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Private Equity’s Positive Efforts to Fight the Coronavirus

The private equity industry and its portfolio companies are proactively supporting communities and employees as the effect of COVID-19 expands and impacts workers and families across the country.


Blackstone Donates $15 Million to Support New York First Responders

Blackstone today announced an anchor $10 million contribution to the New York State COVID-19 First Responders Fund and an additional $5 million in contributions to organizations orchestrating food delivery to healthcare workers and first responders as well as others supporting vulnerable populations in New York City. The New York State COVID-19 First Responders Fund was established by Governor Cuomo to procure and distribute scarce supplies and resources to healthcare institutions that are most in need, providing personal protective equipment, laboratory testing materials, ventilators, hospital beds and other critical supplies. These funds will also support food, transportation and housing assistance for healthcare staff. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder of Blackstone, said: “We are proud to support Governor Cuomo and those on the front lines of this pandemic. We thank them for their tireless efforts on behalf of all New Yorkers.” Learn more

Bain Capital’s Dealmakers Donate $40 Million for Coronavirus Relief

“Bain Capital’s managing directors and other employees have donated $40 million to a relief fund dedicated to supporting local communities and employees in its portfolio companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the private equity firm told its investors in a letter seen by Reuters. The relief fund will focus on supporting first responders and clinical providers, providing economic relief for vulnerable populations, fighting food insecurity and helping children, according to the letter. The money will also support ongoing training and return-to-work programs for employees at Bain Capital’s portfolio companies, according to the letter. The initiative is separate from philanthropic initiatives undertaken by Bain Capital’s portfolio companies.” Read more

Apollo to Donate 200,000 Masks to NYC Hospitals

Via Axios: More PE-backed good news: Apollo Global Management has sourced and will donate 200,000 KN95 masks to New York City hospitals (100k, the first 10k of which were delivered to Elmhurst Hospital on Friday) and to New York State (the other 1ook). – Apollo sourced the masks from China via one of its energy portfolio companies, which first had to release its reserve. Apollo co-founder Josh Harris personally donated to the effort.

KKR and Apollo Form Coronavirus Relief Funds

KKR & Co. and its executives have pledged $50 million to support communities, portfolio company employees and first responders affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while Apollo Global Management Inc. co-founder Leon Black and his family have committed up to $20 million to a new fund to help New York City hospital workers. The pandemic “is wreaking havoc on every country, every industry, every household, and virtually every single person. As such, our response as a firm must be different,” according to a letter sent to investors by KKR founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts and co-Presidents and co-Chief Operating Officers Scott Nuttall and Joseph Bae that was viewed by WSJ Pro Private Equity. KKR’s relief fund will be funded by contributions from KKR’s executives and the firm itself. Also, Messrs. Kravis, Roberts, Nuttall and Bae will forgo their salaries and annual bonuses for 2020, according to the letter. Learn more

Roark Capital Creates Portfolio Employee Assistance Fund

Private Equity firm Roark Capital, which focuses on consumer and business service companies such as Cinnabon, Buffalo Wild Wings, and The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, created the Roark Portfolio Employee Assistance Fund in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted employees at restaurants and other portfolio companies severely. The Assistance Fund has raised $8 million, well above the $5 million target it set at launch, and achieved nearly 100% participation from firm employees. The Assistance Fund money will be provided to Roark companies to seed new funds and to bolster programs already in place. Roark plans to allocate the funds to do the greatest good for the greatest number, addressing the most pressing needs such as paying rent, buying food and covering other essentials. All grants will be tax-free to the recipient, and all administrative fees will be paid by Roark.

Brookfield Asset Management Plans to Spend $5 Billion to Save Retailers Impacted by Coronavirus

“Property and mall owner Brookfield Asset Management is targeting spending $5 billion to help struggling retailers, as the retail industry reels from the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Thursday. The company said its retail revitalization program, backed by Brookfield and its institutional partners, will focus on taking noncontrolling stakes in retailers to assist them with their capital needs during this time of ‘dislocation.’” Learn more

Carlyle: Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Develops Coronavirus Antibody Test

Ortho Clinical Diagnostic announced over the weekend it is bringing an automated blood test for coronavirus to the markets in a matter of weeks. The testing kit detects antibodies for COVID-19 that can be used to detect immune response to the virus.

New Mountain Capital: ILC Dover Responds to PPE Shortage for Healthcare Workers, Expedites Manufacturing of New PAPR Hood

ILC Dover, a world leader in the innovative design and production of engineered products employing high-performance flexible materials, announced today that it expedited the regulatory approval and manufacturing processes of a new Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) hood for healthcare workers attending to patients with COVID-19. Effective today, the new infectious disease hood called Sentinel EZ BioHood™ is available for purchase. Learn more

Blackstone: Cosmopolitan Donates More Than 104,000 Pounds of Food to Local Non-Profits

“The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has lent a helping hand to local nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic, donating much-needed food and beverage products. According to a spokesperson, the independent casino operator has donated more than $250,000 in items to organizations including Three Square, The Just One Project and Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. Ninety-two pallets and 104,000 pounds of food and beverage have been donated since mid-March. Produce and other items were procured from the operator’s restaurants, warehouses and it’s more than 3,000 guest rooms. The Cosmopolitan says it plans to continue helping nonprofits the duration of its temporary closure.” Learn more

Thoma Bravo: Imprivata Supplies Technology to Support Hospitals

Imprivata is supplying critical technology to support hospitals and health care providers across the country while they are combatting COVID-19. In this unprecedented time, Imprivata’s IT solutions allow health care providers to work and see patients remotely and access, communicate and exchange patient information in a secure way. Additionally, Imprivata is helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 by providing hospitals with cutting-edge exposure tracing tools. Here are some of the ways Imprivata is supporting health care providers during this time: Work-From-Home Security – An increasing number of health care professionals are working remotely and relying on Imprivata to provide secure remote network access so they can continue to do their jobs. To help hospital customers manage this new environment, Imprivata is licensing its enterprise multifactor authentication solution for remote access free of charge. Virtual Visits – In an effort to isolate COVID-19 infections, hospitals are implementing rigid visitation policies that prevent family members and friends from physically seeing their loved ones who are being treated. The result is long periods of isolation for patients. Imprivata is helping hospitals virtually connect patients with their families by offering its GroundControl lifecycle management platform free of charge. The solution allows patients to communicate privately while ensuring that a patient’s sensitive data is removed from the device before it is used again. Telehealth – To help flatten the curve, hospitals are limiting provider contact with COVID-19 patients. Imprivata is helping hospitals use iPads to conduct on-site telehealth sessions and manage interactions with isolated patients, while keeping up with new patient inflows. As a result, hospitals are able to save on clinician time and safety limit personal protective equipment use to only the most essential interactions. Exposure Tracing – With many hospitals operating over capacity, doctors and nurses need to know who may have had exposure to a patient with COVID-19. Hospitals like Yale New Haven Health are using Imprivata’s location analytics software to identify where and when providers accessed workstations in different patient care zones. This allows hospitals to accurately track and identify providers who may have been exposed to the virus and take necessary action. Learn more

Advent International: Simmons Serta Mattresses Donates 10,000 Beds to NYC Hospitals

Advent International’s portfolio company Simmons Serta Bedding has contributed 10,000 mattresses to New York hospitals and temporary health facilities.

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Thoma Bravo Donates $2 Million to Support the Distribution of Free Meals and Continuity of Learning

Spark* SF Public Schools, a non-profit dedicated to building private partnerships in support of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), has received more than $4.2 million in the past two weeks to support San Francisco’s most vulnerable children and youth during temporary school closures. Bay Area private equity firm Thoma Bravo has provided the largest single gift of $2 million. “We are well on our way toward making sure our highest need children have access to free meals and continued learning during this crisis because of the generosity of donors like Thoma Bravo, the Someland Foundation and so many others,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “We know the effects of this crisis will be felt for a long time and we are committed to doing whatever we can to support and educate San Francisco’s children and youth. We are truly grateful to everyone who stepped up so quickly to support our students in the beginning of this crisis and hope others will come forward to support in the coming weeks.” More than 670 donors have contributed to support the distribution of free meals and continuity of learning. The largest single gift, a $2 million donation, was announced today by Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the Bay Area. Locally-based Managing Partners Seth Boro, Orlando Bravo, Scott Crabill and Holden Spaht have directed the gift to fund meal distribution to local San Francisco children and their families during school closures. In keeping with the firm’s focus on software and technology, the gift will also support the purchase of WiFi hotspots and other devices to provide equal access to online learning for SFUSD students. Learn more

Carlyle: Novolex Donates Supplies, Produces PPE

– Novolex donated 49,000 pounds of rolled PET sheet from our Chattanooga, TN, Brampton, Canada, and Wicklow, Ireland factories – enough plastic to cut out 400,000 shields (each approximately 9”x9”). Collaborators around the country are receiving the rolled sheets, stamping out the visors and affixing them to head gear produced locally with the use of 3-D printing. The project launched in New York where Novolex collaborated with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Decisive Point, an advisory focused on defense and national security, Consortium and Adafruit. – De Luxe, a Novolex business in Canada that manufactures specialty food packaging, donated almost 4,000 N95 masks to the Sainte-Justine children’s hospital in Montreal. These masks were purchased a few years ago, in response to the SARS pandemic. With a shortage of PPE (Personal protective Equipment) in hospitals due to COVID-19, the decision was quickly made to donate the masks to the local children’s hospital. – The Novolex plastic bag manufacturing plant in Milesburg, PA donated 144,000 plastic bags to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to deliver food to the community. [photo: PA Donation] “This wonderful donation of 100,000 plastic bags, provided by Novolex, will allow our partners in northcentral Pennsylvania to more efficiently distribute food to our neighbors in need,” said Travis Berg, General Manager of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Williamsport Healthy Food Hub. Milesburg is located in north central Pennsylvania, near the communities served by the Food Bank. – Novolex operations in northern Kentucky donated more than 150,000 paper bags to help the Covington Kentucky public school district distribute two meals each day to approximately 5,000 children. Novolex operates two of its largest paper bag packaging manufacturing facilities and a warehouse in the vicinity of Covington which is also host to one of the Novolex corporate administration offices. – Four Novolex facilities in North America are in the process of producing two forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals, first responders and other frontline works such as grocery/retail store staff: face shield units and their individual components and isolation gowns whose designs are approved by each hospital system. – The visor components of the Novolex face shields are cut from the same PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic sheets used to make clear cake containers. The head gear is crafted from machines using injection molding technology that normally is used to produce plastic plates and cutlery typically used for picnics, weddings and other events. Commercialization of face shield components is expected to begin the week of April 13, 2020. – With less than three weeks’ planning and preparation, Novolex is making about 500,000 gowns a month in Yakima alone using machines which typically produce bags for food, birdseed and ice melt bags. Production of gowns began the week of April 13, 2020. – Developing custom products such face shield components and gowns – from concept and design to creating injection molds and product testing and launch – at this scale typically takes upwards of six to eight months for engineers, but the Novolex teams developed these products in less than three weeks for multiple customers.

Riverside: Bentley Laboratories Produces Hand Sanitizer

Bentley Laboratories, a cosmetics company, will make its first batch of hand sanitizer this week. Next week, ~600 units will be provided to the companies’ 97 employees that have come to work each day, so they can take home “a 6-pack” for their families. The company will also fill 9,000 units of hand sanitizer next week for local first responders and health care workers.

Blackstone: SERVPRO Provides Meals to U.S. Army

Genstar Capital: Infinite Electronics Produces & Donates 3D-Printed Reusable Face Shields for Healthcare Workers Battling COVID-19

Infinite Electronics, Inc., a leading global supplier of electronic components, is using its 3-D printing capabilities to produce reusable medical face shields in an effort to aid healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Infinite Electronics has begun manufacturing general-use medical face shields that can protect the entire face area of medical workers currently experiencing a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE). The company is utilizing its 3-D printer to make the protective gear and has just completed its first lot of face shields. “The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the entire world right now, so we began to think of ways that we could help using technology we already have. With these reusable plastic face shields, we are able to help protect those who are most at risk on the frontlines battling this illness. We are happy to be able to contribute to easing the shortage of PPE supplies to healthcare workers. We are donating the face shields to as many healthcare resources as possible,” explained Penny Cotner, President & CEO of Infinite Electronics. Infinite Electronics has already shipped their first order of face shields and has received more orders to fulfill. These face shields can be used by any healthcare provider at risk of coming into contact with sick and at-risk patients in any medical environment. Budmen Industries is responsible for the design of this 3-D printed face shield and graciously shared the design files with Infinite Electronics.

Riverside: Marena Shifts Majority of Production to Reusable Medical Masks Amid COVID-19 Crisis

For Marena, an Atlanta-area manufacturer of medical-grade post-surgical compression garments primarily for patients recovering from elective surgical procedures, the slowdown has prompted a major operational pivot. Starting this week, the company is repurposing the majority of its production capacity to address shortages of surgical face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve essentially shifted our entire company to a new product line overnight,” said Dale Clendon, president and CEO, Marena. “We saw an opportunity to help address the significant shortages of surgical masks and other front-line medical supplies, and we moved quickly.” Learn more

Carlyle: Commscope Donates $900,000 Worth of Wireless Routers for First Responders

Commscope is working with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), a non-profit that provides communication needs to first responders and communities affected by natural disasters across the US. They have donated $900k worth of wireless routers and access points to support first responders and field hospitals. Learn more

Thoma Bravo: Instructure Provides Resources for Students and Eductators

At Instructure, tens of millions of students and educators use the company’s open course platform, Canvas, and during COVID-19, they’ve seen an 85% increase in active online users. Throughout this period, Instructure has worked to ease the transition to a remote environment by facilitating online learning and providing a range of resources to students and educators alike. – Resource Center: A variety of resources including blog posts, tips and guides have been made available free of charge to give students and teachers the tools they need to continue to connect, teach and learn from anywhere. These include a quick start checklist for teachers transitioning to online classrooms, an EdTech guide for schools, and tips for utilizing Instructure services during school closures. – Video Tutorials: Parents now have access to video tutorials that aim to broaden understanding of Instructure’s suite of tools as parents take a more hands-on approach to learning at home. This includes “Parent Pointers,” a video guide on Instructure’s Canvas service, taught by a parent and expert. All live-stream sessions have been made available for replay, allowing parents to use and implement the resources at their own pace. – Free-for-Teacher: Canvas continues to offer Free-for-Teacher accounts allowing anyone to teach online for free. These Free-for-Teacher accounts provide a variety of tools to educators, including all course-level features, such as announcements, assignments, discussions and more. – Thanking Educators: Now more than ever, it is vital to recognize and appreciate the hard work being done by educators to support students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why Instructure has worked to develop a video, viewable here, thanking teachers and educators for all they do. Learn more

Carlyle: Claritas Assists With Proactive COVID-19 Planning

Claritas LLC, a market research company backed by Carlyle Group Inc., stepped in after seeing a Twitter request from the White House, asking data companies to assist in the Covid-19 crisis, according to the company’s chief executive Michael Nazzaro. The company ended up working with the Covid-19 Policy Alliance, a group that generates data intelligence for government entities and organizations. Claritas donated current 2020 demographic and aggregate business counts for health-care facilities and senior living facilities for counties, ZIP Codes and neighborhoods to aid with proactive Covid-19 planning and to help load-balancing for intensive care units in hospitals. “Our strategy is to help the most vulnerable in our society and to help our clients navigate the crisis,” Mr. Nazzaro. Learn more

New Mountain Capital: Signify Health Answers the Call

Signify Health – backed by New Mountain Capital – is the nation’s largest housecall provider, serving more than one million health plan members annually and providing a variety of technology-based health care services. Chief Operating Officer David Pierre was invited to the White House this past Friday, where he spoke about Signify Health’s innovative approach to home care and committed to administer COVID-19 tests to some of our country’s most vulnerable patients in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Read more

Sagard Holdings: Bauer Hockey Makes Face Shields

When the Coronavirus created a shortage of medical face shields, Bauer Hockey rose to the moment, shifting its production to protect medical workers.

Blackstone Partners with NFL

Blackstone has partnered with the NFL to provide free lunch to healthcare workers at NYU Langone as they continue their essential work fighting COVID-19.

Blackstone: Crocs Provides Free Shoes to Healthcare Workers

Crocs – formerly a Blackstone portfolio company – is providing shoes to health care workers.

Carlyle: OneMedical Provides Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing

One Medical is providing drive up COVID-19 testing in a number of their geographies. They also provide a national virtual care service, which enables people to get COVID-19 screening & counseling remotely. They have a number of noteworthy programs including: – One Medical offers virtual care & testing services to COVID-19 front-line responders & essential workers One Medical’s role in testing for COVID-19 One Medical’s blog also has a host of resources that give people information about how to stay healthy during COVID-19.

Blackstone: Great Wolf Lodge Donates Food to Food Banks & Charities

Blackstone portfolio company Great Wolf Lodge donated more than 15,000 pounds of food to food banks and charities.

TPG Growth-backed GoHealth Urgent Care

GoHealth, a network of ~150 urgent care centers across 10 states, has been on the front line to help stem the spread of COVID-19 by testing earlier and faster and providing much needed relief to the hospitals and emergency departments facing overcrowding in COVID hot-spots around the country. They provided testing infrastructure for New York State’s mobile COVID-19 testing site in New Rochelle, became the first to conduct in-vehicle testing in North Carolina, and have rolled out a robust virtual visit service across their platform. After Abbott received emergency approval for the fastest available molecular point-of-care COVID test, GoHealth received a meaningful allocation of Abbott’s 50k test per week production. They took delivery on March 30th and rolled out their first test the following evening in a center in California. GoHealth was the first on the West Coast to make the new tests available, and are actively working to bring it to other markets. They have now been conducting rapid testing for 1 full week.

Private-Equity Firms Act To Save Portfolio Companies From Coronavirus Troubles

Private-equity firms are taking steps to help their portfolio companies survive the coronavirus onslaught of forced closures, scattered workforces and upended markets. From providing millions of dollars in emergency aid to more mundane things like phone calls designed to boost managers’ morale, professionals in buyout shops around the U.S. are trying to ensure the new coronavirus doesn’t bring down their investments. Platinum Equity is “working assertively to keep them all in business,” a person familiar with the matter said, referring to the firm’s portfolio companies. At buyout shop Apollo Global Management Inc., professionals are holding conference calls every other day with portfolio company managers and have created an information-sharing portal online that can serve as a resource to them all, said a person familiar with the situation. Read more

TPG: EVERFI Makes Learning Software Available to Students for Free

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, EVERFI, a TPG Rise Fund-backed SaaS company that combats social ills, immediately went to work to find a way to make its products available to those in need. The company partnered with the NFL and United Way to bring their courses – Character Playbook and Mental Wellness Basics – to students across the US and Canada. The company quickly adapted its “Summer Slugger” baseball-themed and gamified education partnership with the MLB to make math and literacy skills programs accessible for free to students learning from home during the COVID-19 crisis. On April 1st, at the start of Financial Literacy Month, EVERFI launched a new financial education website with vital content around planning and savings to guide consumers through the anticipated personal financial distress and economic impact that is likely to affect millions of Americans during the pandemic. In recognition of EVERFI’s work in advancing education through technology, the company was also recently recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020.

Madison Dearborn Partners: Lightspeed Systems Provides Free Classroom Management

Lightspeed Systems, a leading educational technology provider, will offer its market-leading classroom management and web filtering solutions free through the end of the school year to schools impacted by the Coronavirus.

Thoma Bravo: Ellie Mae Debuts New Digital Tools for Homeowners

Ellie Mae – a Thoma Bravo portfolio company – developed software tools to enable homeowners and lenders to exchange information and data without contact.

Cengage: Providing Free Digital Textbooks

KKR’s port-co Cengage, an education and technology company, is offering free access to its digital learning materials and platforms, as well as other resources, for those impacted by COVID-19. Learn more

Madison Dearborn Partners: Intermedia Offers Free Video Conferencing

Private equity is here to help with social distancing and telework. Intermedia is offering free video conferencing through the end of the year to new customers. Learn more

Thoma Bravo-backed Frontline Education: Free Software Tools

Frontline Education is offering school districts throughout the country the free software tool the company has developed to track COVID-19 related absences. This tool will help school districts report absences more accurately to state authorities. This software has been made available not only to Frontline customers who typically purchase this type of software from Frontline, but also to other school districts that wish to use it. Together, these represent the vast majority of school districts across the U.S.

Thoma Bravo-backed Qlik: Providing Hospital Bed Analytics

Qlik, a leading end-to-end data management and analytics platform, is partnering with the European CDC and entities all over the world to provide analytics on hospital bed capacity to local governments so they can actively manage resources and make decisions about where to send new patients. Qlik has also developed a mapping app for hospitals that is being used by first responders to determine the quickest route to a hospital.

Seth Janco: Printing FDA Labels

Seth Janco, a NJ private company label manufacturer, is printing the 10,000 FDA compliant labels for products, putting these orders to the front of the queue.

Carlyle: HireVue Interviewing Solutions

Carlyle’s HireVue, which provides video interviewing solutions, is offering three months free access to the platform to fellow portfolio companies to ensure they will be able to continue to interview and hire through the crisis if necessary. This is especially important for technology and business services companies that do either undergraduate or MBA recruiting and are unable to conduct spring interviews on campuses.

Thoma Bravo-backed Imprivata: Serving Patients and Healthcare Providers

Imprivata, a leading provider of authentication, identity and access solutions for healthcare organizations globally, is providing several important services for patients and healthcare providers during this crisis: – Imprivata’s secure messaging platform is being used by quarantined patients to communicate with their families. – Imprivata is providing its secure remote access technology, which allows physicians and nurses to provide care to patients from areas outside the hospital, free of charge through July for new healthcare teleworkers. – Yale New Haven Health is using Imprivata’s location analytics to understand which employees in the hospital may have been unintentionally exposed to patients with the COVID-19 virus – “Imprivata is one of few vendors that is actually stepping up in our time of need. You are a true partner!” – Sunny Bang, Dir. of Integrated Apps, UCSF – “Imprivata has been great about working with customers to use their technology to manage through the COVID-19 epidemic” – Glynn Stanton, CISO, Yale New Haven Health

Roark Capital: McAlister’s Deli Provides Free Lunch for Kids

“The owners of a local restaurant are taking extra steps to support who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic int he Metro East. Management at McAlister’s Deli announced the restaurant chain will be providing free lunch for kids from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The decision comes after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced all schools in Illinois will close effective Tuesday, March 17.” Read more

Apollo: United Airlines Secures Loan from Private Equity

Apollo Global Management Inc. has bought a chunk of a loan arranged by a group of banks that will help United Airlines Holdings Inc. boost liquidity as the fast-spreading coronavirus wreaks havoc across the travel industry, according to people familiar with the matter. The $2 billion one-year loan, which closed last week, is among those that banks have been asked to arrange to help companies in industries from cruise lines to casinos cope with travel and business disruptions that could last for months as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. American Airlines Group Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp. and SouthWest Airlines Co. recently entered into similar facilities. Read more