Genstar nabs Canadian entrepreneur for advisory board

Genstar Capital has added entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary to its Strategic Advisory Board. O’Leary will help the firm strengthen its Canadian portfolio.

San Francisco-based Genstar Capital has appointed Kevin O’Leary to its strategic advisory board. O’Leary, an entrepreneur and co-founder of two companies in Canada, will help to firm identify investments in Canada.

O’Leary co-founded SoftKey Software Products, a Toronto-based provider of educational and entertainment software, in 1986. The company went on to acquire Compton’s New Media, The Learning Company and Broderbund, and later changed its name to The Learning Company. In 1999 the company was acquired by The Mattel Toy Company. O’Leary then went on to co-found Storage Now, a developer of climate-controlled storage facilities for technology and pharmaceutical companies.

Genstar’s most recent Canadian investment was the 2003 acquisition of North American Energy Partners, an Edmonton-based company that provides civil construction services to major oil and gas companies operating in Alberta. Genstar led NAEP’s IPO in 2006.

Genstar closed its most recent fund on $1.55 billion (€1.13 billion) this June, more than three times the size of its previous fund. The firm invests in middle-market firms in the life science, healthcare services, industrial technology, business services and software industries. Genstar recently paid $790 million to buy clinical research organisation PRA International. The deal was the firm’s largest to date.