Buying higher returns

Dai-ichi now part of Canyon Partners' succession


Happy Friday. Here’s what we’ve got today…

  • A look at Dai-ichi Life’s deal with Canyon Partners

  • The deal sheet, plus a feature on Evercore’s rise


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Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings has acquired a 19.9 percent minority stake in Dallas-based alternative investor Canyon Partners for $225 million.

All proceeds will be used to fund additional growth for Canyon, with the agreement also including a commitment from Dai-ichi to provide at least $1.3 billion of new capital to Canyon’s funds.

The deal grants Dai-ichi the right to increase its position to a 51 percent majority stake in 2027, along with an option to purchase the reminder of the firm in 2029.

Canyon’s current management team will continue to lead the business, with co-founders Josh Friedman and Mitch Julis committing to remain active for at least another five years. With both co-founders now well into their 60s, the Dai-ichi agreement sets a clear succession roadmap for the firm.

The deal is expected to close sometime in Q2 and involves the formation of a new holding company that will oversee the Canyon assets. Dai-ichi will appoint two directors to the holding company's board.

This week’s agreement caps off a lengthy process, with Bloomberg first reporting on the firm’s plans to market a minority stake sale in 2022. At the time, Canyon’s real estate head had recently announced her retirement and a group of prominent partners had departed in quick succession.

The Firm

Canyon employs a deep value-oriented strategy, investing across public and private corporate credit, structured credit, and direct real estate lending, with a preference for complex or opportunistic situations.

Speaking with Institutional Investor in 2014, Julis summarized his approach: “We look to anticipate or precipitate the next change of a complex balance sheet and participate in that change.”

The strategy aligns with Friedman and Julis’ shared background. Prior to launching Canyon, both founders spent time at junk bond birthplace Drexel Burnham Lambert, with Friedman serving as Director of Capital Markets for High Yield and Private Placements and Julis managing a group of investors focused on distressed and special situation securities.

Dai-ichi’s Angle

For Dai-ichi, the agreement provides an entry into the increasingly hot private credit market. It also comes at a time when many private equity firms are making insurance acquisitions of their own, seeking out a source of cheap, perpetual capital (Apollo/Athene, Carlyle/Fortitude Re, KKR/Global Atlantic, etc.). In the US, private capital now holds around a tenth of the entire life insurance market, managing more than $850 billion in assets.

Dai-ichi’s reversal of this trend is somewhat less common.


KKR submitted a €2.8 billion bid to acquire Encavis, a German renewable energy provider.

Vista Equity Partners is exploring a potential sale of LogicMonitor, a cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring and intelligence platform, with a rumored valuation of around $1.5 billion, per Bloomberg.

Zscaler (Nasdaq: ZS) has acquired Avalor, a provider of AI-powered cybersecurity solutions, for $310 million.

• Altice France agreed to sell its media division, Altice Media, to buyers representing the interests of the Saadé family, for €1.55 billion.

AstraZeneca agreed to acquire Amolyt Pharma, a clinical-stage biotech focused on rare endocrine diseases, for up to $1.05 billion.

Swisscom AG (SWX: SCMN) has agreed to acquire Vodafone Group Plc's (LSE: VOD) Italian unit for €8 billion.

KKR may be preparing an exit for EuroKids International, an Indian education services provider, that could be worth around $1 billion.

Adenia Partners has agreed to acquire 12 subsidiaries of Air Liquide, a multinational provider of industrial gases and services.

Cerberus Capital Management is leading the pack of bidders vying to acquire VeloBank, a Polish financial institution.

H.I.G. Capital has agreed to acquire Spheros, a thermal management solutions provider for commercial vehicles, from Valeo.

Spring Health acquired Bloom, a provider of self-guided digital interventions and therapy tools.

Advent International, Hellman & Friedman, and Thoma Bravo are considering bids for Synopsys Inc.'s Software Integrity Group, a cybersecurity unit that could be valued at $3 billion.

Bharcap Partners acquired Insurvia, an insurance services provider focused on the U.S. hispanic market, from Gemspring Capital.

Evergreen Services Group acquired Centered, a voice and data telecommunications provider.

Nordic Capital invested in One Inc., a digital insurance payments network, joining existing owner Great Hill Partners.

Permira is considering a take-private offer for Exclusive Networks, a listed French cybersecurity firm.

TA Associates invested in PowerGem, an energy-related software solutions provider.

Kayne Anderson acquired a majority stake in TeleMed2U, a provider of telemedicine services.

Rocscience, a portfolio company of TA Associates, has acquired 3GSM, a provider of geotechnical engineering software.

Stonepeak acquired an 80 percent stake in a portfolio of four U.S. onshore wind farms from Ørsted for $300 million.

Zendesk, owned by Hellman & Friedman and Permira, agreed to acquire Ultimate, a provider of customer service automation solutions.

Atlantic Street Capital and Linden Capital Partners are preparing to sell Prescott's, a medical device company specializing in microscopes.

Wiz, a cloud security company, has acquired Gem Security, a cybersecurity startup, for $350 million.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) acquired DarwinAI, a Canadian startup developing AI-based visual quality inspection solutions for manufacturing.

Genstar Capital is considering a sale of control or minority stake in Prometheus Group, an enterprise asset management software provider, per Bloomberg.

Meiser International and Dutco have agreed to acquire IKG, a manufacturer of steel and aluminum bars, from KPS Capital Partners.


Solera, a provider of automotive and insurance industry software backed by Vista Equity Partners, is interviewing bankers ahead of a possible IPO, per Bloomberg.


Tech, Vertical SaaS, & Misc. Enterprise

inDrive, a California-based ride hailing app and urban mobility platform, raised $150 million from General Catalyst in a follow-on round.

Luminary Cloud, a developer of computer-aided engineering solutions, raised $115 million in new funding from Sutter Hill.

Together AI, a provider of open source AI development tools, raised $106 million in Series B funding. Salesforce Ventures led, with participation from Coatue and existing backers Lux Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Emergence Capital, Definition Capital, Prosperity7 Ventures, NEA, Long Journey Ventures, Greycroft, Factory, Scott Banister, and SV Angel.

IronClad, a developer of contracts workflow automation software, raised $100 million in Series D funding. GGV Capital led, with participation from Sequoia Capital, YCombinator Continuity Fund, and Emergence Capital.

Unstructured, a provider of large language model data preprocessing solutions, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led, with participation from Databricks Ventures, IBM Ventures, Vivek Ranadivé, Chet Kapoor, NVentures, Madrona Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, and Mango Capital.

DraftWise, a developer of contract intelligence solutions, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led, with participation from Y Combinator and Earlybird Digital East Ventures.

Simera Sense, a South African satellite imaging and design company, raised $14.8 million in Series A funding led by NewSpace Capital, with participation from Knife Capital.

Necture, an electric vehicle fleet management platform, raised €7 million in Series A funding co-led by Smart Energy Innovationsfonds and Verbund X Ventures, with participation from Speedinvest and smartworks.

Orbio Earth, developing methane leak detection software, raised $4 million in seed funding from the European Space Agency, Initialized Capital, and Y Combinator.


PPRO, a cross-border e-commerce payments platform, raised €85 million in new funding from Sprints, BlackRock, Eurazeo, HPE Growth, PayPal Ventures, JPMorgan, and Citi Ventures.

Polyhedra Network, a zero-knowledge blockchain interoperability protocol developer, raised $20 million at a $1 billion valuation. Polychain Capital led, with participation from Animoca Brands, Emirates Consortium, Mapleblock Capital, Hashkey Capital, and others.

Freed, an Indian debt relief and advisory startup, raised $7.5 million in new funding led by Sorin Investments and Multiply Ventures, with participation from Piper Serica Fund.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

Tubulis, a biotech developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) directed to solid tumors, raised €128 million ($138.8 million) in Series B2 funding. Nextech Invest and EQT Life Sciences co-led, with participation from existing investors Frazier Life Sciences, Deep Track Capital, and others.

HiLabs, a developer of AI-powered healthcare data cleaning solutions, raised $39 million in Series B funding. Denali Growth Partners and Eight Roads co-led, with participation from F-Prime Capital.

Relation Therapeutics, a biotech focused on computational drug discovery, raised $35 million in new funding from Nvidia, DCVC, Deerfield Management, Khosla Ventures, Abcam, ARK Invest, and Magnetic Ventures.

Pi Health, an oncology-focused health technology and clinical research company, raised over $30 million in Series A funding. AlleyCorp and Obvious Ventures led, with participation from Invus Capital and oncology leaders.

Proscia, a provider of AI-powered digital pathology software, raised $9 million in an extension of its Series C round. Highline Capital Management and Triangle Peak Partners co-led, with participation from existing backers Alpha Intelligence Capital, Scale Venture Partners, and Hitachi Ventures.

Industrials, Greentech, & Other

Furno, a startup decarbonizing cement plants, raised $6.5 million in Seed funding led by Energy Capital Ventures, with participation from Breakthrough Energy, Neotribe, O'Shaughnessy, Cantos, and


Actis, an infrastructure investor that has agreed to be acquired by General Atlantic, held an $800 million first close for its latest fund and is targeting a $1.5 billion final close by year-end, per Bloomberg.

Wind Point Partners raised $2.3 billion for its tenth buyout fund.

Ballistic Ventures raised $360 million for its second venture fund

Bitkraft Ventures is targeting $275 million for its third venture fund

1984 Ventures is targeting $75 million for its third venture fund


1. How M&A boutique Evercore became ‘Goldman North.’

• The FT looks at the ascent of investment banking firm Evercore. — Financial Times

2. The latest on structured dismissals.

• Proskauer provides an update on court approval of structured dismissals following a successful 363 sale, referencing the recent SmileDirect case. — Proskauer


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