Total Private Markets AuM managed by AACP’s affiliates reaches ca. $12 billion
New York / Milan, April 12, 2022
Azimut Group (“Azimut” or the “Group”), one of Europe’s largest independent asset managers, via its US subsidiary Azimut Alternative Capital Partners, LLC (“AACP”), entered into agreements to acquire a minority equity interest in BroadLight Holdings, L.P. and certain affiliated entities (together, “BroadLight”), a private equity investment firm focused on high-growth, innovative companies across the global technology and consumer landscape.
AACP was established in November 2019 with the purpose of partnering with private market-focused alternative asset managers by providing them with permanent capital to grow and reach their greatest business potential. The transaction with BroadLight marks AACP’s fourth transaction. AACP completed its first deal in 2020 with the acquisition of a ca. 20% stake in opportunistic private credit firm Kennedy Lewis, followed by the March 2021 acquisition of a stake in HighPost Capital and the July 2021 acquisition of a ca. 20% stake in asset-based lending private credit firm Pathlight Capital. With this new transaction, total Private Markets AuM managed by AACP affiliates is now $12 billion (ca. $2.3bn pro-rata).
BroadLight is a private equity investment firm focused on high-growth, innovative companies across the global technology and consumer landscape. The firm was founded in 2021 by partners David Dorfman, who has over 21 years of technology and media investment banking advisory and principal investing experience at merchant banking platforms, Rick Yorn, the CEO and Founder of LBI Entertainment, a leading independent talent management & production firm and Kevin Yorn, the Managing and Founding Partner of Yorn Levine, a prominent entertainment & business law firm. BroadLight seeks to connect its extensive network within the media and entertainment industry and the skills and experiences of its principals to enable entrepreneurs and founders to grow and create long-term value for its portfolio companies. Collectively, Rick’s and Kevin’s firms represent some of the most iconic names in entertainment, including Jessica Biel, Lily Collins, Steph Curry, Charli D’Amelio, Ellen DeGeneres, Benicio Del Toro, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Jordan Peele, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldaña, Martin Scorsese, the creators of Squid Game, the creators of Stranger Things, Jason Sudeikis, Justin Timberlake, Reese Witherspoon, and many others.
BroadLight’s investment team is led by David Dorfman and includes Landon Jaussi and Kenneth Chan. Mr. Jaussi has 10 years of growth capital and investment banking experience and previously worked as a growth equity investor at Wellington Management and Technology Crossover Ventures. Mr. Chan has 15 years of growth capital and principal investment experience and previously worked at Macquarie Capital and Tennenbaum Capital Partners.
The transaction entails AACP acquiring a ca. 10% equity interest in BroadLight and contributing permanent capital to the business going forward. The transaction proceeds will be used to grow and invest in the business in the form of growth capital, bolstering the team’s commitment to drive the long-term value of the business. There will be no changes in the strategy, management, investment process or day-to-day operations of BroadLight or any BroadLight-managed vehicle as a result of AACP’s investment. AACP will have an observer seat on the BroadLight Investment Committee.
On behalf of BroadLight, Co-Founder and Managing Partner David Dorfman said “The partnership with Azimut provides an opportunity for BroadLight to further accelerate its growth and pursue attractive investment opportunities globally. Over the past few months, we have been able to get to know the senior Azimut and AACP teams in Italy, Luxembourg and in the United States and have been impressed by their unwavering focus on their clients and shareholders.”
BroadLight’s Co-Founders & Partners Kevin Yorn and Rick Yorn, added, “BroadLight is a natural extension of the client-focused businesses we have each led for the past thirty years. We have introduced hundreds of high growth businesses and their founders to our network that extends beyond the global entertainment business and reaches entrepreneurs, creatives, investors and influencers of culture. The fund, its partners, and our clients are now uniquely positioned to participate further in this differentiated deal flow. We are proud of what we have built and we are so grateful for our existing and new relationships that make this exciting new chapter possible.”
Jeff Brown, Chief Executive Officer of AACP, comments “Our investment in BroadLight builds upon AACP’s success at identifying, investing and partnering with the most exciting and innovative alternative asset managers in the private markets. BroadLight’s deep expertise in finance and media and entertainment brings to life a unique range of investment opportunities across the technology and consumer landscape. We are continuously impressed with David Dorfman and his investment team – several of whom he has worked with for years, and no one knows Hollywood better than the Yorn family. BroadLight brings a fantastic pipeline of compelling deals from a sizeable roster of A-list stars who will invest alongside Azimut’s clients as well as help accelerate the growth of portfolio companies. We are honored to be their partners and excited about the possibilities from our partnership with the BroadLight team.”
Gabriele Blei, Chief Executive Officer of Azimut, comments “Partnering with BroadLight’s prestigious and vastly experienced team allows Azimut to penetrate an attractive slice of the market that is highly complementary to the Azimut portfolio. This new transaction reflects AACP’s expanded mission, broadening our strategy from larger staking deals to include highly compelling, first-time funds like BroadLight that offer unique investment opportunities for Azimut’s global client base. We look forward to working with this talented team.”
Azimut, established in 1989 and headquartered in Milan, Italy, has ca. $90 billion in total AUM. The parent company, Azimut Holding, was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2004 (ticker AZM-IM) and is part of the FTSE MIB large cap index. The Group operates in three key segments: Public Markets, Private Markets and Emerging Markets, and throughout the years it has significantly expanded its geographical footprint, reaching ca. 40% of total AUM from overseas. It operates out of 17 countries in three regions around the world, including the Americas (New York, Miami, Indianapolis, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Santiago), EMEA (Milan, Monte Carlo, Lugano, Luxembourg, Dublin, Istanbul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo) and Asia-Pacific (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore and Sydney). Through a business model that integrates production and distribution, Azimut’s network now encompasses over 3,000 professionals, of which ca. 150 are Portfolio Managers & Analysts and ca. 2,400 are Financial Advisors primarily serving Azimut’s retail and high-net-worth client base.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to BroadLight and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to AACP.