Lovell Minnick has agreed to acquire a stake in investment manager Tortoise Investments LLC. The buyer is acquiring the equity stake from Mariner Holdings and retiring co-founders of Tortoise.
Tortoise specializes in managing assets and other income through its registered investment advisers. The Leawood, Kansas-based target plans to maintain independence and autonomy with the Tortoise brand, investment processes and day-to-day portfolio management remaining unchanged. Financial terms of the Tortoise deal were not disclosed.
“Tortoise is a company we have followed since its formation in 2002,” says Lovell Minnick partner Bob Belke to Mergers & Acquisitions, and “the active management team is investing nearly all of its existing equity into the transaction, demonstrating its commitment to the future of this business.”
Based in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, Lovell Minnick is a financial services-focused private equity firm that invests up to $100 million in equity. The firm touts Tortoise’s “consistent outperformance and [ability to] manage through volatility” as reasons for backing the company. Lovell Minnick has made similar purchases in the past with Worldwide Facilities’ acquisition of energy insurance broker Sloan Mason Insurance Services and J.S. Held LLC’ purchase of Lovett Silverman Construction Consultants Inc.
Technology, outsourced services and specialty finance are driving deals in the financial services sector, despite regulatory uncertainty. In 2017 alone, Lovell Minnick backed five financial services companies, including: Currency Capital, Engage People, Foreside Financial, Global Financial Credit and Trea. The firm has been expanding its focus on financial technology particularly, following the closing of its fourth fund with $750 million of commitments in 2015.
BMO Capital Markets (NYSE: BMO) is acting as financial adviser to Mariner Holdings, while Evercore is serving as financial adviser to Lovell Minnick. UBS (NYSE: UBS) and Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) are providing committed debt financing for the transaction.