Alpine Investors has closed on a banner continuation fund at a time when the secondaries market has favoured smaller GP-led transactions.
Blackstone Strategic Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Lexington Partners and Pantheon have backed the $3.4 billion continuation fund for home and commercial services platform Apex Service Partners. Affiliate title Buyouts reported in February a process had launched and was in its early stages.
Alpine Investors IX, which closed above its target on $4.5 billion in June, invested $450 million in Apex alongside the continuation fund, according to a statement. Investors in Alpine’s $1.02 billion Alpine Investors VII were able to cash out of their investment or roll a portion into the continuation fund. They were “also given opportunities to combine their liquidity and rollover options to varying degrees based on their preferences”, the statement noted.
Evercore advised on the transaction.
San Francisco-headquartered Alpine, which focuses on the software and services industries, created Apex in 2019 with its acquisition of Frank Gay Services, a plumbing, HVAC, electrical and mechanical services company. The firm combined Frank Gay with existing portfolio company Best Home Services to create its home and commercial services platform Apex.
Secondaries buyers on the whole have turned their attention to the mid-market this year. Such transactions have allowed buyers to take lead positions on deals as they sought to differentiate themselves as they fundraised, market participants have told Secondaries Investor. There was also a higher bar for single-asset transactions as buyers and managers grappled with discounts to valuations in an uncertain environment.
There has, however, been a resurgence in $1 billion-plus transactions in the third quarter, according to PJT Park Hill’s Q3 2023 Secondary Market Insight report. The heightened interest follows strong demand for a select subset of deals of this size, which has encouraged managers to gauge the market.
Other large transactions closed this year include Madison Dearborn’s roughly $2.2 billion process for three insurance-related assets in a process led by HarbourVest, Neuberger Berman and AlpInvest Partners, as reported by Buyouts; Oakley Capital’s over €1 billion continuation fund deal for German university group IU Group backed by TPG GP Solutions, HarbourVest, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Glendower Capital and Pantheon; and New Mountain Capital’s $1.1 billion continuation fund for medical data-focused company Datavant led by ICG’s Strategic Equity unit.