Burgeoning Altas Partners inks third private equity deal


Toronto, August 17, 2015 — Tim Kiladze , The Globe & Mail

Adhering to its game plan, which calls for one or two new deals a year, Altas Partners has secured its third private equity investment.

Founded by Andrew Sheiner, who spent 17 years at Onex, the Toronto-based firm was set up in 2012 as a longer-term private equity player looking to write equity cheques of between $100-million and $500-million a transaction.

Instead of sticking to the traditional private equity script, which calls for portfolio companies to be sold within five to seven years, Altas is happy to be a strategic partner and invest for longer. The hope is that this differentiation will set the firm apart.

Altas is also taking its time with deals. Instead of piling into new investments, Mr. Sheiner has stressed patience and would rather tack on one or two annually.

The latest deal, announced Monday, is for Capital Vision Services, a Virginia-based company that provides management services to MyEyeDr. CVS, as it is known, offers back office functions, such as finance, human resources and accounting services to a patchwork of independent optometrists.

The deal follows Altas’s recent investments in NSC Minerals, which provides salt for road de-icing and agricultural applications, and in St. George’s University in Grenada, which offers medical degrees that are applicable in the United States.

Although Altas is still in its infancy, its management team is well-connected, with work history at places such as Onex and Providence Equity Partners, and has relationships with established private equity players. These connections are paying off, helping Altas bring in big players to co-invest in its deals.

The latest, for CVS, is being inked alongside the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Last year Altas teamed up with OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust), the pension plan for Ontario public sector employees, for its investment in St. George’s.