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Behind the Buyouts: 3i Goes the Distance for Proprietary Deals

Published: March 3rd, 2021
The U.S. buyout market is big enough to find companies to buy outside of traditional sales processes, but it takes time, according to 3i's Andrew Olinick.

Welcome to Behind the Buyouts, The Deal’s podcast in which we sit down with leading private markets investors and drill down into their buyout, growth equity and venture capital deals.

For this edition, we interview Andrew Olinick, co-head of 3i Group plc’s North America private equity team and the global head of business and technology services.

Olinick said that European firms such as 3i remain attracted to the U.S. market as a way to grow their portfolio companies in the largest economy in the world. The firm distinguishes itself as a middle-market dealmaker among much larger European funds shopping for buyouts in North America.

“The U.S. market is competitive,” Olinick said. “But it’s such a big market that some deals fall through the cracks, so there is an opportunity to find proprietary deals.”

Olinick takes the time to get to know prospective targets to understand their businesses and how a company performs over time.

One example is the firm’s $120 million investment in Wilson Human Capital Group Inc., a Tampa. Fla.-based recruitment and talent solutions company, as announced last month. Olinick said the deal came after 3i tracked the company for several years and ended up buying it without an investment banker sales process.

London-based 3i invests in companies with enterprise values of about $140 million to $620 million.

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