Lost private credit team

Barings sues over Corinthia solicitation


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

  • A look at Barings’ response to poaching of private credit team

  • The deal sheet, plus frustrations with climate finance


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Barings granted injunction against former employees it says poached firm’s private credit talent

By Bob Clair

Investment manager Barings won a preliminary injunction last week that will prevent a team of recently departed private credit professionals from taking proprietary and confidential information belonging to the firm for the benefit of rival Corinthia Global Management.

The injunction, granted Friday, comes four days after Barings, a subsidiary of MassMutual, filed a lawsuit against Corinthia Global Management and former employees Ian Fowler and Kelsey Tucker—pushback after the Nomura Holdings-backed direct lender recruited over 20 employees from Barings, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Fowler previously co-led the global private finance group at Barings until March 8, while Tucker served as Global Head of Operations until his departure in January 2023.

Corinthia officially launched last Thursday, with much of its initial staffing comprised of employees from Barings’ London and US offices.

The lawsuit alleges Fowler and Tucker engaged in “disloyal acts and blatant disregard of the fiduciary and contractual obligations of the most senior employees in Barings' Global Private Finance group,” including the misuse of confidential information in support of Corinthia’s employee poaching.

The suit described the alleged acts as “one of the largest corporate raids at an asset manager in years” and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorney’s fees. Underlining the importance of top talent retention, the suit highlights what Barings sees as intense competition for private credit investment professionals as the asset class continues its rapid growth.

In addition to monetary damages, Barings is also seeking a halt to further recruitment of its employees, what it calls illegal poaching, and to block solicitation of the firm’s customers.

Efforts to reach Fowler, Tucker, and Corinthia Global Management were unsuccessful.

Upon filing the suit, a Barings spokesperson told Bloomberg that “Barings has today commenced legal proceedings seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent them from continuing to target our clients and employees, and stop the ongoing misappropriation of our trade secrets and confidential information.

“This legal action has been taken as a result of the defendants’ blatant disregard of their fiduciary and contractual obligations, which goes against Barings’ codes of conduct and ethics.

“Barings will not sit idly by and allow the defendants’ misconduct to occur.”

After filing the suit, Barings appointed Bryan High as Head of Global Private Finance; Eric Lloyd as Chairman of the same division; Tyler Gately as Head of Private Credit in North America; and Stuart Mathieson as Head of Private Credit in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Barings will also pause new investments across certain private credit funds because of the departures and leadership transition, according to another report by Bloomberg. Additionally, Bloomberg reported that the company issued a letter saying that “In accordance with and as permitted by the fund documents, we will continue to call capital to pay down financing facilities, to honor previously committed or approved deals, add-ons or unfunded facilities, or for expenses.

“For our commingled private funds and our private segregated funds, regardless of whether a key person event has been triggered, we are pausing on making brand new investments while we continue the transition to new investment leadership. We will continue to fund existing commitments.”

While certain private credit funds are paused, the firm will still invest across other vehicles, including its business development company and various North American, European, and Asia-Pacific-focused funds.

Neil Steiner, an attorney with Dechert LLP who is representing Barings, and a clerk from Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court both said the next court date in the case has not yet been scheduled.


Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is in discussions to acquire Shockwave Medical (Nasdaq: SWAV), a medical devices company specializing in intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) systems that trades at a market value of around $11 billion.

International Paper, a producer of sustainable packaging, pulp, and other fiber-based products, is in discussions to acquire DS Smith, a UK-based provider of corrugated packaging solutions, for around £5.72 billion.

• Ardian is preparing to sell Inovie Group, a French medical diagnostic provider that could be worth more than €3 billion ($3.2 billion).

Avetta, a supply chain risk management solutions provider owned by Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, has reportedly received interest from Bain Capital, EQT, and Warburg Pincus, per Bloomberg.

CPS Energy, a US energy utility company, has agreed to acquire two natural gas plants in Texas from Talen Energy for $785 million.

I Squared Capital and Enbridge have announced a joint venture to develop, construct, and operate energy infrastructure projects.

L Catterton invested in Storyteller Overland, a Birmingham, Alabama-based manufacturer of RV and expedition vehicles, adventure gear, and technology for outdoor enthusiasts.

Marlin Equity Partners agreed to acquire a majority stake in Treasury Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a provider of cloud-native cash management, liquidity, and payment solutions.

One Equity Partners acquired a minority stake in CBM, a provider of technology-enabled services for the construction industry, for an undisclosed amount.

Supreme Group, a Trinity Hunt Partners-backed healthcare commercialization platform, acquired Health+Commerce, an integrated healthcare marketing and public relations agency.

Veeda Clinical Research, backed by Acorn Asset Management and Sabre Partners, acquired Heads, a European Contract Research Organization (CRO).

The One Group agreed to acquire Benihana, an operator of Japanese-themed restaurants, from Angelo Gordon for $365 million.

Paste Media and Static Media have agreed to acquire The A.V. Club and The Takeout, popular online destinations for film, TV, music, and food enthusiasts, from G/O Media.

UnitedHealth Group's healthcare services arm, Optum, has agreed to acquire Steward Health Care's nationwide physician network, Stewardship Health

Honeywell (Nasdaq: HON) agreed to acquire Civitanavi Systems, an Italian provider of high-precision inertial navigation and stabilization solutions, for €200 million ($216.8 million)

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) agreed to acquire Companhia Cacique de Café Solúvel (Cacique), a Brazilian producer, processor, and exporter of soluble coffee.

Arsenal Capital Partners and BayPine have acquired Poly-Wood, a manufacturer of outdoor furniture made from recycled plastics, from Mayfair Capital Partners.

Axel Springer, owned by KKR and CPP Investments, is reportedly preparing to sell finanzen, a German financial information provider offering real-time stock exchange data and tools for private investors, with Houlihan Lokey advising.

Kendra Scott, a private label fashion jewelry brand, is reportedly seeking a new private equity partner to replace minority investor Berkshire Partners, which acquired its stake in a 2017 deal.

Mubadala has agreed to acquire Kelix Bio, a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Prince Industries, a precision machining and sheet metal fabrication company owned by HC Private Investments, acquired Bradford Machine, a fully-automated precision machining facility in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Resource Label Group, a portfolio company of Ares Management, acquired Labelcraft, a manufacturer of printed custom pressure-sensitive labels for the food and beverage industry.


Marex Group, a UK-based brokerage and financial services firm, filed for a Nasdaq IPO.


Tech, Vertical SaaS, & Misc. Enterprise

Cyera, a provider of AI-driven cybersecurity protocols, raised nearly $300 million at a $1.5 billion post-money valuation. Coatue led, with participation from Accel.

Celestial AI, an optical interconnectivity startup, raised $175 million in Series C funding led by USIT, with participation from AMD Ventures, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Temasek, IAG Capital Partners, Samsung Catalyst, Smart Global Holdings, Porsche, Engine Ventures, M-Ventures, and Tyche Partners.

Observe, a Snowflake-focused data observability platform, raised $115 million in Series B funding. Sutter Hill Ventures led the round, with participation from Snowflake, Capital One Ventures, and Madrona.

Viam, a developer of a software platform for smart machines, raised $45 million in Series B funding. Union Square Ventures and Battery Ventures participated.

Fieldguide, a provider of AI-powered auditing software, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led, with participation from 8VC and several SaaS and AI company CEOs.

0G Labs, a Web3-focused developer of blockchain infrastructure and data availability solutions, raised $35 million in pre-seed funding. Hack VC led the round, with participation from Alliance, Animoca Brands, Delphi Digital, Stanford Builders Fund, Symbolic Capital, and OKX Ventures.

Tennr, a developer of document automation software for healthcare practices, raised $18 million in Series A funding. Andreessen Horowitz led and was joined by Foundation Capital and The New Normal Fund.

Bedrock Security, a data security platform, raised $10 million in seed funding led by Greylock.

OpenPipe, a tool that simplifies large language model deployment, raised $6.7 million in seed funding from Costanoa Ventures and Y Combinator.

Hive, an enterprise cloud services provider specializing in distributed and decentralized models, raised €12 million in Series A funding from SC Ventures and OneRagtime.


Global Screening Services, a developer of compliance software for financial institutions, raised $47 million in a Series A2 funding round led by Cynosure Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with participation from existing-backers MUFG and Alixaras, among others.

ZayZoon, a provider of earned wage access solutions targeting middle market companies, raised an additional $15 million of Series B funding. Viola Fintech led, with participation from Intuit Ventures and returning backers Framework Venture Partners and Export Development Canada.

MyPrize, a cryptocurrency casino platform, raised $13 million in new funding from Dragonfly and Boxcars Ventures.

ALEX, a provider of a decentralized finance platform for Bitcoin, raised $10 million in new funding. Spartan Capital led the round, with participation from CMS Holdings, DACM, and others.

Scaleup Finance, a developer of management software and services, raised £7.4 million in its pre-Series A round. Inveready led, with participation from Crowberry Capital, Seed X, PROfounders, Fin Capital, and CircleRock Capital.

Media & Consumer

Uzum, an Uzbek e-commerce platform and digital ecosystem, raised more than $100 million in Series A funding from FinSight Ventures, Xanara Investment Management, and company management.

Illuvium, a blockchain gaming platform, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by King River Capital, with participation from Arrington Capital, Spartan Capital, and Animoca Capital. P2 Ventures, Nomura’s Laser Digital, 32-Bit, and Seven Capital.


Avenzo Therapeutics, a developer of novel molecules for therapeutic treatments in oncology, raised $150 million in Series A-1 funding from New Enterprise Associates, Deep Track Capital, Sofinnova Investments, Sands Capital, INCE Capital, TF Capital, Delos Capital, and Quan Capital.

Brightside Health, a provider of telemental health services, raised $33 million in Series C funding. S32 led, with participation from Kennedy Lewis, Time BioVentures, Redwood Pacific, and existing backers ACME, Mousse Partners, and Triventures.

900.care, developer of an eco-friendly personal care product subscription offering, raised €21 million led by Lombard Odier Investment Managers, with participation from White Star Capital, Swen Blue Ocean, and Founders Future.

Industrials, Greentech, & Other

PipeDreams, an acquirer and operator of HVAC and plumbing businesses, raised $25.5 million in Series A funding. Canvas Ventures and Plural led, with participation from Tony Xu, Thomas Layton, and Allison Pickens.

Evoloh, a developer of alkaline electrolyzer technology and modular hydrogen solutions, raised $20 million in funding from Engine Ventures, NextEra Energy Resources, and 3M Ventures.

Picogrid, a defense technology startup, raised $12 million in seed funding led by Initialized Capital, with participation from Starburst Ventures, Credo Ventures, Giant Step Capital, Domino Ventures, and Alumni Ventures.

Oriole Networks, an AI hardware startup developing architecture for light integrative trainers, raised £10 million in seed funding led by UCL Technology Fund, with participation from Clean Growth Fund, XTX Ventures, Dorilton Ventures, and Innovate UK Investor Partnership.

Cemvision, a startup focused on reducing CO2 emissions in the cement and construction materials industry, raised €10 million in seed funding. Backing Minds, Polar Structure, and Zacua Ventures co-led.

Evari, a developer of heat pump turbocompressor technology spun out of MIT, raised $7.5 million in seed funding led by Clean Energy Ventures, with participation from Clean Energy Venture Group and Farvatn Venture.


Percheron Capital raised $1.6 billion for its second buyout fund.

SYN Ventures raised more than $100 million for its latest cybersecurity-focused venture fund.


1. UBS banker’s frustration with state of climate finance.

• How banks are navigating climate demands from regulators and society. — Bloomberg


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