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Comments (29)

Nov 16, 2020 - 10:44pm

MSD Partners acquiring Gregg Lemkau from Goldman Sachs

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
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Nov 18, 2020 - 7:50am

Large SPAC fad right now with lots of banks looking to control dealflow by delaying pipeline trxn kick-offs to next year. Lot of thoughts that it's more of a fad than a viable long-term solution for raising capital but definitely interesting to follow. PE firms participating in spac deals as well with a much larger inflow of large institutional capital in the last six months

Nov 23, 2020 - 6:36am

From my understanding, and I could be wrong, but banks are being cautious with not running through all transactions so that pipelines from a fee perspective are kept solid. Also as the market is maturing for spacs, there may be more work in positioning and preparing the companies for a public listing but that's just speculation.

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2020 - 10:42pm

SPAC market is flooded because there haven't been too many deal announcements as of late, so the capital hasn't been recycled yet. I am told through the grapevine that approximately $30 billion in PIPEs are currently trying to be raised...and some investors are just telling capital markets desks to stop calling them at this point.  

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2020 - 1:30am

I'm actually p excited w the vehicle structure itself but now with the pool being so diluted w people all over the industry and even those completely outside of finance the quality of upcoming deals will almost certainly deteriorate. I also don't think big incumbents / large vehicles à la Churchill or Gores will have the same amount of traction they did before. 

  • Associate 3 in AM - FI
Nov 18, 2020 - 7:37pm

A couple interesting mergers/LBOs that I've been looking to chat with people on, any takers?

-Blackstone acquiring Ancestry

-Eaton Vance/Morgan Stanley


-Home Depot and HD Supply (with the commercial/industrial business carved out)



-Dunkins/Inspire Brands


  • Intern in IB - Ind
Nov 19, 2020 - 12:56am

Thoughts on DoJ case against Visa? Seems like the legal bar is set high since Plaid isn't (on paper) a direct competitor to Visa though I haven't looked into the legal precedent.

  • Associate 3 in AM - FI
Nov 20, 2020 - 6:54pm

Sure. Personally it's tough to sympathize too much with Visa here.....they are a massive behemoth of a company covering their flank (note even they claimed it was a strategic move) with the Plaid acquisition. I'm surprised the DOJ chose this case to stand their ground against the big titans, but financial services has always been a sensitive area for competitiveness. Think it ultimately gets blocked but happy to hear any counterpoints from FIG analysts.

Nov 19, 2020 - 11:42pm

@Associate 3 in AM-FI -would love to chat deals. I'll break the ice - here we go:

1) Inspire Brands (Sponsor: Roark Capital) / M&A  (Dunkin' Brands) 

Ratings (CFR): B/B2 / Leverage: 4.1x/4.6x  

A&R Commitment Letter:…

(found the UW group and commitments interesting

Term Loan B: Ares $200 / 7.7% and Golub - $170 / 6.6% of TLB-only [No revolver commitment - which makes sense tho)

JPM $20 / 8% and Morgan Stanley  $30 / 12% - Revolver only commitment, no TLB].  

Revolver $250

Term Loan B $2.575B /  L+325, 99.0 OID (L+350-375, 99.0 OID @ launch)

-In other words - it Reverse-flexed, aka priced inside of price talk of L+350-375 at launch.

A lot of Dividend deals lately:

Anchor Packaging, Anterra Wines Canada, Bumble, Allegro Microsystems, and Railworks  - this one should be interesting. BMO//PNC/Citizens middle-market deal w/ a covenant and priced at a premium - let's see how it goes (TLB $230 / L+550, 98.0 OID). Most of the others were add-on's rather than a full div/recap. Successful deals, most still "reverse-flexed" aka got done inside of or at price talk. Bumble upsized from $200 to $275 (Blackstone is Sponsor).

Some LBOs / acquisitions picked up this week I felt:  saw some software / SaaS names get annouced - ECi Software (Leonard Green), nThrive (Clearlake Capital).nThrive I found interesting - Revenue cycle management (RCM) business for Healthcare industry, good comp would be a deal called R1 RCM.

Finally, a Direct Lending deal

- also saw HPS & Cap One  commit to a deal for AMAG Pharmaceuticals  (acquisition by Covis Finco).…

I see HPS & Cap One partner up from time to time, as well as HPS/Ares.  In this case, Cap One acts as the First-Out  lender and HPS as the Last-Out (taking the bulk of commitments in this example as well).

OK that's all I got for now. Who's next and ready to talk deals?

  • Associate 3 in AM - FI
Nov 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

Ooh this is perfect, lets do it:

-The Inspire Brands/Dunkin deal, seeing Ares and Golub take down a big chunk early isn't too surprising for me. Broadly speaking, that is a massive liquid tranche with a decent coupon (mainly because the ratings). You can take your views on the restaurant industry but Inspire is a collection of businesses that should persist going forward (with some areas of their portfolio managing just fine despite COVID). If you have money to put to work, this was a good deal for it and maybe other banks balked at the leverage. Odd from my POV. The price talk tightening further proves my point there.

Add-ons and div recaps right now make sense. Some take the view that you do these deals now because the market is open and accepting deals in non-distressed industries at a favorable rate. Div recaps because we're at the end of the year and there may be tax changes coming up. With more bullet proof sectors, it seems like investors are willing to tolerate more leverage (and subsequently recaps).

Nov 20, 2020 - 5:27pm

That Gregg Lemkau is leaving GS, another sign that the industry is in secular decline. A large number of the best in the industry have already left, and every time someone like Lemkau leaves, someone less impressive rises to take their place. IB - for everyone other than the analysts - has a serious adverse selection problem

Nov 20, 2020 - 5:28pm

@WillHunting already mentioned this in an albeit more funny way, but I'm serious when I say that this story is more important than most of the actual M&A headlines you're seeing if we're thinking about the industry 

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