To our clients and friends,
The M&A market in 2023 slowed from prior years for most participants, but Seward & Kissel’s clients bucked the trend and remained active all year. We assisted them with a wide variety of transactions around the globe involving interesting businesses in diverse industries and we look forward to more of the same in 2024.
The Business Transactions Group’s primary industry focus continued to be deals involving the purchase or sale of investment management firms, broker-dealers and other strategic transactions in the financial services industry. This Year in Review highlights a selection of these transactions, including the widely discussed merger in January 2023 of our clients Tiedemann Advisors and TIG Advisors with UK-based Alvarium and special purpose acquisition company Cartesian Growth Corporation to form publicly-traded global wealth and asset manager AlTi Global (Nasdaq: ALTI). Other notable investment management industry deals included three minority stake investments by always active Kudu Investment Management, acquisitions of managers by Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (of private equity infrastructure manager Energy Capital Partners), Alger Group Holdings (of growth equity manager Redwood Investments), and iM Global Partners’ subsidiary Litman Gregory Wealth Management (of wealth manager Wedgewood Partners). The firm also worked on mutual fund and ETF transactions for clients like AllianceBernstein and North Square Investments. Deals involving broker-dealer businesses also kept us busy, including the acquisition by UK-based client Marex Group of the global legacy prime brokerage business of TD Cowen and the sale of fixed income broker Sierra Pacific Securities to Stifel Financial Corp (NYSE:SF). The Firm also continued to have market leading activity handling more than 25 seed and accelerator investment transactions related to fund managers. Our IM Deals blog (imdealsblog.sewkis.com), which follows transactions and developments involving the investment management industry, continues to be widely read by participants in the sector.
Private equity deals are another area of consistent work for the Business Transactions Group, with our team handling multiple 2023 transactions in diverse industries for private equity sponsor clients like Growth Catalyst Partners (including multiple bolt-on acquisitions for its Equine Network and SilverAssist portfolio companies) and Estancia Capital Partners (including the sale of its portfolio company Abel Noser Solutions). We also had clients sell their businesses to private equity-sponsored purchasers, including the sale of software company Aurora North to the Wilson Allen portfolio company of Renovus Capital Partners. In addition, our investment fund and other clients pursued more than 50 venture capital, growth stage and other private investment transactions in a wide variety of businesses.
Shipping and related industry transactions were also part of the mix in 2023, consistent with the Firm’s leading position in those sectors, with this Review highlighting the cross-border business combination of offshore wind turbine installation companies Eneti Inc. (NYSE:NETI) and Cadeler A/S (OSE:CADLR), merger of dry bulk shipping companies StarBulk Carriers Corp. (Nasdaq: SBLK) and Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NYSE: EGLE), the $2.35 billion crude carrier vessel sale by Euronav NV (NYSE: EURV) to Frontline plc (NYSE: FRO), the sale of commercial ship manager Penfield Marine to crude and product tanker company Maersk Tankers, and two vessel purchase transactions for TORM plc (Nasdaq: TRMD).
The work of Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group continued to receive independent recognition during 2023. Chambers and Partners, in its 2023 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 2023 edition, recommended Seward & Kissel for middle-market M&A work, describing the team as being “noted for its broad capabilities in investment management” and “also active in the shipping, finance, media, veterinary and private equity fields.”
Living up to her Legal 500 rating as a “Rising Star”, Danielle Lemberg was in 2023 promoted to partner, strengthening and diversifying the leadership of Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group. More about this exciting news for the Group can be found on page 8 of this Review.
The Seward & Kissel BTG Team