Santa Monica, Calif.-based private investment firm Clearlake Capital Group L.P. focuses on deals across software & technology, energy & industrials and food & consumer services, with investments in companies such as Ivanti, Platinum Energy Solutions and Sensible Portions. The sector-focused firm was founded in 2006 by accomplished industry vets Jose Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali.
Prior to founding Clearlake, Feliciano served as a Partner at Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC for five years. Before that, he held a position as Chief Financial Officer at govWorks, Inc. the star of the cautionary documentary Startup.com, which follows the crash and burn of many internet companies in the dot-com era. Co-founder Eghbali previously worked at TPC Capital L.P. after various executive level positions with investment banks and corporations.
The firm which touts its “differentiated approach to investing” through long-term relationships with management, deep industry knowledge, operational expertise and flexible solutions, closed its its fourth fund at $1.38 billion in September of 2015.
This week, the firm announced it has signed a definitive agreement to merge enterprise software providers Syncsort Incorporated and Vision Solutions. The firm also announced the simultaneous sale of a significant ownership stake in the combined entity to Centerbridge Partners L.P. for $1.26 billion.
After the transaction is closed, Clearlake, which acquired Syncsort in 2015 and Vision in 2016, will maintain a “meaningful” ownership stake. The transaction is slated to close in the third quarter of 2017, subjected to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Current Syncsort Chief Executive Officer Josh Rogers will head the new company operating under the Syncsort name and headquartered in Pearl River, NY. Clearlake expects the transaction to benefit both companies by offering a “dramatic increase in global presence, as well as significantly expand product offerings, afforded by the combination.” Vision’s CEO Nicolaas Vlok will transition to an advisory position.
Clearlake touts its role in developing Syncsort into a more established leading data management software provider. From the get-go, the firm teamed up with Rogers to implement the Clearlake O.P.S. (Operations, People, Strategy) framework, focused on empowering its portfolio companies’ management teams and expanding operations. Clearlake saw through Syncsort’s acquisition of Trillium Software Inc. and Cogito Ltd, as the enterprise tech company posted record revenue, along with recurring revenue and EBITDA growth over 60% during the partnership.
As for Vision, Clearlake has prioritized re-focusing the business and strengthening its leadership position in the data protection, high availability and disaster recovery software market for IBM Power Systems. Following its acquisition, Clearlake executed on operational improvements within Vision’s core business and the carve-out and sale of Double-Take Software Inc. In June of 2017, Vision announced plans to buyout Enforcive Systems Ltd. in efforts to expand its solution set into the booming security software market.
“Both Syncsort and Vision enabled Clearlake to execute on our investment strategy and philosophy of partnering with management teams to drive sustainable change and transformative growth through both operational initiatives and acquisitions at our companies,” said Behdad Eghbali, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Clearlake. “We are proud that our investment thesis and accomplishments during our ownership at both Syncsort and Vision generated significant value. We look forward to partnering with Centerbridge and the management team as they continue to pursue this next phase of growth as the leading data management software platform,” added Prashant Mehrotra, Partner at Clearlake.
Earlier this week, Clearlake-backed Ivanti acquired digital workspace software company RES Software, which provides secured, automated workspace and identity provisioning to enterprise clients.