Platinum Equity is in advanced talks to acquire Securus Technologies, a Dallas-based provider of phone services to U.S. prisoners, from private equity firm ABRY Partners for nearly $1.5 billion (including debt), according to Reuters.

Macro: For all the debate over private vs. public prisons, the reality is that both employ a variety of for-profit vendors like Securus.

Why it's a big deal: This is a heady return for ABRY, which reportedly paid just $640 million to buy Securus four years ago from Castle Harlan. And it's particularly impressive, given that ABRY's tenure included a massive hack in late 2015 that one person told the NY Post "could be the nail in the coffin" for Securus.

Bottom line: "The deal illustrates private equity firms' strong appetite for investments in prison phone service operators because of the strong cash flow they generate from facilitating phone calls, even as they attract criticism over the rates they charge." ― Greg Roumeliotis, Reuters

Go deeper

31 mins ago - World

"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

1 hour ago - World

Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

Voters stand in line at the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 13. Photo: Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at nearly five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.