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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Deals & Dealmakers: Clearlake Makes $1.26B Sale

Santa Monica-based Clearlake Capital Group pulled in a big chunk of cash last week, getting $1.26 billion from Centerbridge Partners for a package of software companies rolled up by the private equity shop over the past two years.

Clearlake said in a release it combined two of its major portfolio companies – Syncsort Inc. and Vision Solutions Inc. – into a single entity as part of the sale to Centerbridge. The firm added that it would continue to hold a “meaningful” stake in the new entity, which will operate under the Syncsort name.

Clearlake acquired Pearl River, N.Y.-based Syncsort, a data analytics company, in 2015 for an undisclosed sum. Irvine’s Vision Solutions, a computer software firm, was purchased by Clearlake in 2016 also for an undisclosed amount.

Prashant Mehrotra, a partner at Clearlake, said in a statement the firm is happy with the deal.

“We are proud that our investment thesis and accomplishments during our ownership at both Syncsort and Vision generated significant value,” Mehrotra said. “We look forward to partnering with Centerbridge and the management team as they continue to pursue this next phase of growth as the leading data management software platform.”

The deal comes in the wake of several spinoff and bolt-on transactions for the companies, the most recent of which was the January carve-out of Double-Take Software Inc. from Vision Solutions, which sold the unit to Boston-based cloud storage and data protection firm Carbonite Inc.

Syncsort will continue to be run by Chief Executive Josh Rogers, while Vision Solutions Chief Executive Nicolaas Vlok plans to transition to an advisory role, according to the companies.

Rodgers said in a statement he was excited to work with the Vision Solutions team and combine efforts in data analytics.

“This is a transformative moment for our business, and we could not be more excited to welcome the talented team from Vision and their mission-critical solutions to the Syncsort family,” Rodgers said.

Evercore Partners Inc. and Jefferies served as financial advisers to Syncsort and Vision Solutions. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse were financial advisers to Centerbridge. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Antares Capital provided financing for the deal.

Soon-Shiong Making Rounds

Billionaire biotech magnate Patrick Soon-Shiong continued his march into the health care provider space last week with the acquisition of Integrity Healthcare, parent company of Redwood City hospital operator Verity Health.

Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks umbrella company, based in Culver City, shelled out an undisclosed sum for Integrity’s hospital chain, which includes the St. Vincent Medical Center in downtown.

NantWorks also announced that the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Medicine in El Segundo is set to open Tuesday. The facility is designed to support Soon-Shiong’s vision of a cancer treatment center using his proprietary immune-oncology assessment and treatment tools developed over the last decade.

He told the Business Journal in May that he intends to launch a series of cancer treatment clinics in California, but said he has to roll the program out slowly because it requires retraining doctors.

“We need to manage this very carefully, because it’s a completely new concept,” Soon-Shiong said. “We need to make sure we have the right physicians that are well-trained in this. It’s like relearning cancer treatment from day one, and I need to have very experienced, highly qualified oncologists that understand quality care.”

Could the Verity deal be a way to scale and get more facilities up to speed?

The hospital chain, which has some 6,000 employees and 1,650 patient beds, would be a way to enroll more doctors and patients into his program.

It might also allow Soon-Shiong to boost the adoption of his signature GPS Cancer test.

Jumping Overseas

Torrance video-game developer JumpStart was purchased last week by NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong.

JumpStart makes educational children’s video games such as “School of Dragons,” which is based on the popular “How to Train Your Dragon” movie series from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures Corp.

JumpStart Chief Executive David Lord said in a statement that the company is excited to expand its offerings around the world.

“This is really a tremendous opportunity for JumpStart to drive growth in new markets – particularly in Asia – and to enhance as well as expand our educational offerings to schools and consumers in the U.S. and across the globe,” he said.

A JumpStart spokeswoman said a deal value had not been disclosed and that she didn’t know whether JumpStart would keep its headquarters in Torrance.

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