EN United States Institutional

Barings Finances Acquisitions of Reward Gateway and XEXEC by Abry-Castik

Aug 31, 2021

Barings, one of the world’s leading investment management firms, is delighted to announce it has today provided senior secured financing to support private equity firms Abry Partners and Castik Capital in their joint bid to acquire Reward Gateway from Great Hill Partners, announced on 4 May 2021, and to acquire a majority stake in Xexec, announced on 6 May 2021.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Barings has been an established lender to Reward Gateway since 2018. During this period, Reward Gateway achieved exceptional company growth and currently supports more than 2,000 global customers in 23 countries with over five million employees globally.  Xexec has similarly proven to be a fast-growing and dynamic company, having doubled its customer base in the past three years. Abry and Castik will support Reward Gateway and Xexec in accelerating their growth strategy through the leveraging of their global expertise in HR software and network in the technology sector.

Max McEwen, Managing Director in Barings’ Global Private Finance Group said:
“We remain focused on investing in the highest quality businesses backed by top-tier financial sponsors and are delighted to continue to support Reward Gateway in “Season 4” alongside Abry and Castik as well as embark on a new journey with Xexec.”

Doug Butler, CEO of Reward Gateway said: 
“We have been grateful for Barings’ support and guidance, and are excited to continue working with them alongside our new partners to execute our vision for product innovation and growth.”

Brian St. Jean, Partner at Abry Partners said:
"Reward Gateway’s reputation as a leader and innovator in the employee engagement technology industry is well-earned, as evidenced by its world class NPS score of 72 and the clear demand for the solutions it brings to market. As for Xexec, we were impressed by what the founders and their team have built over the years given its strong entrepreneurial spirit, its impressive customer client base in particular within professional services, and the attractive growth opportunity in the US market. We appreciate Barings’ support and flexible capital base which has proven transformational for countless portfolio investments.”

Michael Phillips, Partner at Castik Capital said: 
“As the world begins to return to a new normal, employee engagement will only become more important. Companies must navigate the complexities of in-person, remote and hybrid workforces, which will create an entire new set of challenges for HR professionals that both Reward Gateway and Xexec are well positioned to help solve. Castik Capital looks forward to working with Barings who has a global approach and reach complementary to both Reward Gateway and Castik Capital.”

Reward Gateway is a global technology and employee engagement company. Its leading SaaS employee engagement platform centralises employee reward and recognition, discounts, communications, surveys, wellbeing, and flexible benefits, supporting companies with today’s most difficult people challenges. Xexec is an employee engagement provider. Its scalable cloud-based platform offers a wide range of employee discounts and reward and recognition solutions, complemented by an in-house tickets and travel concierge. 

About Barings

Barings is $382+ billion* global investment manager sourcing differentiated opportunities and building long-term portfolios across public and private fixed income, real estate, and specialist equity markets. With investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the firm, a subsidiary of MassMutual, aims to serve its clients, communities and employees, and is committed to sustainable practices and responsible investment.
*Assets under management as of June 30, 2021

About Abry Partners and Castik Capital

Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since its founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $90 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5 billion of capital across its active funds. For further information visit www.abry.com

Castik is a European multi-strategy investment manager founded in 2014. Castik acquires significant ownership positions in European private and public companies, where long-term value can be generated through active partnerships with management teams. Investments are made by the Luxembourg-based fund, EPIC II, the second fund managed by Castik, which had its final fund close of €1.25bn in October 2020. For further information visit www.castik.com

Abry-Castik have previously joined forces to acquire Swedish IOT and secure connectivity firm AddSecure.

Media Contact

Cheryl Krauss
300 South Tryon Street 
Charlotte, NC 28202 


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