Investcorp acquires placement firm Mercury

The transaction is part of the Bahrain-listed firm’s expansion and global growth plan to boost its AUM to $50bn.

Investcorp has acquired global advisory placement firm Mercury Capital Advisors.

Mercury will become a wholly independent subsidiary of Investcorp following the acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Four representatives from Investcorp will join Mercury’s board of directors post-acquisition, with Mercury’s management team continuing to run the business.

“While our board of directors will be different, we will continue to make decisions in our operating committee about which funds to take on. It will be no different that it has been,” Alan Pardee, managing partner and co-founder of Mercury told Private Equity International.

Pardee added that the transaction has been in the pipeline for some time and that the firms will become “strong partners in private equity, real estate and credit”.

Investcorp has been actively building its private equity portfolio in the last two years. The firm made its first deals in China and India early this year with the acquisition of the private equity and real estate units of IDFC Alternatives, as well as a $250 million commitment to China Everbright’s artificial intelligence and smart retail-focused fund. The Bahrain-listed firm’s expansion strategy includes a near-term target of $50 billion in assets under management.

A week ago Investcorp’s Strategic Capital Group entered into a partnership with Dock Square Capital, an advisory and merchant banking firm founded by former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The firm set up SCG last year to partner with and acquire minority equity stakes in mid-sized alternative asset managers, including private equity, private debt, real estate, venture capital and hedge fund managers.

Investcorp had $22.5 billion in total AUM as at 31 December 2018, according to a statement. Since its inception in 1982, the firm has made over 185 private equity deals in the US, Europe, Middle East and North Africa and Asia across a range of sectors.

Mercury was founded in 2009 and has closed over $170 billion in fund commitments since 2003, when the Mercury team was at Merrill Lynch. The firm provides advisory services on direct deals and co-investments, joint ventures and secondary transactions, as well as consulting services for general partners. The firm has raised capital for Bain Capital, Hong Kong-based Ally Bridge Group, and secondaries firm Coller Capital, among others.