The Vestar logo on a gold colored back ground.

Vestar Announces Two Promotions

NEW YORK, NY – July 22, 2020 – Vestar Capital Partners, a leading U.S. private equity firm, today announced it has promoted R. Wilson Orr to Vice President, effective July 1. The firm also announced the promotion of Ian Singleton to Senior Associate.

“Even in the midst of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the importance of building and nurturing our employees, and we remain committed to recognizing our talented investment professionals for their dedication and hard work,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO and Founder of Vestar. “We are pleased to promote Wilson and Ian, and we look forward to their continuing contributions to our team.”

A member of the Firm’s Business & Technology Services Group with experience in Healthcare Information Technology, Mr. Orr joined Vestar in 2017 after working as an analyst in the Diversified Industries Investment Banking group at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Orr holds a B.S. in Business Administration, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Robertson Scholar.

Mr. Singleton joined Vestar in 2019, having previously been an associate at Ares Management in their U.S. Direct Lending group. He began his career as an analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at Citigroup. Mr. Singleton graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, with honors, and a minor in Economics from Duke University.


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Quest Analytics Names Steve Levin as Chief Executive Officer

Overland Park, Kan. [May 20, 2020] – Quest Analytics, the leader in measuring, managing and monitoring health plan network performance, announced today that it has named Steve Levin as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Steve brings more than two decades of experience working with providers, health plans and health systems in the use of data and advanced analytics to improve healthcare, initially as a management consultant, then as founder and CEO of a pioneering predictive analytics company, and most recently as head of strategy and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) for a leading revenue cycle technology platform.

“As the nation looks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, Quest Analytics is uniquely positioned to help health plans, health systems as well as state and federal regulators build a more responsive system of care, ensuring Americans have access to an adequate provider network with sufficient capacity to meet their needs for health care services,” said Roger Holstein, Quest Analytics Executive Chairman. “We are delighted that Steve has joined the Quest Analytics team and believe that his leadership and expertise will be a complement to the deep experience of Quest’s committed team members.”

As CEO and co-founder of Connance, Steve led the development of one of the first cloud solutions to deploy purpose-built predictive analytics to optimize healthcare revenue cycle processes at more than six hundred hospitals for over three million patient encounters each month. When Connance was acquired by Waystar in 2018 to expand their platform solution, Steve became Chief Strategy Officer with responsibility for M&A and partnerships. Prior to Connance, Steve was a partner with the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), a leading management consulting group. Steve currently sits on the board of LifePoint Health, a network of community hospitals and healthcare providers serving more than 80 markets in the United States.

“Quest Analytics has a proven track record of delivering solutions that support our health plan community with the intelligence they need to ensure consumers have access to an adequate network of providers,” said Steven Levin, CEO, Quest Analytics. “I am excited to join the team at a point in time when access to providers has never been more important. I look forward to leading the company through this next critical period of growth as we build solutions to help both payers and providers navigate the complex nature of healthcare networks.”

About Quest Analytics

Quest Analytics is the leading provider of health plan network performance measurement. The company provides health plans, health systems, regulatory agencies and benefit consultants with software and solutions that enable plans to build better networks and improve the member experience. Quest Enterprise services provides the ability to measure, manage and monitor network performance to ensure compliance with regulations for network access, adequacy and provider directory accuracy. For more information, please visit questanalytics.com.

 


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Vestar Promotes Nikhil Bhat to Principal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - January 23, 2018 - Vestar Capital Partners today announced the promotion of Nikhil Bhat to Principal.

“Today’s announcement is a recognition of Nikhil’s important contributions to our firm,” said Rob Rosner, Co-President of Vestar and a founding partner of the firm as well as Head of the Business Services & Industrial Products group. “He has delivered an exceptionally strong performance to our business services and industrial products team, participating in recent transactions such as the sale of ISS and our investment in Edward Don, among others.”

Mr. Bhat is a member of Vestar’s Business Services & Industrial Products group. He joined the firm as a Senior Associate in 2014, and was promoted to Vice President in 2016. He previously worked on the Industrials team at Advent International, where he focused on private equity investments in the building products, capital equipment, and distribution sectors. He began his career as a consultant at Bain & Company.

Mr. Bhat holds a BS degree in Economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated with distinction as an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Approximately half of Vestar’s investments over time have been in the Business Services and Industrial Products sectors, including business services companies such as Institutional Shareholder Services, Edward Don & Company, Presence Marketing, and Duff & Phelps; industrial and commercial products companies such as Mobile Technologies, Argo-Tech, Prestone, AZ Electronic Materials, and Wabtec; and industrial services companies such as Triton and Wilton Re.

 


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Vestar’s Norman Alpert Featured in WSJ Pro Private Equity

In Their Own Words With Vestar’s Norman Alpert
WSJ Pro Private Equity
By Laura Cooper
Published December 28, 2017

Each year, WSJ Pro Private Equity asks thought leaders in the private-equity industry to share their perspectives on the year that has just passed and their outlook for the year ahead.

Norman Alpert is co-president and a founder at New York midmarket buyout shop Vestar Capital Partners, where he leads the firm’s health-care group. Vestar typically invests $50 million to $150 million of equity in companies with valuations of $100 million to $1 billion, according to the firm’s website.

Q: What surprised you the most in 2017?

A: 2017 has been another strong year economically in the U.S. overall and for private equity specifically. I am constantly amazed at the resilience, flexibility and optimism embedded in our economy, workforce and markets. For PE, these factors created an incredibly positive environment for new investments and exits. A near-perfect combination of stable growth, low interest rates, easy credit and high valuations produced outstanding performance. What’s also surprising is that all this occurred during a volatile political, social and global environment where civil discourse, tolerance and bipartisan legislative progress seem less present than ever.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge your corner of the industry will face in 2017?

A: We are entering the ninth year of a solid, low-growth cycle, poised to become the second-longest recovery since [World War II]. Extended periods of very good investment performance tend to produce complacency, overconfidence and, ultimately, excessive risk-taking. I don’t know if 2018 will be the end of this highly profitable period, but the odds are it is coming sooner rather than later. For those of us who invest in health care, the uncertainty surrounding financing and access policy makes many provider and services opportunities more challenging. On the other hand, there remain tremendous opportunities to find smaller innovative health-care companies making a real difference to health-care quality and cost.

Q: What are your thoughts on the possibility of a recession in the coming year, and how is that shaping your investment strategy?

A: No apparent economic signals suggest a downturn is imminent. Our sense is an exogenous geopolitical shock is the biggest risk. However, we are approaching each investment with a clear understanding that the current economic cycle will end, interest rates may rise and valuation multiples will decline. We devise clear strategies to manage risk, develop growth and contain costs, positioning each company to respond to the inevitable surprises that lie ahead.


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Vestar Promotes Stephens, Funk, Williams

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – February 6, 2017 – Vestar Capital Partners today announced the promotions of John Stephens to co-head of the firm’s Business Services
and Industrial Products Group, Ben Funk to vice president, and Jonathan Williams to senior associate.

John Stephens

“John has brought insightful thinking and outstanding execution to the Business Services and Industrial Products Group,” said Rob Rosner, co-president of Vestar and a founding partner of the firm as well as head of the Business Services and Industrial Products Group. “His promotion to co-head of the Group is a recognition of the value he has delivered to Vestar and our investors.”

Nearly half of Vestar’s investments over time have been in the Business Services and Industrial Products sectors, including business services companies such as Institutional Shareholder Services, Presence Marketing, and Duff & Phelps; industrial and commercial products companies such as Mobile Technologies, Argo-Tech, Prestone, AZ Electronic Materials, and Wabtec; and financial services companies such as Triton and Wilton Re.

John Stephens, a managing director of the firm, joined Vestar in 2006. He has been a member of the Business Services and Industrial Products Group for several years and has also served in Vestar’s Consumer group. He is a director of Mobile Technologies, Presence Marketing, Roland Foods, and St. John Knits, and was previously on the board of Consolidated Container. John also serves as an Investment Committee member of the Colorado Impact Fund and BIGR Ventures. Before joining Vestar, he was a member of the Leveraged Finance Group at Wachovia Securities and also worked at L.E.K. Consulting.

He holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Middlebury College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

Ben Funk

"Ben has shown outstanding performance, diligence, and promise since he joined our firm,” said Brian O’Connor, managing director and co-head of the Consumer Group.
“Attracting and developing talent has always been a hallmark of Vestar and we consider Ben to be a fine example of the depth of our bench and the strength of our teams at every level.”

Ben Funk, most recently a senior associate at Vestar, joined the firm in 2012 as an associate. Previously he was an analyst at Perella Weinberg Partners, where he focused
on a wide range of M&A and restructuring transactions.

He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. degree in Business Administration.

Jonathan Williams

“Since joining Vestar, Jonathan has made a tremendous contribution to the firm and distinguished himself with his energy and dedication,” said Ken O'Keefe, managing
director and COO of Vestar. “He excels as a member of several Vestar teams and provides essential support for the firm’s initiatives. We congratulate him on his welldeserved promotion.”

Jonathan Williams joined Vestar in 2014 as an associate in the New York office. Prior to Vestar, Jonathan was an analyst at Moelis & Company, where he executed a number of M&A and restructuring transactions across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, telecommunications, and consumer/retail.

Jonathan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in History.

 


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Press Ganey Sold for $2.35 Billion

NEW YORK - Vestar Capital Partners announced the sale of Press Ganey Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:PGND) today (October 21, 2016). Under the terms of the agreement, Press Ganey shareholders will receive $40.50 in cash for each share of Press Ganey common stock they hold.

The transaction was announced on August 9, 2016 and received approval from Press Ganey shareholders on October 19, 2016. As a result of the completion of the transaction, shares of Press Ganey common stock were removed from listing on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), with trading in Press Ganey shares suspended prior to the opening of business today.

Barclays and Goldman Sachs served as financial advisors to Press Ganey, and Latham & Watkins LLP and Richards, Layton & Finger, PA served as legal advisors to Press Ganey.  Fully committed financing of the transaction was provided by Credit Suisse, Citi and BofA Merrill Lynch.

About Press Ganey

Press Ganey Holdings is a leading provider of patient experience measurement, performance analytics and strategic advisory solutions for health care organizations across the continuum of care. Celebrating 30 years of experience, Press Ganey is recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in patient experience measurement and performance improvement solutions. Our mission is to help health care organizations reduce patient suffering and improve clinical quality, safety and the patient experience. As of January 1, 2016, we served more than 26,000 health care facilities.

About Vestar Capital Partners

Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm currently managing approximately $5 billion in capital. Specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments, Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on Consumer, Healthcare, and Business and Financial Services. Since Vestar’s founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 75 investments in companies with a total value of more than $40 billion.


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Vestar Capital Partners Invests in Presence Marketing

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – On August 26, 2016, Vestar Capital Partners completed a minority equity investment in Presence Marketing, the leading national sales broker of natural and organic food, beverage and personal care products.

Founded in 1990 by Bill Weiland, who continues as majority owner, chairman and chief executive officer, Presence is headquartered in South Barrington, IL, with more than 500 employees throughout the United States. Presence is the only national sales broker dedicated exclusively to natural and organic products, providing best-in-class sales brokerage services in one of the fastest-growing segments in consumer products.

“Bill Weiland is a legendary leader in the natural and organic segment of the consumer products industry. Under his leadership, Presence has built an array of services that offers a difficult-to-replicate value proposition for their manufacturing and retail partners,” said Jim Kelley, a managing director and founding partner of Vestar. “Natural and organic food and beverage products are continuing to gain share of at-home dining, and the business expansion opportunities available to Presence provide additional upside to an already highly attractive business. We are delighted to become partners with Bill and the entire Presence team.”


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Vestar Capital Partners Announces Promotions

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – February 4, 2016 – Vestar Capital Partners, a leading U.S. private equity firm, today announced the promotions of four professionals of the firm. Winston Song has been promoted to principal, and Nikhil Bhat, Matt Dubbioso and Alex Kerr have been promoted to vice presidents

“These promotions are well-deserved, and we are pleased to recognize these valued members of the team,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar. “We look forward to even greater contributions from them in their new roles.”

A member of the Firm’s Consumer group, Mr. Song first joined Vestar in 2006 from Lehman Brothers’ Global Leveraged Finance Group. He rejoined Vestar in 2011 after receiving his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Song began his career with CSFB Strategic Partners, Credit Suisse’s private equity secondary fund. He holds a BA in Economics-Political Science from Columbia University.

Mr. Bhat, a member of the Firm’s Diversified Industries Group, joined Vestar in September 2014 as a senior associate. He previously worked on the Industrials team at Advent International, and began his career as a consultant at Bain & Company. Mr. Bhat received a B.S. in Economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and earned his M.B.A. with distinction as an Arjay Miller Scholar from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Mr. Dubbioso, a member of the Firm's Healthcare Group, joined the firm in 2011 as an associate. Prior to Vestar, Matt was an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he spent time in both the Technology and Media & Telecom groups. Matt graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a B.S. in Applied Economics and Management.

Mr. Kerr joined Vestar in September 2014 as a senior associate in the Firm’s Diversified Industries Group. Prior to joining Vestar, he was an associate at Madison Dearborn Partners. Mr. Kerr previously held analyst positions at Merrill Lynch and Citigroup. He holds a B.S., cum laude, from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Contact:

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations

Carol Makovich

(203) 940-2257

[email protected]

 

Jennifer Hurson

(845) 507-0571

[email protected]


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ISS, Ethix Clients to Receive Integrated ESG Solutions

ROCKVILLE, MD., & STOCKHOLM (Sept. 15, 2015 ) – Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a leading provider of corporate governance solutions to the global financial community, today announced the acquisition of Ethix SRI Advisors AB, a globally recognized firm providing sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) research and advisory solutions to assist in investment decision-making. Effective today, Ethix SRI Advisors will be renamed ISS-Ethix.

Established in 1999 and with offices in Stockholm and Copenhagen, Ethix is a trusted advisor to asset owners and investment managers around the globe, representing more than €300 billion in assets under management. Ethix provides its global clients with deep expertise across a range of SRI issues, including environmental, human rights, labor standards, corruption and controversial weapons. Key services include policy development, company research and portfolio monitoring, support of active ownership programs, stakeholder communication, and reporting. Ethix is a long standing signatory of the UN-supported PRI and board member of the European Sustainable Investment Forum.

“This acquisition is in keeping with our long-standing commitment to expand our product offerings, provide innovative solutions, and deliver the highest levels of service to our clients across the globe,” said ISS President & CEO Gary Retelny. “The addition of Ethix will help our clients navigate the complex and rapidly evolving SRI landscape through cutting-edge technology that is underpinned by world-class ESG data, analytics, and research.”

ISS-Ethix will maintain its operations in both Stockholm and Copenhagen with its staff representing 13 countries and covering more than 15 languages remaining in place. ISS-Ethix will continue to be led by Ethix’s Managing Director and Founding Partner, Ulrika Hasselgren, a veteran of the responsible investment industry who has advised institutional investors in sustainable and responsible investment for more than 15 years.

“With the combination of ISS’ comprehensive governance offerings and Ethix’s deep expertise in environmental and social research and analysis, we are poised to offer our clients a truly integrated solution to meet both the depth and breadth of institutions‘ ESG needs, ” said Hasselgren.

Hasselgren, will also lead ISS‘ overall responsible investment business initiatives and continue to be based in Scandinavia.

“We are very pleased to welcome Ulrika and the entire Ethix team to the ISS family,” said ISS Chief Revenue Officer Stephen Harvey. “We look forward to integrating our teams, products, and services to provide clients of both Ethix and ISS a turn-key solution that is global in scope.”


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Vestar Capital Partners to Acquire Woodstream

NEW YORK – Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Woodstream, a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded pest and animal control as well as lawn and garden products. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

Woodstream, through a broad portfolio of leading niche brands, services the lawn and garden, birding, pet, rodent control, hobby farm and animal control needs of consumers. Woodstream’s brands include Victor mouse and rat traps, Terro liquid ant bait, Perky-pet bird feeders, and Zareba and Fi-Shock electronic animal and hobby farming fencing, among others.

“We have strategically assembled a portfolio of leading brands to better serve our retail partners in important niche, destination categories,” said Harry Whaley, president and chief executive officer of Woodstream. “Vestar’s experience in branded consumer products and track record of supporting its portfolio companies in building companies through add-on acquisitions will be critically important to Woodstream.”

“We look forward to partnering with Harry Whaley and Woodstream’s excellent management team,” said Brian O’Connor, managing director of Vestar and co-head of the Consumer Group. “We believe Woodstream will continue to achieve strong growth by investing in its leading brands, particularly Victor and Terro, and by continuing its strategy of pursuing complementary acquisitions.”

The Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP), jointly managed by affiliates of GE Capital and Ares Capital Corporation, provided commitments for the debt financing for the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as the legal advisor to Vestar in this transaction. William Blair & Company, Peter W. Klein, P.A. and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP represented Woodstream in the transaction.

About Woodstream

Woodstream, headquartered in Lititz, Pennsylvania, is a global manufacturer and marketer of a broad portfolio of branded pest control and lawn & garden products, under brands such as Victor®, Terro®, Perky-Pet®, Havahart®, Safer®, Sweeney’s® and Mosquito Magnet®, among others. The company’s products, which have leading market share positions within their respective segments, are sold at more than 100,000 retail locations and to professional pest control providers throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other international markets.