Follow the Money: GridLiance Gets $185M in Credit Facilities; Avondale Nets $13.23M; RealPage Makes Acquisition

You’ll also find news about ERA Capital, OpenConnect, AN Global, Cinépolis, and MUSA in this roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity in North Texas.


What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants and acquisitions, Dallas Innovates tracks what’s happening in North Texas money every Thursday. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.

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GridLiance units close on credit facilities totaling $185M

A subsidiary of Dallas-based GridLiance, an independent electric transmission company, has closed on two revolving credit facilities with commitments adding up to $185 million.

GridLiance’s subsidiary, GridLiance Western Holdings, and GridLiance’s transmission company, GridLiance West, closed on two new revolving credit facilities with commitments totaling $185 million.

GridLiance Western Holdings, closed on a new five-year $80 million revolving credit facility. The transmission company, GridLiance West, closed on a new $105 million five-year revolving credit facility.

The company said in a statement the funding will go toward repaying current debt as well as related costs, while building a major amount of financial capacity and flexibility to support GridLiance’s expansion efforts.

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. was the lead arranger for the credit facilities and KeyBank National Association was the administrative agent, LC issuing bank, and collateral agent.

CoBank, ACB, and National Cooperative Services Corp., an affiliate of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp., also participated in the facilities.

Avondale Private Lending raises $13.23M in equity funding

Avondale Private Lending LLC has raised $13.23 million in equity from 13 investors, the Dallas Business Journal reported.

Citing an SEC filing, the DBJ said Dallas-based Avondale seeks to raise a total of $100 million as part of the pooled investment.

Avondale provides loans raised from private capital to small businesses focused on real estate for new construction, flipping homes, and more, according to the DBJ.

ERA Capital backs Airbud Technologies in $4M seed round

Dallas-based venture capital firm ERA Capital Partners participated in a $4 million seed funding round by Airbud Technologies Inc., a New York-based tech firm whose platform allows companies to add voice capabilities to their websites and mobile apps.

ERA Capital invests in a variety of assets such as real estate, oil, healthcare, and technology, plus asset classes that are a valuable addition, opportunistic, and distressed, as well as development ventures, according to Crunchbase.


RealPage acquires student utility management service

Richardson-based RealPage Inc. has acquired the assets of Waco-based Simple Bills Corp., a utility management service dedicated to the student housing market, which could also aid RealPage in the senior living sector.

No financial details of the acquisition were released.

RealPage, a global provider of software and data analytics for the real estate industry, said in a statement more than 125,000 students nationwide use SimpleBills as a provider of utility services.

RealPage will be able to work with SimpleBills clients that operate in other spaces than the student market—such as senior living, multifamily housing, single-family housing, and homeowners’ associations, according to McKnight Senior Living.

UK technology company acquires North Texas software firm

Farmers Branch-based software provider OpenConnect has been acquired by the UK-based ActiveOps Ltd.

ActiveOps provides digital operations management solutions to financial services, shared services, business process outsourcing firms, government, healthcare, and other service industries. On Thursday, the company said it had closed on the acquisition that will enhance its Workware software suite by incorporating OpenConnect’s one-of-a-kind data capturing technology.  No financial terms were released.

“Access to accurate, timely data is fundamental to every aspect of managing operations and OpenConnect brings deep expertise in the automated extraction of insight from the complexity of enterprise systems,” Richard Jeffery, ActiveOps’ co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

The entire OpenConnect team is expected to join the expanded ActiveOps Group, while the Dallas site will provide a third U.S. office location for ActiveOps, alongside New York and Charlotte, North Carolina. 

AN Global acquires Florida-based software developer

Mexico-based AN Global, a next-generation digital services provider with U.S. headquarters in Irving, has acquired Florida-base AgileThought, an enterprise software development and transformation services provider.

The combined companies will operate under the name AgileThought, and will be headquartered in Irving. No financial information about the acquisition was released.

The deal will create a joint workforce of 3,000 employees and an expanded worldwide digital transformation organization, according to AN Global.

The company’s business crosses three continents and countries such as the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Portugal, and Spain.

Cinépolis buys Moviehouse & Eatery

Mexico-based movie theater company Cinépolis has acquired Texas-based dine-in movie theater Moviehouse & Eatery for an undisclosed amount.

Moviehouse & Eatery currently has five locations, with most of them in Dallas and Austin. A suburban Houston location is expected to open soon.

Cinépolis’ U.S. headquarters is in Addison, while the company operates 26 theaters in seven states. Around the world, Cinépolis operates 738 theaters in 17 countries. It employs roughly 43,000 worldwide.

Dallas-based NuWash acquired by competitor

North Carolina on-demand car maintenance startup Get Spiffy has bought out NuWash, one of its competitors in Dallas.

WRAL TechWire reported that the acquisition adds more than 200 office park and multifamily residences that were served by NuWash to Get Spiffy’s client list. Get Spiffy, which serves eleven markets, expanded to Dallas in 2017.

MUSA is acquired by Canadian auto fintech company

PowerBand Solutions Inc., a Canada-based online automotive auction, remarketing and vehicle acquisition and sales platform in North America, agreed to buy 60 percent of Dallas-based MUSA Holdings LLC, and its subsidiaries, including MUSA Auto Finance LLC.

PowerBand said the deal will transform it into an industry-leading FinTech company in vehicle acquisition, leasing, lending, and auction services. No financial terms were released.

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