Strategic Partners leads Wind Point continuation fund deal

The Blackstone subsidiary anchored a continuation vehicle which invested in chemicals producer Ascensus alongside New Mountain Capital.

Wind Point Partners has completed a single-asset process on a continuation vehicle, a deal first reported by Secondaries Investor last month.

The Chicago-headquartered buyout shop raised a special purpose vehicle to acquire a stake in chemicals producer Ascensus Specialties, which was held in a 2018-vintage Wind Point-managed continuation fund, according to a statement. Strategic Partners was the lead investor in the SPV.

New Mountain Capital also bought a stake in Ascensus through an M&A process, creating a “joint control partnership” with Wind Point, the statement noted.

“Wind Point continues to be a great partner and New Mountain brings proven success in life sciences,” said Ascensus chief executive Mike Huff in the statement. “With this new partnership, Ascensus will have tremendous access to capital and resources to further invest behind R&D and product innovation.”

Evercore advised on the deal with Proskauer, Kirkland & Ellis and Reed Smith being the legal advisers.

Secondaries Investor reported in June that Wind Point was carrying out a GP-led process on Wind Point Partners CV1, a continuation vehicle formed as the result of a 2018 GP-led process led by Neuberger Berman. The fund contained Ascensus and railway construction and maintenance firm RailWorks Corporation, which remains in CV1.

Some existing investors rolled into the new SPV, which has a duration of five years, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. It is not clear if Neuberger was one of those investors.

Wind Point declined to comment on the deal.

The SPV is around $300 million in size including a sizeable chunk of GP carry, Secondaries Investor understands.

Ascensus has achieved “double-digit organic growth” and made several add-on acquisitions, the statement added. In April, it acquired Strem Chemicals, a specialty chemicals maker for markets such as life sciences and microelectronics. It also acquired the specialty chemicals businesses of Dow Chemical and BASF.

One senior New York-based secondaries buyer described the restructuring of continuation funds as a “natural next step” for the GP-led market.

“Some of those earlier deals are coming up to three or four years old and decisions need to be made on what do with the assets,” the buyer told Secondaries Investor.