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Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR this morning announced an agreement to buy insurance broker AssuredPartners from Apax Partners at a reported enterprise value of $5.1 billion (including debt).

The big picture: One driver of private equity repurchases, even at higher valuations, is that the investments are largely de-risked. The once and future owner usually knows the management, the sector and where skeletons might be buried (in fact, it might have done the digging).

  • "Private equity firms can't own things forever, so we did embark on a sale process after we worked with management to get the company to a place that far exceeded our original underwriting plans," says Aaron Cohen, a GTCR managing director. "It felt like a natural evolution and allowed management to obtain some liquidity... but we have sort of regretted it since then."
  • In this case, Cohen says that GTCR's original stewardship helped AssuredPartners build out its infrastructure (new offices, etc.) while Apax better "professionalized" the company (hiring heads of IT, etc.). Now GTCR wants to help AssuredPartners expand its specialty verticals via M&A.

Why it matters: GTCR previously owned AssuredPartners between 2011 and 2015, and today's news is part of a growing trend of private equity repurchases. Just last week, Hellman & Friedman agreed to buy back a majority stake in German online classifieds company Scout24 for around $6.4 billion.

Go deeper: Private equity is coming for local TV

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 18 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

Trump blasts “wacky” GOP Sen. Cassidy after “Axios on HBO” interview

Former President Trump on Monday blasted Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) after he told "Axios on HBO" that he is not sure Trump could win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Driving the news: When told that Trump could be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in saying: "I don't know that."