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20 Things You Didn't Know about Advent International

Since its foundation in 1984, Advent International has grown into one of the largest global private equity investors in the world. To date, it’s invested over 345 private equity transactions in 41 countries, while according to most reports, it has around $15 billion- $25 billion in assets under management, and an annual revenue stream of approximately $100 million. After starting as a purely national concern, it’s expanded exponentially over the past three decades and now has a global presence across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. With its focus on five core sectors (business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom (TMT)), Advent has investments in some of the leading companies in the world, including AccentCare, Definitive Healthcare, and INNIO. Find out more with these 20 key facts.

1. It was founded in 1984 by Peter Brooke

Advent International was founded in 1984 by Peter Brooke, a repeat entrepreneur who had previously enjoyed huge success with TA Associates. Brooke’s career in finance started in the 1950s when he landed a job as a loan officer at the First National Bank of Boston. In 1961, he left First National for a position as the head of venture capital investing at Bessemer Securities Corporation; 3 years later, he founded his first VC management company. In 1968, he launched TA Associates, which rapidly grew into one of the largest venture capital firms in the US, going from a company generating around $5 million of capital in 1969 to one capable of pulling in $125 million by the early 1980s. In 1984, Brooke decided to expand his already considerable list of achievements further by creating Advent international as a spin-out of TA. Brooke stepped down as Advent International’s CEO in 1996 but retained his affiliation with the company through his position as chair.

2. It raised its first fund in 1985

A year after its inception, Advent International raised its first venture capital fund, a $14 million program for Nabisco, the food processing manufacturer based in New Jersey. 2 years later, it raised its first institutional private equity fund, the $225 million International Network Fund. Its first European fund came in 1989 via the $231 million European Special Situations Fund.

3. It opened a London branch in 1989

1989 marked the year Advent International ceased being a purely US affair and began to expand on a global level. Its first foray into international operations began with its London branch, which opened its doors in 1989. It continued to expand its global presence over the next couple of decades, opening offices in Frankfurt, Milan, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo. These days, it has 14 offices spread across 12 countries.

4. It hit the billion-dollar mark in 1997

After several year of rapid expansion across Europe and Latin America, Advent International hit the billion-dollar mark in 1997, thanks to the $1.2 billion Advent Global Private Equity (GPE) III and its new ventures into the arenas of media and communications, healthcare and life sciences.

5. It raised the largest-ever fund for Latin America

As reported by the New York Times, when Advent International raised a $2.1 billion private equity fund for Latin America (Latin American Private Equity Fund VI), it eclipsed Gávea Investments’ $1.9 billion fund to become the largest fund ever raised in the region. The fund, which came largely from North American investors with around a quarter coming from European investors, reportedly took less than 6 months to raise.

6. It acquired The Priory for $925 million

Since its inception, Advent International has acquired numerous big-name companies, none more so than The Priory. In 2011, Advent acquired the group (which operates a number of care homes and addiction clinics throughout the UK and is renowned for the famous names that frequent it) for $925million, after several failed attempts by its previous owner, RBS, to sell.

7. It’s invested $44 billion in 345 private equity investments

Since its inception in 1984, Advent has invested in 345 private equity investments across 41 countries. Some of its most notable investments include those in companies such as Roehm, AccentCare, INNIO (formerly GE Distributed Power), Walmart Brazil Group, Grupo Farmaceutico Somar, Syneos Health, Inc. (formerly INC Research Holdings, Inc.), Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Limited, CARE Hospitals, and Pronto!

8. Sector specialization is at the heart of its strategy

Sector specialization is central to Advent International’s strategy and has been ever since it was created. Today, Advent invests in 5 core sectors: Business & Financial Services; Healthcare; Industrial; Retail, Consumer & Leisure; and Technology, Media & Telecom. According to its website, the average length of time it’s been investing in each of those sectors is 29 years, with around 40-70 investments made each year per sector.

9. It’s made over 75 investments in business and financial services

2019 marks the 28th year Advent International has been investing in the business and financial services, and so far, it’s made over 75 investments in 24 countries across the globe. The company tends to invest in companies that are rooted in technology and founded on a robust business model. Payment processing, financial institution carve-outs, back-office administration and services, and business to business and information services are the typical sub-sectors it targets.

10. It’s made 43 investments in healthcare

To date, Advent International has made 43 investments in healthcare over 14 countries. When choosing which companies to invest in, it looks at three main areas: 1) Companies that have a strong, transparent value proposition. 2) Companies that have the capacity to improve productivity and operational excellence, and 3) Companies that are rooted in proven science and technologies. Examples of some of its key investments in the sector include Definitive Healthcare, a leading US provider of data and intelligence on healthcare providers and hospitals; AccentCare, the nation’s foremost provider of post-acute healthcare; and BioDuro, an internationally based provider of contract research, development, and manufacturing.

11. It’s made 70 investments in the industrial sector

Over the last 29 years, Advent has made over 70 investments in the industrial sector over 23 countries. Its focus is on subsectors that are underpinned by long term growth demand, and companies that offer operational improvement opportunities via investment. Key examples of this include Advent’s investment in Roehm, a provider of methacrylates, INNIO, a global manufacturer of reciprocating gas engines, and Manjushree, India’s foremost manufacturer of plastic packaging.

12. It’s completed 75 investments in retail, consumer and leisure

If a retail, consumer or leisure company shows a potential for growth (either nationally or internationally), there’s a good chance Advent International may add it to the 77 companies in 22 countries it already has in its portfolio. Some case examples from the past 29 years include Aimbridge Hospitality, a third-party hotel operator, Walmart Brazil, and Enjoy S.A, a leading casino operator in Latin America.

13. It’s completed 75 investments in TMT

Over the last 28 years, Advent International has made 75 investments in 24 countries in the technology, media & telecom (TMT) sector. Its focus is on market leaders that offer a competitive business model and strong long-term growth potential. Key investments include Definitive Healthcare, a data and analytics provider, Circet Groupe, a leading telecommunications infrastructure services provider, and Nets, Denmark’s primary provider of payment, information and digital identity solutions.

14. It has a 4.6 approval rating on Glassdoor

If you want the inside gossip on what a company is really like to work for, sites like Glassdoor make a great place to look. A company’s website may wax lyrical about its inclusivity, its great team structure, its transparent mission statement, its opportunities for growth, and so on and so forth, but, as we all know, saying and doing are two very different things. For the inside scoop, there’s no better place to start than the opinions of actual employees. According to Glassdoor, Advent is an exceptional place to work, rating 4.6 out of 5 overall. 96% of surveyed employees would be happy to recommend the company to a friend, while a full 100% are prepared to offer their CEO their full seal of approval.

15. It owns the largest hotel operator in the US

In January 2019, it was announced that Advent would be buying out Aimbridge Hospitality, the US’s largest independent multinational hotel operator. “Over the past 15 years Aimbridge has grown to become one of the most respected independent hotel managers in the industry while creating a positive experience and generating operational excellence for our hotel partners,” Dave Johnson, Chairman and CEO of the group said in a statement. “We appreciate Lee Equity’s strategic guidance over the past several years, and with Advent International’s financial and strategic support, we look forward to building on our proven track record of delivering superior results for some of the most prestigious hotel owners and developers across the US and beyond”.

16. It’s merging Aimbridge Hospitality and Interstate Hotels & Resorts

In August 2019, Advent announced it would be merging two of its largest assets, Aimbridge Hospitality and Interstate Hotels & Resorts. The merger will result in a combined portfolio of 1400 branded and independent properties in 49 states and 20 countries. Dave Johnson, the current CEO of Aimbridge, will continue to serve as CEO of the combined venture, while Michael Deitemeyer, President and CEO of Interstate, will become its President. “Through this merger and under Advent’s ownership, Aimbridge and Interstate can build a platform that differentiates the combined company through optimizing owner value, top-notch talent and global expansion,” Glenn Murphy, Chairman, Aimbridge said in a statement.

17. Companies owned by Advent increase their revenue by 14%

As Business Wire notes, since 2005, portfolio companies owned by Advent for at least a year have shown a trend for increasing revenue and EBITDA by 14% and 15% annually. The value added by Advent is seen through a combination of best practices and capabilities that allow individual companies to maximize their potential for growth.

18. They have two investment programs

Advent currently manages two investment programs focused on developing the market-specific regions of the world. The company’s Global Private Equity (GPE) is focused on North America, Europe and selected areas of Asia. The Latin American Private Equity Fund (LAPEF), meanwhile, is focused on investments in Latin America.

19. They typically take a majority shareholding in companies

When Advent International identifies a company it wants to invest in, it usually looks to take a majority stake hold based on the idea that if they own controlling interests, they will be able to ensure the implementation of a more effective strategy for growth. Examples of where it’s implemented this practice is in the buyout of Aimbridge Hospitality, Transaction Services Group, and Vitaladent. It does occasionally take a different approach to ownership and will consider taking a minority interest in companies that have like-minded shareholders.

20. It raised its ninth global fund in June 2019

Advent International is clearly a company at the head of its game. According to Wall Street Oasis, the company is currently generating $100m+ in annual revenue and has around $15 billion- $25 billion in assets under management. Its also just achieved a major landmark moment, In June 2019, Advent International raised its ninth global private equity fund. The fund exceeded its $16 billion target in less than 6 months, reaching $17.5 billion in total. “We are pleased with the strong support GPE IX received from both existing and new investors,” David Mussafer, a Managing Partner at Advent in Boston said of the success. “We believe that our success is due to our long-established sector focus, global footprint, private partnership model, and the significant operational resources we apply to our investments.”

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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