LOS ANGELES, 05 OCTOBER 2022: Atwater Capital LLC (“Atwater” or the “Firm”), the media and entertainment-focused private equity firm, today announced strategic alliances with affiliates of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Petershill (“Goldman Sachs Petershill”) and KKR. As part of the strategic alliances, Goldman Sachs Petershill and KKR made anchor commitments to Atwater’s inaugural fund.
The commitments will underpin the launch of Atwater Capital Fund I, LP (the “Fund”), a closed-ended fund, focused on identifying and investing in emerging sector trends and connecting high-profile LPs with forward-looking management teams across North America, Europe and Asia. These investments take total capital commitments to the Fund to over $100m.
Founded by Vania Schlogel in 2017, Atwater invests exclusively in the media and entertainment sectors, with early investments in a number of successful companies. The Firm’s portfolio includes wiip Productions, the independent studio behind break-out shows “Mare of Easttown” and “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” as well as 88rising, the leading music platform and record label for Asian and Asian American artists, which counts Joji’s “Glimpse of Us” among its recent hits. Atwater also achieved its first unicorn investment following the partial exit in March 2021 of its early-stage investment in Epidemic Sound, the market-leading platform for restriction-free music.
Vania Schlogel, Founder and Managing Partner at Atwater Capital, said: “It is a hugely exciting time to be investing in media and entertainment, an asset class which is acyclical and buoyed by both digitization and significant growth in global demand. We are delighted to be able to partner with Goldman Sachs Petershill, a recognized leader in sponsoring and supporting private equity firms globally, alongside the world-class team at KKR, as we launch our inaugural Fund. We view the anchor commitments from these two blue-chip financial institutions as a strong confirmation of the long-term vision that we have for the Atwater platform.”
Christian von Schimmelmann, Co-Head of Goldman Sachs Petershill, commented: “We have a history of partnering with successful private equity firms globally and are excited to welcome Atwater as a natural addition to the Goldman Sachs Petershill family. We look forward to providing strategic support as Atwater builds upon its history of investing in groundbreaking people and the companies they operate.
Philipp Freise and Ted Oberwager, Partners at KKR, said: “We are delighted to invest with Vania and her team as they identify and back a group of extraordinary media and entertainment entrepreneurs.” Alisa Amarosa Wood, Partner at KKR, added: “This is the continuation of the great relationship we have built over many years of collaboration with Vania – from her time at KKR and beyond. She shares our values, our partnership-oriented approach, and we are truly thrilled to be investing alongside her in this new endeavor.
In addition to its investments in wiip, Epidemic Sound and 88rising, Atwater’s current and previous portfolio also includes LEONINE Studios, Mediawan, GfK, MadRiver Pictures, and Freepik.
Atwater was advised by Mayer Brown. KKR is making the investment through its balance sheet. Terms were undisclosed.
Focused exclusively on the Media and Entertainment sectors, Atwater was founded with the vision of uniting the valuable creative aspects of evaluating investments and growing companies with deep operational and financial expertise under one roof and one team.
Going against the status quo of traditionally segregating these critical activities, Atwater seeks to extract the synergies of applying quantitative rigor to creative strategy on behalf of our portfolio companies and stakeholders.
Atwater brings a track record of excellence in operational and financial strategy in order to deliver tangible results. Whether through optimizing operational processes, unlocking business development opportunities, delivering an extensive network of influencers to create authentic messaging, or digitizing away from ineffective and capital-intensive traditional branding activities — Atwater brings nimble and disruptive strategies to our investments.
ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS PETERSHILL
Goldman Sachs’ Petershill program launched in 2007 to partner with leading alternative asset managers and help to accelerate their strategic development. In 2018, Goldman Sachs Petershill extended its investment program through the launch of a dedicated strategy focused on partnering with next generation investment firms. Goldman Sachs Petershill is part of Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Alternative Investments & Manager Selection Group, which manages over $300 billion in assets across leading real estate, private equity, hedge-fund, and traditional long-only managers.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.
Dan Thomas, Hawthorn Advisors
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