Private equity funds managed by Blackstone have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sphera, a provider of environmental, social and governance software, data, and consulting services, from Genstar Capital. The investment, which values the company at approximately $1.4 billion, would be made through Blackstone’s flagship private equity vehicle.
Eli Nagler, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said: “The increasing importance of environmental, social, governance issues to businesses globally is a key thematic investing focus for Blackstone. Sphera has established itself as a market leader in the ESG software and solutions space, and we’re excited to partner with Paul and this best-in-class management team to continue to accelerate their impressive growth trajectory.” Martin Brand, Head of North American Private Equity at Blackstone and Global Co-Head of Technology Investing, added: “Sphera has built world-class technology and is exceptionally well positioned in the fast-growing ESG sector. We are looking forward to helping Paul and his team accelerate Sphera’s further expansion
Paul Marushka, president and CEO of Sphera, said, “We are excited to partner with Blackstone on this next stage of our journey as we drive our vision of integrated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) cloud-based software, data and services. With this significant investment of new capital, Sphera will expand the ESG digital solutions on its SaaS platform with unique data sets and differentiated consultative services throughout the world. On behalf of the Sphera team, I would like to thank Genstar Capital for their valuable contributions and strategic partnership over the years.”
Geoff Miller, director at Genstar, commented, “In 2016, Genstar partnered with Paul Marushka to build a leading software platform in ESG and operational risk management. We have been thrilled with the leadership position Paul and his team established after the initial acquisition of Sphera. The Company has made significant investments in the business, expanded the company’s geographic and end-market reach, and executed a number of key acquisitions to expand the company’s portfolio of cloud-based applications. With Sphera’s strong management team and a robust sales and marketing organization, the company is poised to continue its growth with the support from Blackstone’s global team.”
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to Blackstone. Evercore served as financial advisor to Genstar and the company, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisor. Vedder Price served as legal advisor to the company and management.