Mizuho Americas signed an agreement to acquire Capstone Partners, an independent middle-market placement agent focused on fundraising and advisory services to private equity, credit, real asset and infrastructure investment firms. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.

“Financial sponsors are rapidly evolving beyond their traditional roles and expanding their lines of business,” Shuji Matsuura, chairman and CEO of Mizuho Americas, said. “Capstone is an excellent example of a firm that offers sponsor clients with a strategic value-add solution, which aligns well with our integrated and global coverage approach.”

“Capstone has grown over the course of 20 years by helping our sponsor clients to build sophisticated private equity platforms with blue chip investors,” Clay Deniger, managing partner and CEO of Capstone Partners, said. “Together with Mizuho, we will have a breadth of additional solutions to offer our clients, providing increased value and deepening already strong relationships.”

Private Equity Wire named Capstone Partners the best placement agent of 2021 following a year in which the firm’s clients held closes totaling more than $10 billion in fund commitments.

“Capstone is a strategic transaction for Mizuho and will provide an immediate impact on our business,” Jerry Rizzieri, president and CEO of Mizuho Securities USA, said. “Our global investment and corporate banking capabilities, combined with their localized private capital raising expertise, will allow us to drive increased private equity fundraising results across geographies.”

“This new partnership with Mizuho is a testament to both the quality of the team at Capstone and the common vision we share with Mizuho in supporting all elements of the sponsor relationship,” Steve Standbridge, managing partner and president of Capstone Partners, said.

In recent years, Mizuho has been expanding its investment and corporate banking franchise, leveraging its investment grade bond and loan businesses to grow its non-investment grade and financial sponsors franchise, lead IPO and SPAC transactions and provide M&A advisory services on transactions.

“We have made great progress growing our financial sponsors franchise,” Michal Katz, head of investment and corporate banking at Mizuho Americas, said. “Capstone is an entrepreneurial and innovative firm that complements our alternatives and private equity client base, financing solutions and culture.”

Deniger and Standbridge will serve as co-heads of the Capstone Partners business within the banking Americas division of Mizuho Americas.

Debevoise & Plimpton served as legal advisor, PwC acted as transaction due diligence advisor and Houlihan Lokey was the strategic advisor to Mizuho for this transaction. Vinson & Elkins served as legal advisor to Capstone Partners and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as its financial advisor.