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Water Street, JLL close single-asset deal for life sciences platform Eversana

Single-asset continuation fund deals have become so popular several mid-market investment banks have hired or are seeking talent to advise on such transactions.

Water Street and JLL Partners closed a rare type of continuation fund deal – a joint process that gives the firms more time and capital to grow Eversana, which provides commercialisation services to the life sciences industry, reports affiliate title Buyouts.

The deal, which closed in March, is among a slew of single-asset secondaries GPs are using to extend their holds over certain assets where they see continued growth. Single-asset continuation fund deals have become so popular that several mid-market investment banks have hired or are seeking talent to advise on such transactions.

The Eversana deal was valued at nearly $1.75 billion. It’s not clear who the lead investors were in the process. The firms worked with Evercore as secondaries adviser.

Generally in such deals, existing LPs in the funds that hold the asset have the option to cash out of their interests in the company or reinvest through the continuation fund.

Water Street invested in one of the predecessor businesses now comprising Eversana in 2016. The platform rebranded as Eversana in 2018 under the ownership of Water Street and minority backer JLL.

Eversana added on Intouch Group last year in a close to $1 billion deal.

Water Street meanwhile closed its fifth fund on $1.4 billion, the firm announced in April. The firm was formed in 2006 and has since completed 150 strategic transactions and built 38 companies.

Joint GP-led deals are uncommon, but do occur. Clearlake Capital and Insight Partners have been exploring a potential concentrated-asset secondaries deal for Diligent and Appriss. The deal could total more than $4 billion, but the final structure of any transaction was still being discussed, sources told Buyouts in April.

A few other large deals have moved the market this year, including KKR’s single-asset process for Internet Brands, and Warburg Pincus’s GP-led deal for Duravant. GP-led deals represented roughly 51 percent of the $134 billion of total deal volume in 2021, according to Evercore’s 2021 volume report.