First Eagle and Stadion's Backer Buys Again
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

First Eagle and Stadion's Backer Buys Again

The $18-billion private equity firm behind First Eagle and Stadion is buying into a mutual fund servicer's parent.

Yesterday TA Associates managing director Roy Burns unveiled a deal for the Boston-based private equity giant to take a majority stake in Omaha-based NorthStar Financial Group. NorthStar's nine subsidiaries include: ETF strategist CLS Investments, mutual fund back office and distribution specialists Gemini Fund Services and Northern Lights Distributors, as well as Gemini Alternative Funds, Gemini Hedge Fund Services, Northern Lights Compliance Services, and Orion Advisor Services.

The pricing and terms of the deal were not disclosed, although TA confirms that "NorthStar's management team will remain significant owners following closing," which is slated for the second quarter. Raymond James is advising NorthStar on the deal, and Mayer Brown is providing legal counsel. Goodwin Procter is legal counsel to TA.

"TA Associates' considerable experience in financial services enables us to offer strategic counsel and resources to augment NorthStar's organic growth and pursue strategic acquisitions to build long-term value," Burns states.

TA managing directors Burns and Todd Crockett will both join NorthStar's board of directors.

All told, NorthStar has about 700 employees in Omaha: Chicago; Hauppauge, New York; Mill Creek, Washington; and Scottsdale, Arizona.

TA is not new to asset management. Both First Eagle and Stadion are current portfolio holdings for TA, and in days of yore TA was a backer of AIM (now part of Invesco) and AMG.

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