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US midmarket specialists more upbeat in coronavirus aftermath than generalists

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US midmarket specialists more upbeat in coronavirus aftermath than generalists

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of global private equity news stories and more published throughout the week.

U.S. middle-market private equity specialists were more upbeat when it came to new deal commitments and the fundraising environment in the wake of the pandemic compared with their generalist counterparts, according to a report.

The report is based on interviews with over 100 senior professionals at U.S. middle-market private equity sponsors and was conducted by Coalition Greenwich, a division of CRISIL, in partnership with New York Life Investments Alternatives LLC.

"Specialists were far more likely than generalists to name investments in new deals as their biggest use of deployed capital last year," compared with generalists that were more likely to list add-ons, support capital for portfolio businesses, and other uses as primary drivers.

Many specialists are more likely to focus on sectors that remained resilient amid the turmoil, and "specialists' industry relationships can provide a proprietary avenue for deal sourcing, and sector-specific knowledge can enhance speed to close — factors that could have played a meaningful role in a competitive deal environment," the report said.

Approximately half of all those surveyed indicated the pandemic has had a disruptive impact on fundraising 39% said fundraising had become more difficult, while 12% placed fundraising on hold.

Generalists were more likely than specialists to say there had been a negative impact on fundraising following the outbreak. "At the extreme, one in five generalists said market conditions and operational limitations during the pandemic caused them to place fundraising efforts on hold entirely, compared to only 3% of specialists," the report said.

Read more about the report's findings here.

FUNDRAISING AND DEALS

* Apollo Global Management Inc. and Standard General LP made a joint bid to buy Tegna Inc. for over $8 billion, the New York Post reported, citing sources close to the matter. Tegna Inc. confirmed it received takeover offers but did not provide details.

* Platinum Equity LLC is selling Singaporean electronics manufacturing service provider PCI Ltd. to Celestica Inc. for $306 million.

* Bain Capital LP is in talks with Piraeus Bank SA to acquire the Greek bank's portfolio of leasing contracts, which has a gross book value of about €530 million, Reuters reported, citing bankers close to the talks.

* Advent International Corp. agreed to purchase a controlling interest in Eureka Forbes Ltd. for 44 billion Indian rupees, Reuters reported, citing the India-based consumer electronics company's parent Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd. The firm also led a significant strategic investment in e-commerce software and data platform Assembly.

ELSEWHERE IN THE INDUSTRY

* Thomas H. Lee Partners LP is set to add Brooks Automation Inc.'s semiconductor solutions business to its portfolio in a $3 billion cash transaction.

* CI Capital Partners LLC sold a majority stake in fire and life safety service and installation company Summit Cos. to BlackRock Long Term Private Capital.

* Levine Leichtman Capital Partners LLC amassed $1.38 billion for LLCP Lower Middle Market Fund III LP.

* Liberty Strategic Capital drummed up approximately $2.5 billion in capital commitments, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

FOCUS ON: PACKAGED FOOD AND MEATS PRODUCERS

* FountainVest Partners agreed to purchase Ziwi Ltd. in a deal that would give the New Zealand-based pet food company a valuation of about NZ$1.5 billion, Bloomberg reported.

* Ardian is acquiring a majority stake in Florida Food Products Inc. from MidOcean Partners LLP at an enterprise value of over $1 billion. MidOcean will retain a significant interest in the clean-label ingredients company.

* 3i Group PLC agreed to inject capital into Dutch Bakery Group BV.

* Bregal Investments Inc. made a growth investment in organic foods company Oggi Foods Inc.

S&P Global Market Intelligence and CRISIL are owned by S&P Global Inc.