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Lovell Minnick and Tortoise Management to Acquire Tortoise

October 19, 2017, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

Tortoise Investments and Lovell Minnick Partners announced the signing of a definitive agreement for a buyout of Tortoise, a leader in essential assets and essential income investing. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, ongoing management and employees are expected to meaningfully increase their ownership of Tortoise. Employees will retain a significant equity interest, with many investing additional capital alongside Lovell Minnick, who will purchase the equity stake held by Mariner Holdings and retiring co-founders of Tortoise.

“We are excited and energized by our fit with the team at Lovell Minnick,” said Tortoise chief executive officer and co-founder, Kevin Birzer. “Their substantial expertise investing in asset management companies, along with their extensive and global industry network, are second to none. We believe this partnership will deepen our financial flexibility to facilitate strategic growth, which also provides opportunities to develop and retain employees. Most importantly, Tortoise will remain focused on our goal of delivering strong returns to our clients while providing top quality service.”

“Tortoise is a market leader in essential assets and essential income investing with differentiated actively managed and passive energy and fixed income solutions,” said Bob Belke, a partner at Lovell Minnick. “We are excited to partner with Tortoise and its talented management team, and we look forward to providing Tortoise with strategic and capital support to help further enhance and expand its client solutions.”

Tortoise will maintain its independence and autonomy with its brand, investment processes and day-to-day portfolio management remaining unchanged. Members of Tortoise’s senior management and its portfolio managers have signed long-term employment agreements to remain with Tortoise. Three co-founders, Zachary Hamel, Kenneth Malvey and Terry Matlack, will sell their remaining interest in Tortoise and retire from Tortoise upon closing of the transaction. Co-founder David Schulte, who left Tortoise in 2015, will also sell his remaining interest in Tortoise.

“I’d like to thank my fellow co-founders, Zach, Ken, Terry and Dave, for helping to build Tortoise into the market leader it is today,” said Birzer. “I’m also grateful for the valuable support and partnership with Mariner over the past eight years. Together, we have turned a business idea into approximately $20 billion in assets under advisement at Tortoise and helped lead the development of the institutional master limited partnership (MLP) investment industry. We are looking forward to continued success with our new partner, Lovell Minnick.”

Lovell Minnick is joined by a premier group of institutional investors, including HarbourVest Partners, AlpInvest Partners, and several additional limited partners, who are supporting the transaction.

BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial adviser to Mariner Holdings and Evercore acted as exclusive financial adviser to Lovell Minnick. Key Strategic Advisors advised management on the transaction. UBS and Credit Suisse are providing committed debt financing for the transaction.

Independent directors and the full boards of Tortoise’s registered funds have approved new advisory agreements as a result of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2018, subject to standard regulatory, client and fund shareholder approvals.

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