Los Angeles-based investment bank The Sage Group and Spayne Lindsay & Co., a London-based corporate finance firm, have forged a global investment partnership that aligns their consumer sector knowledge, investment banking expertise and relationship networks.
Sage and Spayne Lindsay will remain independently owned, but will work together to establish a firm with a global reach across the consumer sector.
Sage and Spayne Lindsay have 50 investment banking professionals. Together, both firms have completed more than 300 transactions worth tens of billions of dollars across Europe and the U.S.
“We have long admired Spayne Lindsay for the quality of their bankers, industry knowledge, culture and integrity,” said Mark Vidergauz, chief executive officer of The Sage Group. “This relationship will provide our clients with access to even greater resources and expertise on a global scale. Our partner-led teams deliver tailored advice based on deep industry knowledge, real-time market insights, and long-standing relationships with the most prominent strategic buyers and investment funds globally.”
Tom Lindsay, founding partner of Spayne Lindsay, said: “We have known Mark and the team at Sage for a number of years now, and we are very like-minded. Our adjacent areas of expertise within the consumer segment are complementary, and we look forward to working together more closely. The Sage-Spayne Lindsay partnership allows clients to work with a truly independent global advisory firm with depth of knowledge across all subsectors of the consumer world. The partnership will enhance our capabilities both geographically and across many key consumer sectors.”
Over the years Sage has advised such companies as Bombas on its sale to Great Hill Partners, Chubbies on its sale to Solo Stove, Blenders on its sale to Safilo, Oribe Hair Care on its sale to KAO, Glamglow on its sale to the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., Toms Shoes on its sale to Bain Capital and Honey Birdette on its sale to Playboy Group, among others.
Spayne Lindsay’s transactions have included the acquisition of Unilever’s tea business by CVC, Strong Roots on its investment from McCain, EAT on its sale to Pret, Hippeas on its investment from The Craftory, Oatly on its investment from Verlinvest, Quorn on its sale to Monde Nissin and the acquisition of Telmont Champagne by Remy Cointreau, among others.
The partnership will cover all areas of consumer — from apparel, footwear and accessories, and beauty and personal care to food and beverage and high-growth digitally native companies.
Spayne Lindsay looks to benefit from Sage’s expertise in the U.S. and its capabilities in advising premium consumer brands, while Sage expects to gain from Spayne Lindsay’s knowledge of the European market and skill in working with food, beverage and restaurant businesses.
In addition, the partnership will have access to an extensive international network of aligned firms in Asia, Central Europe, Africa and Australasia that will offer clients a global sector specialist advisory service.
Vidergauz told WWD his company has done half its deals with foreign buyers and foreign sellers “and this will really strengthen that position.” He noted that Spayne Lindsay has very solid bankers and “we have a shared culture which we take very seriously.”
He anticipates that the partnership will bring Sage deeper into the food and beverage industry. “I do think it’s been a missing a leg of the stool for us,” said Vidergauz. He noted that a lot of the companies he’s dealing with are not only involved in apparel and beauty, but also food and beverage. “We’re speaking to the same people all the time. We kind of have had this gap in our portfolio,” he said.
He noted that M&A has been having a very good year. “Our business did extremely well through the pandemic. Other businesses haven’t been as fortunate,” said Vidergauz.
Asked what he hopes to achieve with the partnership, Lindsay said, “The combination of two successful boutiques either side of the Atlantic allows us to provide a superior level of service to our clients. The worldwide team of consumer specialists has the size and experience at least as strong as the major investment banks whilst retaining the independence of a boutique. Sage also provides us with more depth in certain verticals. We therefore hope to secure more business through the merger than we could as independent operators.
In discussing the pace of M&A in Europe, Lindsay said: “The M&A business in Europe continues to be very robust. Our pipeline is currently better than last year which was a record year for us. However, we do expect some headwinds from inflation and supply chain issues as 2022 develops.”
Spayne Lindsay & Co. was founded in 2004 and its advice can include buy-side and sell-side mergers, acquisitions and disposal projects, management buys-ins and buyouts, coinvestments, debt and equity fundraising and refinancing. Founded in 2000, Sage provides a broad range of corporate finance advisory services including merger and acquisitions, capital raising, restructurings, take-privates and fairness opinions.
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