To our clients and friends,
2021 was a record year for the M&A market, with more deal activity than ever, and Seward & Kissel clients did not miss the party. Our clients engaged in a wide variety of transactions around the globe involving interesting businesses in diverse industries. It was our pleasure to assist them to achieve their ambitions to grow or sell their businesses, as the case may be.
Representative of Seward & Kissel’s primary industry focus, deals involving the purchase or sale of investment management firms, broker-dealers and other strategic transactions in the financial services industry were the largest portion of the 2021 work of the Business Transactions Group. This Year in Review highlights a selection of these transactions, including the widely discussed agreement of our clients Tiedemann Advisors and TIG Advisors to merge with UK-based Alvarium and special purpose acquisition company Cartesian Growth Corporation (NASDAQ:GLBL) to form a publicly-traded global wealth and asset manager with expected assets under management and advisement of $54 billion. Other notable deals included the merger of FWM Holdings (parent of Forbes Family Trust, LGL Partners and Optima Fund Management) with Stanhope Capital Group to create a wealth manager with $24.2 billion of client assets, the strategic partnership of Kennedy Lewis Investment Management with York Capital to form a $4 billion CLO manager, and multiple sales and acquisitions of minority stakes in investment management firms for clients that included Kudu Investment Management, iM Global Partner, Emigrant Partners and Marblegate Asset Management. The Firm also continued to have market leading activity handling seed and accelerator investment transactions related to fund managers. Our IM Deals blog (www.imdealsblog.com), which follows transactions and developments involving the investment management industry, continues to be widely read by participants in the sector.
Private equity deals have over the last several years become another area of consistent work for the Business Transactions Group, with our team handling multiple transactions in diverse industries for private equity sponsor clients like Growth Catalyst Partners and Estancia Capital Partners. We also had a number of clients sell their businesses to private equity-sponsored purchasers, including the sale of MedLit Graphics to TCG Legacy and the sale of Chainlogix to New Water Capital. In addition, our investment fund and other clients pursued numerous venture capital, growth stage and other private investment transactions in a wide variety of businesses.
Shipping industry transactions were also part of the mix in 2021 consistent with the Firm’s leading position in that sector, with this Review highlighting some of these deals, including the acquisition by Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK) of 7 vessels from Scorpio Bulkers Inc. (NYSE:SALT) for consideration of 3 million Star Bulk shares and assumption of $102.3 million of lease obligations on the vessels, as well as the acquisition by Global Ship Lease (NYSE:GSL) of 12 containerships from Borealis Finance for an aggregate purchase price of $233.9 million.
The work of Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group continued to receive independent recognition during 2021. Chambers and Partners, in its 2021 USA Guide, ranked Seward & Kissel as Highly Regarded for Corporate/M&A, saying the firm is “particularly adept at sell-side and midmarket transactions”, is “recognized for its cross-border capabilities”, and “often advises clients working in [the] investment management and shipping industr[ies].” Likewise, The Legal 500, in its United States 2021 edition, recommended Seward & Kissel for middle-market M&A work, describing the team as having “a great deal of experience across a broad range of domestic and cross-border corporate and financing transactions.” As the Business Transactions Group has grown to meet the needs of its expanding clientele, we have built the team with the hiring in 2021 of five additional experienced transactional associates and are very proud to announce that the Firm has promoted long-time team member Dora Pulido to Counsel in the Group.
The Seward & Kissel BTG Team