Alpine’s Ingenio Raises Equity, Tree Line Leads Refinance
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Alpine’s Ingenio Raises Equity, Tree Line Leads Refinance

In addition to Tree Line, the banking group included CVC Capital Partners, First Eagle, and Crestline

Ingenio, a portfolio company of Alpine Investors, has raised $232 million of additional equity as part of a broader $462 million secondary market transaction to fund future growth of the company. This transaction was led by a collection of new and existing investors of Ingenio, and included Tree Line Capital Partners as the lead lender and administrative agent.

Ingenio is an online platform that connects advice-seekers with coaches and advisors. The business was founded in 1999, acquired by AT&T in 2007, and acquired by Alpine from AT&T in May 2013. Over the past eight years, it has grown its portfolio of brands, more than tripled its revenue, and quadrupled its earnings. Ingenio, led by CEO Warren Heffelfinger, is headquartered in San Francisco.

Today, the company’s brands include Keen.com, LiveAdvice.com and BitWine.com (personal advice, life-coaching, and career advice); and PsychicCenter.com, PurpleOcean.co, PurpleGarden.com, Horoscope.com, Astrology.com, Horoscopo.com, and SunSigns.com (horoscope, astrology, tarot, clairvoyance, and zodiac-related content). Since its founding 22 years ago, the Ingenio platform has enabled over 45 million phone, chat, and web-based personal advice conversations.

“Over the last eight years, Ingenio’s product set, brand, and team have grown significantly and consistently, thanks to our dedicated team and the support of Alpine,” said Mr. Heffelfinger. “We’re so excited to continue our journey with Alpine and, in return, empower our consumers with the best platform, content, and advisors to guide them towards their happiest life.”

“This continuation vehicle will allow for Ingenio to sustain its growth as they further optimize their consumer acquisition model, expand their reach with M&A, and execute on near-term product innovations to better serve their consumers and advisors,” said Mark Strauch, a partner at Alpine. “We’re proud to be part of their story and are excited to support and accelerate their growth.”

As part of this secondary transaction, Ingenio refinanced its outstanding indebtedness with Tree Line Capital Partners acting as the lead lender and administrative agent. In addition to Tree Line, the banking syndicate included CVC Capital Partners, First Eagle Investment Management, and Crestline Investors.

Tree Line provides first lien term loans, unitranche term loans, and equity co-investments to North America-based lower middle market companies that have EBITDA from $3 million to $30 million and transaction sizes up to $150 million. The Tree Line team has extensive direct lending experience across multiple economic cycles and has generated significant repeat investment opportunities from private equity sponsors. Tree Line is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Austin.

San Francisco-based Alpine invests in control buyouts, majority recapitalizations, and corporate carve-outs of recurring revenue software and services businesses, with enterprise values from $5 million to $400 million and EBITDA of $1 million to $40 million. In November 2019, the firm held a hard cap close of Alpine Investors VII LP with $1 billion in limited partner capital commitments. The new fund was oversubscribed and handily beat its original target of $750 million.

Credit Suisse and Truist (formed in December 2019 through the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks) were the financial advisors for the equity portion of the transaction.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | August 10, 2021

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