Abry backs Kevin Hart; a look at GTCR’s healthcare services play in The Leaders Strategy

Kevin Hart's media company snags an investment from Abry.

Good morning, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with the Wire.

Now that Twitter’s board has decided Elon Musk’s $44 billion take-private deal is too good to pass up, the controversial entrepreneur has his work cut out for him. It’s sure to be fascinating to watch what happens next.

New era in comedy. Announced this morning, actor and comedian Kevin Hart has launched a new media company with backing from Abry Partners.

The new company, called HartBeat combines his previous production companies Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions. Boston PE firm Abry has invested $100 million for a 15 percent stake in the company, valued at $650 million, according to people with knowledge of the deal, reports the New York Times. Abry partner Nicolas Massard joins the HartBeat board. Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, which signed a multi-year, first look deal and took an equity stake in Laugh Out Loud in 2020, remains a shareholder.

“The creation of HartBeat and our capital raise with Abry represent a new era in comedy,” said Hart in a statement. This all started out with a mission to keep the world laughing together, and I’m so proud our teams have delivered on that, putting in the hard work to build the most innovative and inclusive comedic storytelling company. In an industry that loves to say no and close doors, I’ve been bullish about forging our own path and using our success to open doors for others. With this merger and funding, we’re taking the new blueprint we’ve built in entertainment to the next level and creating opportunities for a new generation of comedic talent. I can’t wait to bring the world more comedians, experiences, and stories with humor and heart.”

The Leaders Strategy. Chicago PE firm GTCR recently launched a new platform investment in healthcare, deploying its well-known The Leaders Strategy and teaming up with Kelly McCrann, who has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare services industry, serving most recently as CEO of EyeCare Partners.

PE Hub reporter Aaron Weitzman spoke with Sean Cunningham, managing director and co-head of healthcare at GTCR, about the new company, called Avryo Health Services.

“We are casting a wide net with Avryo, but Kelly McCrann is spending a lot of time looking at dental businesses and mental health business – we are not limited to those areas but we are doing more work there,” he said. “The broader play is in multi-site healthcare services.”
GTCR is “looking for businesses that have unique patient engagement models and that cater to making healthcare high quality, convenient and affordable,” Cunningham said.

Read the whole story here.

GTCR announced some news this morning. The firm’s portfolio company Dreamscape has made a strategic investment in Sqad, an advertising research, analytics, and media planning software company. GTCR formed Dreamscape with marketing technology veterans Scott Knoll, David Hahn and Michael Iantosca.

Going local. For private equity firms whose portfolio companies have factories in North America, the snarled global supply chain may be a blessing. Case in point: After just 18 months of ownership, Lincolnshire Management sold Schumacher Electric – which is headquartered in Dallas and has a factory in Mexico – to Ripple Industries in a deal announced last week.

Managing director Tom Callahan told PE Hub reporter Obey Martin Manayiti that Lincolnshire achieved its goals ahead of schedule. The firm’s revenue grew by around 40 percent, and its EBITDA doubled.

Lincolnshire helped Schumacher expand its product line and grow organically. “When we purchased this business, it was really a battery charger and jump starter business, but it continued to evolve very quickly – as the market is continuing to evolve – towards power conversion products across a broader range of consumer, commercial and industrial needs.”

For more, read the whole story.

Editor’s notes. This week is ACG’s InterGrowth conference for middle-market dealmakers in Las Vegas. Aaron’s covering the conference for PE Hub. If you’re there, drop him a note at aaron.w@peimedia.com.

And finally, I want to welcome aboard David Wansboro, who joins PE Hub today as assistant reporter in the UK. Previously, David served as senior investment researcher at With Intelligence. Based in Cardiff, David will be focusing on European private equity deals – so introduce yourself and send him press releases at david.wansboro@peimedia.com.

That’s all for now.

All the best until tomorrow,