Growth Oriented: EP Wealth Partners has gone on an acquisition spree.

Growth Oriented: EP Wealth Partners has gone on an acquisition spree.

Torrance-based EP Wealth Advisors is adding another $420 million to its growing assets under management with the planned roll-up of San Diego-based Donnelly Wealth Advisors.

EP Wealth Advisors’ Chief Executive Patrick Goshtigian told the Business Journal the deal was part of the firm’s strategy to expand through bolt-on acquisitions.

The Donnelly addition gives EP approximately $4 billion in assets, Goshtigian said.

Donnelly, which was founded by President Richard Donnelly, adds four wealth advisors to EP’s headcount, along with more than 300 clients. Donnelly will be added to EP’s partnership roster.

Goshtigian said the buy also helps the firm work towards its goal of expanding into more markets – EP’s presence in San Diego was minimal before the deal.

The transaction was the third acquisition for EP in the last 12 months, all deals for wealth advisory firms, including San Ramon-based Millie Capital Management. EP has acquired five firms since January 2015 in total.

“We’re embarking on an enhanced acquisition strategy because the market is fractured,” Goshtigian said. “There are a lot of retiring wealth advisors and wealth advisors having a hard time expanding and growing their businesses without a larger infrastructure.”

EP’s acquisitive strategy has recently been facilitated by outside investment from Wealth Partners Capital Group, a Palm Beach, Fla. financial services holding company that focuses on the wealth advisory market.

“We took an equity investment from Wealth Partners with the intention to ramp up our acquisitions,” Goshtigian said. “We’re hitting an inflection point in the process.”

Lions of Summer

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. acquired last week a majority stake in 3 Arts Entertainment Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Deadline reported a price in the $300 million to $350 million range for approximately 50 percent of the company with an option to purchase the other 50 percent in five years.

“We’re excited to be partnering with a best-in-class talent management company that shares our entrepreneurial culture and vision for the future,” Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. “This deal checks all the boxes – a strategic and accretive transaction for our shareholders and a win/win partnership for both companies. It enables us to deepen our already successful relationship with 3 Arts and allows them to offer a richer palette of opportunities to their clients.”

3 Arts has produced a slate of acclaimed television shows, including “The Office,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” and “American Vandal.” Its movie production credits include “Office Space” and “The Matrix.”

Lions Gate’s Laura Kennedy negotiated the deal. The studio’s legal counsel was Robert Haymer of Latham & Watkins. Investment bank Moelis & Co. was 3 Arts financial advisor and the company received legal counsel from Alan Epstein at Venable and Craig Jacobson at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.

LinQ’d In

LinQuest Corp., a Ladera Heights-based a software developer that specializes in space technology, was purchased last week for an undisclosed amount by private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners of Chicago and CoVant Management of McLean, Va.

Leon Biederman, LinQuest’s chief executive officer, and other LinQuest management will retain a significant minority ownership position in the company, which they will continue to lead, according to a Madison Dearborn statement.

LinQuest is a space technology provider to the federal government. Its core competencies include military satellite communications engineering and development, battlespace awareness, cyber operations and space flight and ground software.

“We believe LinQuest’s differentiated technology capabilities in desirable space end-markets will benefit from our focus on growing businesses through both organic and strategic acquisition initiatives,” CoVant Chief Executive Joseph Kampf said in a statement.

Baird served as LinQuest’s financial advisor in the deal while Alston & Bird, Squire Patton Boggs, and Drinker Biddle & Reath provided the company legal advice. Kirkland & Ellis and Crowell & Moring provided legal counsel to MDP and CoVant. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is providing a credit facility to support the company.

Have a deal tip? Henry Meier can be reached at hmeier@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 556-8321.

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