Advent, others buy SkillSoft for $1B

The private equity industry saw a billion-dollar deal close during the past week, one of 10 LBO deals that Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week) tracked from May 26 to June 1.

Six of the transactions disclosed financial terms and the aggregate was slightly more than $2 billion. The latest deal activity pushed the year-to-date deal volume to $14.6 billion.

Advent International Corp., Bain Capital and Berkshire Partners worked together to complete the period’s largest deals. The parties formed a special purpose vehicle, called SSI Investments III Ltd., to acquire SkillSoft PLC. The deal for the Dublin, Ireland-based company that develops e-learning software has a rank value of nearly $1.1 billion.

One of the other deals of the past week involved Oak Hill Capital Partners. The Stamford, Conn.-based shop purchased Hillman Cos. Inc. from Code Hennessy & Simmons and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Oak Hill completed the $815 million purchase of the maker of nuts, bolts and other hardware products with the help of Hillman’s own management.

Fund-raising activity

On the fund-raising front, buyout and mezzanine shops have secured about $23.2 billion in total capital commitments so far this year. The latest tally includes Tregaron Capital Co., which raised about $48 million for Tregaron Opportunity Fund I. Tregaron makes mezzanine debt and equity investments in companies with EBITDA of $1 million to $5 million. —Eamon Beltran