Wasserstein & Co shops for up to three platform deals

  • Former merchant banking unit of Wasserstein Perella busy on deal front
  • Pays undisclosed sum for 100-employee company
  • Firm raised $400 million for Wasserstein Partners III 

The acquisition of Paris Presents in a secondary purchase from Milwaukee-based seller Mason Wells tapped capital from Wasserstein Partners III, which closed in 2014 with more than $400 million in commitments and 35 new LPs, according to a source. 

Wasserstein & Co has already inked six deals from Fund III, including Tantor Media Inc, an audio book publisher acquired by its platform company Recorded Books Inc

Other recent transactions include two add-ons for ALM, owner of Law.com and the American LawyerSummit Professional Networks, which publishes Investment Advisor; and Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory, a specialist in market analysis for the management consulting and information technology consulting industries. Wasserstein made its initial investment in ALM Media in July 2014.

Two LPs to co-invest in Paris Presents

Ontario Pension Board and Northwestern Mutual agreed to co-invest in Paris Presents Inc. The two LPs are also investors in Wasserstein Partners III, according to a source. Paris Presents makes Real Techniques, Eco Tools and Body Benefits products, which are sold throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 international markets. BNP Paribas provided financing for the deal, while Jones Day served as legal advisor to Wasserstein & Co.

”We are excited to partner with management to accelerate the company’s impressive domestic and international growth,” George Majoros, co-managing partner of Wasserstein & Co, said in a prepared statement. Wasserstein & Co executives could not be reached for comment.

Mason Wells announced its purchase of Paris Presents in 2011, when it acquired the equity in the company owned by the Zall family, according to a press release.

On the exit side, Wasserstein said Jan. 2 it would sell High Pressure Equipment Company to Graco Inc for $160 million. In September, it agreed to sell gift basket seller Harry & David Holdings Inc to 1-800-FLOWERS for $142.5 million in cash.

Also in September, WhiteWave Foods Co said it would pay $195 milllion in cash for So Delicious Dairy Free, a maker of plant-based beverages and a portfolio company of Wasserstein.

(This story has been updated to include a Jan. 6 acquisition of Tantor Media by Recorded Books Inc, a platform company of Wasserstein & Co LP.)