PEI Awards 2019: Americas winners

Most of 2019's large GP-led deals took place in North America, making it one of the hardest fought categories in these awards.

North America dominated the GP-led market last year, accounting for 64 percent of deals by volume, according to Greenhill. The depth and breadth of deals made it one of the most competitive categories in this year’s awards.

A large majority of the 17 $500-million-plus restructurings that took place in 2019 occurred in North America, involving blue-chip names such as Accel-KKR, Warburg Pincus and Corsair Infrastructure Partners. These are the ones that came out on top.

LP Sale of the Year in the Americas

1. Manulife, AlpInvest Partners, Campbell Lutyens

2. PSP Investments, Ardian, Strategic Partners, Lazard

3. State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Evercore

In the third quarter, AlpInvest Partners underwrote the acquisition of an entire $1.7 billion portfolio off the balance sheet of Manulife before syndicating it to other investors. The deal, advised by Campbell Lutyens, priced at 100 percent of net asset value and comprised 50 high-quality US mid-market funds from managers such as Thoma Bravo, Apollo, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Audax. The result was a commingled fund for the Canadian insurance giant’s private equity team to manage.

GP-led Deal of the Year in the Americas

1. Goldman Sachs Asset Management, GIC, Adams Street Partners, Evercore for Accel-KKR

2. AlpInvest Partners, Lazard for Warburg Pincus

3. HarbourVest Partners, Credit Suisse for Corsair Infrastructure Partners

One of the most competitive GP-led processes of the year, the $1.4 billion GP-led deal on Accel KKR III centred on four top technology assets. On aggregate, they had grown eight-fold since their acquisition. The deal comprised $1.16 billion of new capital commitments and $225 million of follow-on investments. Rob Palumbo, managing director of Accel-KKR, said: “We are quite pleased with both the strong results of Fund III to this point, as well as the incremental $225 million of follow-on capital from this investor group that will allow us to further fuel these companies’ continued growth.”

Secondaries Firm of the Year in the Americas

1. HarbourVest Partners

2. AlpInvest Partners

3. Lexington Partners

HarbourVest Partners put a lot of capital to work in North America in 2019. It backed a
$1.8 billion infrastructure GP-led restructuring involving fund manager Corsair; a tender offer on Court Square’s $3.2 billion Fund III; and gained the support of several big-name US LPs, including State of Michigan Retirement Systems and New Hampshire Retirement System, for its latest flagship fund. The fund, Dover Street X, is targeting $6.5 billion, nearly $2 billion more than what it raised for its 2015-vintage predecessor.

Secondaries Advisor of the Year in the Americas

1. Evercore

2. Lazard

3. Greenhill

For the second year in a row, Evercore clinches the title for best secondaries advisor in the Americas. The firm advised on around $18 billion worth of deals including multiple
$1 billion-plus transactions and stapled tenders for US mid-market buyout firms. Standout deals include the winner of our award for best GP-led deal in the Americas, Accel-KKR’s
$1.4 billion restructuring and TPG Growth’s tender offer on its 2011-vintage, $2.04 billion Fund II, led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Secondaries Law Firm of the Year in the Americas

1. Kirkland & Ellis

2. Ropes & Gray

3. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

For the second consecutive year, Kirkland & Ellis picks up the award for best law firm of the year in the Americas. The firm did $34.66 billion worth of work in North America, including advising on 47 portfolio sales, 24 preferred equity investments, seven stapled tender offers and 24 GP-led fund restructurings. Among the deals it worked on are the $1.4 billion restructuring of Accel-KKR’s Fund III and two rare credit fund restructurings on vehicles managed by Bain Capital.