Owings Mills-based investment firm Greenspring Associates acquired by StepStone in $725M deal - Technical.ly Baltimore

Growth

Owings Mills-based investment firm Greenspring Associates acquired by StepStone in $725M deal

The deal means a prominent name in the Baltimore landscape of firms that back high-growth companies will become part of a publicly-traded company. Greenspring's entire team will join StepStone.

Making investments.

Mike Cohen

Typically, investment firms stay in the background when it comes to acquisition deals. But Wednesday brought M&A news that centered one of Baltimore’s prominent names in venture capital and growth funding: Owings Mills-based Greenspring Associates has an agreement in place to be acquired by New York-based investment firm StepStone Group Inc., the companies said on Wednesday.

The deal is worth $725 million: $185M in cash and $540 million in stock and partnership units, the companies said. With the acquisition, Greenspring joins a publicly-traded company.

“StepStone is thrilled to add Greenspring, a company and talented management team we have long admired, to our private markets platform,” said StepStone Co-CEO Scott Hart, in a statement. “Joining forces with Greenspring allows StepStone to scale our venture capital and growth equity capabilities, further broadening the menu of private equity solutions as we seek to build the highest quality portfolios for our clients.”

In a conference call to discuss the deal, Hart said the firms have long been familiar with each other, and think they will be “complementary” in joining together.

The combined company will have more than 70 investment pros in venture capital and growth equity, and a total private equity team of 130 people. It will also have 20 offices. In addition to Owings Mills, Greenspring also has offices in London, Palo Alto, California, Beijing and Miami.

Managing general partners Ashton Newhall and Jim Lim will be joining StepStone, along with the rest of the team.

“The full Greenspring team will be joining us and there will be no disruption to the limited partners or investment engine that has been so successful at Greenspring,” Hart said on the call.

Founded in 2000, Greenspring has over $17 billion in assets under management, and makes investments both directly into companies and funds managed by others. It’s a recognizable name among the local VC community whose investments frequently add a Maryland tie to notable deals across the wider landscape of high-growth companies. It has also made a splash by backing Maryland companies, like in 2019 when it led a $50 million round for Rockville-based on-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry (which went public last week).

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“As private markets have matured and companies remain private longer, venture capital and growth equity are increasingly essential ingredients for any private markets program,” said Greenspring cofounder and managing general partner Ashton Newhall, in a statement. “Our combined global reach, private markets expertise, robust data insights and suite of shared services will benefit our clients, fund managers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders across both firms.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year, the companies said.

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