Capital LLC (“Lightyear”), a New York-based private equity firm
focused on financial services investing, announced today that investment
funds affiliated with Lightyear have agreed to terms for the acquisition
PEO (“Engage”), a professional employer organization providing HR
outsourcing solutions to small and mid-sized businesses across the U.S.
The company will continue to operate as Engage PEO, and the current
management team will remain part of the ownership structure and in place
with no operational changes impacting clients and brokers. The
transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, and
financial terms were not disclosed.
“The PEO industry represents an attractive growth sector for Lightyear,
one that we have been tracking for years,” said Mark Vassallo, Managing
Partner of Lightyear. “Engage focuses on delivering the highest levels
of quality service to its growing client base. We look forward to
working with Jay and his management team to add to an already successful
effort to grow their portfolio of clients and services.”
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Engage PEO was founded in 2011 by CEO
Jay Starkman. Built on its “expect more” philosophy, Engage’s human
resource delivery team is unique in the PEO industry, combining the
people skills of HR professionals with the technical and strategic savvy
of legal professionals. Engage also embraces brokers and agents creating
a partnership that translates to added value for their mutual clients.
This innovative business model fueled the company’s expansion, resulting
in Engage being named one of the fastest-growing private companies on Inc.
Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list for the past three years.
“Engage is driven to deliver the best PEO experience to clients while
simultaneously growing our company, and Lightyear gives us the
opportunity to do both better and faster,” said Jay Starkman, CEO of
Engage PEO. “A key factor in our decision was Lightyear’s track record
of working with management teams to create stronger companies and add
value to all stakeholders.”
Piper Jaffray & Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Jones
Day is acting as legal counsel to Engage.
About Engage PEO
Engage PEO delivers comprehensive HR
solutions to small and mid-sized businesses nationwide, sharpening their
competitive advantage. Comprised of the industry’s most respected
veteran professional employer organization executives, certified HR
professionals and attorneys, Engage PEO provides hands-on, expert HR
services and counsel to help clients minimize cost and maximize
efficiency for stronger business performance. The company’s superior
service offering includes a full range of health and workers’
compensation insurance products, payroll technology and tax
administration, risk management services and advanced technology as part
of an extensive suite of HR services. Engage PEO was recently awarded
the designation of Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO)
by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), ensuring greater benefits for
small and mid-sized businesses such as tax advantages and financial
protections. Engage PEO is also accredited by the Employer Services
Assurance Corporation. For more information on Engage PEO visit www.engagepeo.com.
About Lightyear Capital LLC
Founded in 2000, Lightyear is a
financial services-focused private equity firm based in New York.
Through its affiliated private equity funds, Lightyear makes primarily
control investments in North America-based, middle-market companies
across the financial services spectrum, including financial technology,
asset and wealth management, healthcare financial services, insurance
and insurance services, payments and processing, and specialty finance.
Lightyear brings focus and discipline to its investment process, as well
as operating, transaction and strategic management experience, along
with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. For more
information, please visit www.lycap.com.