technologies in Technology Consulting. This organization allows the development of an in-depth knowledge of both the sectors and the businesses of its clients, but also the sharing of best practices in terms of strategy execution.
Its ambition is to be a partner of choice for its customers and employees, to maintain its level of operational excellence, but also to have a stronger European footprint, even on other continents.

ABOUT ARDIAN

Ardian is one of the world’s leading private equity firms with $125 billion under management and/or advisory in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company, majority owned by its employees, has always placed entrepreneurship at the heart of its approach and offers its international investors top-tier performance.
Through its commitment to sharing the value created with all stakeholders, Ardian contributes to the growth of companies and economies around the world.
Building on its values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian has an international network of over 850 employees in 15 offices in Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), North America (New York, San Francisco), South America (Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). The firm manages funds for 1,200 clients through its five investment pillars: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.

Media Contacts

TECHNOLOGY & STRATEGY

INTYS PARTNERS

Philippe Metz

philippe.metz@intys.eu  

EQT Private Equity Asia acquires Guardian, China’s largest domestic pest control operator

eqt
  • EQT Private Equity Asia makes majority investment in Guardian, China’s largest domestic pest control operator, with a strong presence in the country’s eastern and southern provinces
  • Guardian’s underlying market is supported by favorable demographic trends, such as increasing urbanization, a growing middle class, and a shift towards more healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyles, while from an ESG perspective, Guardian continues to improve living conditions in cities through efficient pest control
  • EQT will support Guardian’s next phase of growth by driving consolidation in China’s highly fragmented pest control market while leveraging EQT’s inhouse digitalization and sustainability capabilities, route-based sector expertise, and global advisory network

EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Mid Market Asia III fund (“EQT Private Equity”) has made a majority investment in Guardian Shanghai Hygiene Service Ltd. (“Guardian” or the “Company”). Guardian’s founders, Chuck Jiang, Charlie Peng and Steven Gan will retain a minority stake in the Company and remain in the management team.

Guardian was founded in Shanghai in 2011 by Chuck Jiang, former General Manager of global pest control company, Rentokil, in China. It has grown from a regional player to a leading national player today, having completed 14 bolt-ons historically. Today, Guardian holds a strong position in high-end commercials verticals, including restaurant chains, supermarkets, shopping malls, airports, hotels and food production facilities.

Guardian’s underlying market is supported by favourable demographic trends, including an increasing urbanization pace, a growing middle class, and new regulatory directives, such as “Healthy China 2030”, a nation-wide policy reform that sets out to encourage more healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyles.

From an ESG perspective, Guardian continues to improve living conditions in cities through efficient pest control. EQT will further support Guardian’s digital innovation of pest control products and services, which is key to decreasing negative environmental and human impacts. By investing in and rolling out digital solutions such as digital rodent traps, Guardian could lower chemical usage and reduce the number of manual site visits.

EQT will support Guardian in its next phase of growth through improvements in its digital backbone, including investments in innovation and technology, online marketing strategy and digital service offerings. Guardian will also benefit from EQT’s sub-sector expertise within route-based services and planning, as well as merger and acquisition capabilities.

Jerry He, Partner within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team and Head of China, said, “EQT Private Equity is excited to invest in Guardian at this critical stage of growth. We are impressed by Guardian’s development in the last decade and see abundant opportunities to apply our industry network, sector expertise and digital skillsets to support its ambitious vision and expansion plans. Moreover, China’s fragmented pest control market allows for attractive opportunities for organic and acquisitive growth. We look forward to partnering with Chuck and his management team to future proof the company and reach its full potential.”

Chuck Jiang, Founder and CEO of Guardian, said, “Over the past decade, the entire Guardian team has dedicated itself to building the Company from the ground up, from a regional player to now a leading national player. We are excited to partner with EQT, one of the world’s largest and most reputable private equity firms, to further accelerate our growth and expand our footprint. EQT’s experience and expertise in the pest control space are highly valuable, and will support Guardian in realizing new opportunities and provide better and innovative solutions for our customers.”

The transaction was closed on 17 March 2022.

Contact
APAC media inquiries:
Mavis Ma, Communications Manager, mavis.ma@eqtpartners.com, +852 9280 9663

International media inquiries: EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with EUR 73.4 billion in assets under management across 28 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 175,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram

About Guardian
Founded in 2011, Guardian is the largest local Chinese pest control operator, with a strong presence in Eastern and Southern China. During the past 10 years, it has grown from a regional player to a leading national player today, having completed 14 bolt-ons historically. Guardian has a strong position in high-end commercials verticals, including MNC chain restaurants, retail and public (airport) verticals. Guardian strives to offer comprehensive environmental sanitary solutions and be a long-term business partner to its clients.

More info: www.guardian-hygiene.com

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Baird Capital Exits Portfolio Company Nigel Wright Group

Baird Capital
Baird Capital’s Private Equity team recently announced that portfolio company Nigel Wright Group has refinanced the business and purchased all outstanding equity from their two institutional shareholders (Baird Capital and Beechbrook Capital). This move completes the full exit for Baird Capital following the MBO initiated in October 2020.Nigel Wright has operated for over 30 years from its headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne where it remains the leading and largest specialist recruitment firm in the North of England. It has expanded across Europe to become Europe’s number one consumer sector search specialist. Baird Capital initially invested in Nigel Wright in 2010.

“It was a pleasure to partner with Nigel Wright over the last 10 years, and we wish Paul Wilson and his talented team of executive directors great success,” said Dennis Hall, Partner and Head of Portfolio Management with Baird Capital. “This exit marks a new chapter for the firm, and we look forward to seeing what they do next.”

Learn more here.

Baird Capital Partners Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Bridgepoint sells Element Materials Technology

Bridgepoint

25th January 2022 – Element Materials Technology Group (Element or the Group), a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) services, has been acquired by Temasek from Bridgepoint. Temasek, a global investor headquartered in Singapore, has been a minority shareholder in Element since 2019. The Group generates annual revenues of c.$1 billion and has grown at over 20% a year over the last ten years. The transaction value has not been disclosed and the transaction remains subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Operating in technically demanding and highly regulated sectors, Element is well positioned to further accelerate its growth as it builds stronger positions in end-markets, such as life sciences and connected technologies. The Group also benefits from strong global ESG tailwinds – with over 60% of its work already directly supporting customers on their sustainability journeys, it will continue to strengthen its position across the global TIC industry.

Element can trace its origins back 190 years, and now operates a global network of more than 200 laboratories across 30 countries, servicing thousands of customers in life sciences, connected technologies, aerospace, transportation, energy transition, built environment, and beyond. Element works with customers across a wide spectrum – from testing the next generation of aircraft and autonomous vehicles, to vaccine component testing in its US pharmaceutical laboratories; from the certification of smartphones and wearable technologies, to providing cellular carrier approvals and testing connected robots.

Headquartered in London, UK, Element’s team of over 7,000 scientists, engineers, and technologists support customers from early R&D, through complex regulatory approvals and into production, ensuring their products are safe and sustainable.

Element recently achieved the best ESG rating of any major TIC company globally, placing in the top 1.5% of all companies rated for ESG by Sustainalytics. Element’s 10.5 corporate ESG rating reflects its industry-leading ESG systems, management, and commitments, which include setting science-based climate targets and achieving net zero emissions across its entire business by 2035.

Allan Leighton, Non-Executive Chairman of Element, said: ‘Element has a highly talented management team and exceptional people across our offices and laboratories around the world. This transaction is a testament to their skills and commitment and creates the launchpad for the next exciting horizon of growth for the company.’

Jo Wetz, CEO of Element, said: ‘The acquisition of Element by Temasek is a landmark transaction in the TIC sector, and a critical step in the development of the Group. We have grown from 20 locations and 600 colleagues ten years ago, to over 7,000 talented experts operating across 200 locations, and are ambitious to continue our rapid growth in the sector.

Bridgepoint has been an exceptional partner, helping to support a ten-fold increase in our turnover over the past decade. We are delighted to expand our relationship with Temasek – their intimate understanding of the Group and their track record of enabling businesses with sustainability at their core will help to accelerate the growth of our business in the years ahead.’

“I am extremely proud of what Element and its outstanding team have delivered. The business has been bold in its ambition, delivered impressive organic growth, and has been clinical in its acquisition strategy – allowing it to significantly expand its expertise for over 50,000 customers worldwide. It is now an undisputed heavyweight in Testing, Inspection and Certification, and we wish the team of 7,000 people continued success in the future’, said Chris Busby, partner at Bridgepoint.

Uwe Krueger, Temasek’s Head Industrials, Business Services, Energy & Resources; and Head, Europe, Middle East & Africa said: ‘We are pleased to continue our relationship with Element as it works with its customers and explores greater opportunities to be part of their decarbonisation and sustainability journeys. As a leading TIC business, Element is at the forefront of enabling innovative solutions across various industries.’

Element was advised by Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild & Co (M&A), A&O (legal), EY (finance and tax), BCG (commercial), DLA, Jamieson and PwC (management advisors).

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Waystone completes investment from Montagu and announces new strategic investment from Hg

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HG Capital

Montagu and Hg will become co-controlling investors, supporting Waystone to further scale its global platform for fund governance solutions

Dublin, Republic of Ireland and London, United Kingdom 24 January 2022, Waystone Group, a leading provider of institutional governance, risk, and compliance services to the asset management industry, today announce that Montagu, a leading private equity firm, has completed its investment in Waystone, and Hg, a leading global software and services investor, will join as a strategic investor and joint shareholder. Montagu first announced its investment in Waystone in July 2021. Hg’s investment is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions

Founded in 2000 and based in Dublin, Waystone serves clients with assets under management totalling more than US$1 trillion, delivering the tools and expertise to manage their governance and regulatory requirements, enabling them to focus on their core business. It has achieved global scale through a series of carefully planned acquisitions, and today provides an extensive range of services and solutions across multiple international jurisdictions.

Montagu and Hg will partner with the company’s strong management team, led by CEO Derek Delaney, to continue to grow and complement Waystone’s existing service offering while supporting further geographic and product expansion through targeted acquisitions.

Hg will join Montagu and the management team as key shareholders. This will support our growth as an institutional, global service provider, paving the way for further expansion in 2022.”

Derek Delaney, Global CEO at Waystone

“As a long-established investor in the space, we recognise the growth opportunity for fund services, and specifically a third-party management company with Waystone’s global reach and competitive strength. We look forward to working with Waystone’s strong management team to meet the future needs of its clients.”

Tobias Weltin, Director at Montagu

“We’re impressed with what Derek and his team have achieved over the last decade. Hg knows the sector well, having invested around $4.5 billion into legal & compliance and the capital markets segments to date. This experience means that we know quality when we see it, and Waystone stands out as a leading platform for consolidation in this sector.”

Thorsten Toepfer, Partner at Hg

“We recognise Waystone as a leading platform in fund governance, with a differentiated profile and potential to scale further. We look forward to what we can achieve together with Montagu, Derek and the team.”

Justin Von Simson, Managing Partner at Hg

ENDS


Note to Editors

About Waystone
Waystone is a leading provider of institutional governance, risk, and compliance services to the asset management industry. Partnering institutional investors, investment funds and asset managers Waystone builds, supports, and protects investment structures and strategies worldwide. With over 20 years’ experience and a comprehensive range of specialist services to its name, Waystone is now supporting asset managers with more than US$1Tn in AUM. Waystone provides its clients with the guidance and tools to allow them to focus on managing their investment goals with confidence.

For additional information on Waystone, visit www.waystone.com

Waystone Media Contact
Alison Mitsas
amitsas@waystone.com


About Montagu
Montagu is a leading mid-market private equity firm, committed to finding and growing businesses that make the world work. With deep experience in healthcare and the tech-enablement of essential businesses, Montagu brings proven growth capabilities to help companies achieve their ambitions and unlock the full potential of their business.  Montagu is committed to the mid-market, with a specialism in carve-out transactions and other first-time buyout investments. ESG forms an integral part of its strategy, and its commitment to sustainable investment is fully integrated into its investment and value-creation process. Montagu partners with businesses between €200 million and €1 billion and has €10bn assets under management.

For additional information on Montagu, visit www.montagu.com

Montagu Media Contacts
Rob White and Mikaela Murekian (Greenbrook)
+44 20 7952 2000
montagu@greenbrookpr.com


About Hg
Hg is a growth platform for software and services champions, focused on backing businesses that change how we all do business. Deep technology expertise, complemented by vertical application specialisation and dedicated operational support, provides a compelling proposition to management teams looking to scale their businesses. Hg has funds under management of around $40 billion, with an investment team of over 140 professionals, plus a portfolio team of around 40 operators, providing practical support to help our businesses to realise their growth ambitions. Based in London, Munich and New York, Hg has a portfolio of over 40 software and technology businesses, worth around $92 billion aggregate enterprise value, with over 55,000 employees globally, growing at over 20% per year.

Visit www.hgcapital.com for more information.

Hg Media Contacts
Tom Eckersley
tom.eckersley@hgcapital.com
+44 208 148 5401

Azadeh Varzi and Samantha Chiene (Brunswick)
hg@brunswickgroup.com
+44 207 404 5959

Bridgepoint exits FCG

Bridgepoint

FCG Group AB is pleased to announce a partnership with IK Partners, with the target to become a leading GRC provider in the European market. IK acquires its stake in FCG from Bridgepoint Group plc, becoming the new majority owner.

IK Partners (“IK”), a European private equity firm, announced today that IK Small Cap III Fund has signed an agreement to acquire FCG Group AB (“FCG”), from international private equity group Bridgepoint Group plc (“Bridgepoint”). The deal, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

FCG is a governance, risk management and compliance (“GRC”) services provider, offering advisory, outsourcing, GRC technology and fund administration services to the financial services industry. With in-depth expertise, FCG helps clients manage their challenges and guide them in an ever-changing environment. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, FCG has evolved to become a leading Nordic GRC player with more than 270 employees located across six offices in the Nordics and Germany. FCG is serving a diversified customer base ranging from fast-growing fintech start-ups to large banks.

Together with IK, FCG plans to continue its international growth strategy, further strengthen the service offering within key growth areas such as ESG and build its position as a leading GRC technology provider. IK is acquiring its stake alongside management and key employees who will be reinvesting and remain significant shareholders. FCG will continue to be led by the CEO Kristian Bentzer and his team.

“We are pleased to welcome IK as our new partner and majority owner as we embark on the next phase of our journey to become a leading European GRC-firm. This partnership will form a solid basis on which we can further strengthen and accelerate our growth ambitions. Since inception, we have continuously developed our offering to become a full-service GRC player in the Nordics and Germany and we look forward to expanding our geographical presence and service offering together with IK.” says Kristian Bentzer, Group CEO and Partner at FCG.

“FCG occupies a leading position in a growing market with favourable underlying drivers. In an ever-evolving regulatory environment with increased complexity, the demand for GRC services is expected to increase over time. We’ve been following FCG for many years and believe the company is well positioned to cater to that demand and we look forward to partnering

with Kristian and the entire FCG team to continue to build upon their impressive track record.” says Erik Ingemarsson, Partner at IK Partners and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund.

“We have had the pleasure to partner with a talented and highly committed team; the progress that FCG has achieved during our ownership has been impressive. During this period, FCG has more than doubled in size, through both internal business development and M&A, expanding the service offering across the GRC arena, added tech capabilities and software solutions and also expanded internationally. FCG is now well placed to continue its growth ambitions and development under new ownership, and we look forward to following the Company’s future development.” says Johan Dahlfors, Partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital and responsible for its investment activities in the Nordic region.

IK is a European private equity firm focused on investments in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €14 billion of capital and invested in over 155 European companies. IK supports companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects.

Bridgepoint is world leading quoted private assets growth investor focused on the middle-market with over €30 billion AUM and a local presence in the US, Europe and China. Bridgepoint specialises in private equity and private credit and invest internationally in six principal sectors – business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, advanced industrials and technology.

The transaction is subject to competition clearance and regulatory approvals.

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