Waystone exit completes delivering 11x return

MML completes the exit of one of its largest and most successful ever investments, Waystone, a global leader in fund governance and compliance services.

The transaction, previously reported at a value of $1.3 billion, returns 100% of the committed capital in MML Fund VI in a single deal, whilst also creating a significant shareholder equity pool for management that sees over 50 of management share materially in the success and roll into the next deal as co-investors.

MML invested into the company in 2019, alongside founder Don Seymour and CEO Derek Delaney, with the plan to create the clear global leader in fund Governance, Risk & Compliance Services (GRCS).

During the partnership the business delivered

  • 6x EBITDA growth
  • 40% organic CAGR
  • nine acquisitions
  • expansion into seven new geographies

The successful exit of Waystone for MML comes hot on the heels of two fund raises which completed during 2021, with demand requiring breaking hard-cap. Over the last 12 months, MML has made seven platform investments, 22 acquisitions for the portfolio and four exits.   

Richard Mayers, Partner at MML Capital, said:

“The completion of our partnership investment in Waystone is a significant milestone for MML and our investors, and caps off a fantastic year for the MML team. The Waystone transaction is a blueprint for MML’s partnership investment philosophy. It has been a fantastic journey working with Derek and his team to deliver such rapid transformational growth and we feel proud to have been integral to the creation of a billion-dollar “Unicorn” company. We wish the team the best of luck in the next phase of Waystone’s development and would also like to particularly thank Chris Fowler and the team at CVC Credit Partners for their unwavering support of the business.”

Derek Delaney, Global CEO at Waystone, said:

“It has been a delight to work with the MML team, who have been instrumental in creating the business we see today. In particular, their support in facilitating acquisitions, helping build out the senior management team to drive our strong growth, and their commitment to investing in our centres of excellence, has been pivotal to Waystone’s success. This latest investment from Montagu Private Equity validates the success of our partnership with MML, which we look forward to continuing to build on with our new partners.”

MML invested in Waystone (formerly DMS) in August 2019, recognising the market opportunity to build the first truly institutional global governance and third-party management company with a unique portfolio of services and talent. During our investment period, Waystone expanded its global footprint, enhanced its leadership team, and delivered significant organic growth, reporting 6x EBITDA growth.

Waystone selected MML as the right partner to accelerate its international expansion plans given MML’s global footprint and its partnership style of investing. Since then, MML has helped the business effect two transformational mergers and seven smaller strategic acquisitions across Luxembourg, Ireland, the UK, Switzerland, the Middle East and Asia. This M&A activity, alongside organic growth of 40%, new product launches, technology development and robust integration, has helped the business become the standout institutional global provider of fund GRCS.

The MML deal team consisted of Richard Mayers, Robert Devonshire, Amar Shanghavi and Bal Johal.

MML and the shareholders were advised by Baird (John Sun), Squire Patton Boggs (Julian Ciecierski-Burns), Grant Thornton (Dara Kelly), Oliver Wyman (Sean Farrar), Lockton (Calvin Barnes) and EY (Ari Constantinou).

Management was advised by Liberty (Tim Thomas) and Matheson (Padraic Roche).

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