Vestar Capital: $1.2 Billion Continuation Vehicle For Circana Closed

By Amit Chowdhry • Apr 25, 2024

Leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners announced the closing of a $1.2 billion single-asset continuation vehicle for its stake in Circana, a leading global advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. Blackstone Strategic Partners and HarbourVest Partners acted as lead investors in the deal.

In 2018, Vestar led a recapitalization of Information Resources Inc (IRI), Circana’s predecessor, with IRI’s original control shareholder New Mountain Capital (NMC). And in 2022, IRI merged with NPD Group, a Hellman & Friedman (H&F) portfolio company, to form Circana – now jointly owned by H&F, Vestar, NMC and management.

Evercore and Jefferies served as financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor to Vestar on the deal. Proskauer Rose served as legal advisor to Blackstone Strategic Partners and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal advisor to Harbourvest Partners on the deal.


“We’re excited to reaffirm our support of Circana and its management team through this innovative transaction, which will provide important new committed capital for growth and investment. Vestar partnered with New Mountain Capital and management to drive significant value creation at IRI, and to catalyze the merger with NPD to create Circana as a leading global technology, analytics and data provider with an outstanding management team and excellent economic model. We are pleased to offer existing investors the opportunity to redeem their ownership and generate liquidity at a very attractive return, or roll their interests into the continuation vehicle, while at the same time welcoming new investors to the Vestar family who have endorsed the future opportunity for Circana.”

– Dan O’Connell, Founder and CEO of Vestar

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Circana’s management and investor group as we see many more opportunities ahead for both organic and inorganic growth. More than 7,000 brands and retailers worldwide rely on Circana’s unparalleled technology, advanced analytics and cross-industry data delivered at world-class speed to gain a complete view of consumers and their markets. We believe there are abundant opportunities for Circana to deepen its relationships with existing customers, while also expanding into new markets and regions, which will be fueled by this new investment.”

– Norm Alpert, Founding Partner and President at Vestar

“Circana, including the Vestar team, has done an incredible job building a mission-critical partner for the world’s leading and most innovative brands and retailers across a broad range of industries. Partnering with Vestar to drive the next chapter of the company’s growth is another example of our long-standing strategy to identify and invest behind key themes like information services, while partnering with leading managers to provide custom liquidity solutions.”

– Patrick Jennings, Managing Director at Blackstone Strategic Partners

“We are excited to partner with Vestar on this significant transaction, which reflects our conviction on Circana’s promising future. Our experience executing secondary processes aligned well with Vestar in order to provide existing investors with options for liquidity or extending their ownership of a company with strong growth potential.”

– Dustin Willard, Managing Director at HarbourVest Partners