Mergers and Acquisitions

Green Bay lumber distributor acquires Illinois firm; Journal Communications sells PrimeNet division; Russell Investments to sell Pantheon Ventures

Green Bay lumber distributor acquires Illinois firm

US LBM Holdings, LLC, a Green Bay-based lumber distributor that operates lumber companies in Wisconsin and on the East Coast, has reached terms to acquire Chicago-based Edward Hines Lumber Co., a wood products firm that operates facilities in Illinois and Indiana. The acquisition also includes Hall & House, an Indiana subsidiary of Edward Hines.

US LBM Holdings is a portfolio company of BlackEagle Partners LLC, a private equity firm with offices in New York and Michigan. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to have Hines Lumber and Hall & House as part of our expanding line-up of building supply businesses,” according to L.T. Gibson, president and CEO of US LBM. “Hines Lumber is synonymous with residential building in the Chicago area. The company is part of the business fabric of Chicago and the surrounding communities.”


 Journal Communications sells PrimeNet division

Milwaukee-based Journal Communications Inc. will sell its PrimeNet operations in Clearwater, Fla., to PrimeNet Direct Marketing Solutions LLC, a new company owned by PrimeNet president Mark Keefe.

The sale marks Journal Communications’ exit from the direct marketing business.

PrimeNet’s mailing service operations in St. Paul, Minn., were sold in a separate transaction to Minneapolis-based Impact Proven Solutions.

Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

PrimeNet provides nationwide direct marketing solutions to marketers of automotive, retail, publishing and financial services products.

"We are excited to make this transaction happen with the existing PrimeNet team led by Mark Keefe. As Journal Communications focuses on our core local market media businesses, we are confident this business and its employees will continue to successfully execute their strategy," said Steven Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Journal Communications, which publishes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We appreciate the hard work and dedication of everyone at PrimeNet and are confident the team will continue their focus on excellent customer service."

Keefe said, "We look forward to growing this business and serving our clients in the same way we always have, with our same employee team in place. While we look ahead to this new beginning, we are proud and thankful of our history with Journal Communications."

Russell Investments to sell Pantheon Ventures

Russell Investments, a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Pantheon Ventures subsidiary to Affiliated Mangers Group Inc. (AMG).

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, AMG will pay approximately $775 million in cash with the potential for additional payments over the next five years, contingent on the growth of Pantheon’s business.

Following the closing of the transaction, Pantheon’s management team will own a meaningful stake in the partnership and continue to direct the firm’s day-to-day operations.

Pantheon is a global private equity fund-of-funds manager, delivering private equity investment solutions to a range of clients for more than 25 years. Pantheon currently manages approximately $22 billion for more than 300 global clients, including pension funds, endowments, government bodies and insurance companies.

Sean Healey, AMG’s president and chief executive officer, said, “We are excited to partner with Pantheon, a global leader in private equity fund-of-funds. Private equity is a core element of institutional investors’ overall asset allocation, and we believe that the asset class will continue to produce superior returns and attract new clients worldwide. We view the fund-of-funds structure as an especially attractive way to participate in this important asset class, given the stability and consistency of its revenue stream, as well as the scalability of its investment platform. With Pantheon’s outstanding record of outperformance across a broad suite of investment strategies, long history of excellent client service and significant presence in key global markets, the firm is extremely well positioned to grow its business.”

Andrew Doman, Russell Investments’ president and CEO, said, “Russell and Pantheon have enjoyed a productive relationship and we look forward to continuing to offer access to, and distribution of, their products and services for the benefit of our clients.”


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