Warburg Pincus heads for the exits
FORTUNE — Back in May, Apollo Global Management (APO) CEO Leon Black said that his firm was “selling everything that’s not nailed down.” This week it seems those words could have been spoken by Warburg Pincus co-presidents Joe Landy and Charles Kaye.
Take a look at what Warburg Pincus has done in just the past two days:
- Agreed to sell Neiman Marcus Group to Ares Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $6 billion. Warburg and TPG Capital had led a $5.1 billion buyout of the upscale retailer back in 2005, and reportedly will earn a 150% return on their equity investment.
- Filed IPO papers for Philadelphia-based concessions company Aramark, which it helped acquire back in 2006 for $6.3 billion. There were three other private equity firms on that deal, but Warburg Pincus holds the most shares with a 21.5% position. Expect that the eventual IPO price will be much larger than the $100 million listed on the IPO docs, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a parallel M&A process (remember, Neiman Marcus also filed for an IPO).
- Filed IPO papers for Endurance International Group Holdings, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of cloud solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs (GS) bought a majority stake in the company less than two years ago, and has seen revenue more than double between the first half of 2012 and the first half of 2013 (losses have grown at a slower clip).
It’s a big spate of exit activity, considering that the firm had been fairly quiet on that front since agreeing to sell eyecare company Bausch & Lomb for $7.8 billion to Valeant Pharma (VRX) four months ago. In fact, its only other announced liquidity event was an IPO for Sophiris Bio (SPHS), in which Warburg held all of its shares.
But it’s also no surprise. Private equity firms know that exit windows can close suddenly, particularly for large portfolio companies. Like Apollo, Warburg Pincus doesn’t want to get caught holding some aging bags…
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