Private equity

Bridge Growth targets technology, financial services sectors
By Armie Margaret Lee
Updated 04:00 PM, Dec-30-2014 ET

Bridge Growth Partners LLC completed its first deal on Dec. 19, said Alok Singh, co-founder and managing principal of the New York-based private equity firm in an interview.

In a transaction announced in November, Bridge Growth acquired government contractor CRGT Inc. from Veritas Capital, which retains a minority stake. The deal gave CRGT a valuation of $225 million.

Bridge Growth, which targets technology and financial services firms, was founded in the late summer of 2013 by Singh, Sander Levy and Kevin Parker.

"We're very much focused on growing businesses and bridging our private equity investment experience with the technology and financial technology backgrounds of our partners," Singh said.

Singh was previously a managing director at New Mountain Capital, where he worked on deals such as the acquisition of insurance broker AmWins Group Inc. from Parthenon Capital Partners and the purchase of supply chain software developer RedPrairie Holding Inc. from Francisco Partners.

He also worked on the purchase of enterprise software company Deltek Systems Inc., which New Mountain bought in 2005 for $180 million and took public in 2007. New Mountain exited its stake when Thoma Bravo LLC acquired Deltek in a $1.1 billion transaction in 2012.

Parker, a former co-president at PeopleSoft Inc., joined Deltek as CEO in 2005 after its acquisition by New Mountain. He led the company until December 2012, a few months after Thoma Bravo completed its purchase of Deltek. Parker is chairman of Polycom Inc. (PLCM) and a director at Cvent Inc. (CVT).

Levy was a managing director at Vestar Capital Partners, where he was responsible for the financial services practice. He and Singh served as directors at Validus Holdings Inc., a Bermuda-based reinsurer whose sponsoring investors included Vestar Capital and New Mountain. Levy is a director of Symetra Financial Corp. (SYA).

"We have a deep focus on our sectors," Singh said, adding that his firm has a "strong network of relationships within these sectors."

Bridge Growth has assembled an advisory board that includes EMC Corp. (EMC) chairman and CEO Joseph Tucci, Duff & Phelps Corp. chairman and CEO Noah Gottdiener and former secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge. Jessica Bibliowicz, former CEO of National Financial Partners, serves as senior adviser.

As of July, Bridge Growth has raised $250 million, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Wall Street Journal reported in November that fundraising efforts were ongoing and Bridge Growth was aiming for about $1 billion. Singh declined to comment on the firm's fundraising goals.

Singh said his firm targets mostly U.S. -based companies that Bridge Growth can take to the next level. "We're not looking for businesses that need to be turned around," he said.

Bridge Growth learned about the opportunity to acquire CRGT through a contact at Veritas Capital, Singh said.

Reston, Va.- based CRGT is a provider of software development and data analytics to federal government agencies. The company is no stranger to the Bridge Growth team — CRGT is among the firms using Deltek's software.

Plans for growing CRGT organically include initiatives involving agencies on the civilian side of the federal government, said Singh. As for acquisitions, he said there is a "substantial number of interesting strategic opportunities."

The firm plans also to continue adding professionals and growing its investor base, Singh said.