MidOcean Partners sells majority stake in The Planet Group

Mid market private equity firm MidOcean Partners (MidOcean) has sold its majority investment in The Planet Group (Planet), one of the world’s leading diversified professional services organisations. 

Planet will be merging with ProPharma Group (ProPharma), a portfolio company of Odyssey Investment Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

MidOcean invested in Planet in January 2018, and since that time, Planet has grown significantly, entered new markets, and executed accretive acquisitions that drove strong financial and operational performance. Under MidOcean’s stewardship, Planet successfully acquired and integrated IT Works Recruitment, Interactive Business Systems, NDA Partners, and WinterWyman among other strategic businesses. In 2020, Planet was named one of the Fastest Growing US Staffing Firms by Staffing Industry Analysts.

Headquartered in Chicago, Planet provides high-value outsourced global workforce solutions and consulting services to Fortune 500 and other top companies. Planet’s family of nine entities was purpose-built to service leading companies in the life sciences, diversified energy, engineering, financial, healthcare, technology and digital marketing sectors. Planet strengthens the employer-employee dynamic by connecting clients with talent, which creates enduring, valuable relationships.

Elias Dokas, Managing Director at MidOcean, says: “Over the past three years, Planet has realised exceptional growth – organically and through the completion of six add-on acquisitions – quadrupling EBITDA during this period, and positioning itself as one of the preeminent global providers of human capital services to the pharma, life sciences, and IT sectors. It has been a pleasure working with Mike Stomberg, Tim Bauwens and the entire Planet team, and we are confident that the company is poised for continued growth with ProPharma and Odyssey Investment Partners.”

“We have really enjoyed the partnership with MidOcean, whose deep industry expertise and experience building successful human capital platforms provided support through significant expansion, both organically and through acquisitions,” says Mike Stomberg, CEO of Planet. “I am proud of our achievements with MidOcean’s backing and we are thrilled to merge with ProPharma Group as we enter the next phase of growth to create a dynamic, global platform with comprehensive service offerings to fulfil our clients’ needs.”

MidOcean is a longtime investor in the human capital businesses. Prior investments include System One, a leading provider of staffing and outsourced services in the engineering, scientific, communications, technology and legal areas that MidOcean exited in October 2016, and Global Knowledge, a world class provider of IT training to corporate clients that MidOcean exited in January 2015. Within the human capital space, MidOcean focuses on markets with clear secular growth trends, such as pharmaceutical, information technology, engineering and healthcare.

William Blair & Company, Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc and FocalPoint Partners, LLC acted as Financial Advisors and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Clark Hill PLC acted as Legal Advisors to The Planet Group and MidOcean Partners. Latham & Watkins, LLP acted as Legal Advisor to Odyssey Investment Partners. Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP acted as Legal Advisor to The Planet Group management.