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

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2 hours ago - Health

U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began

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COVID Tracking Project

The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

By the numbers: Friday's total surpassed the U.S.'s previous record set on July 17 when 76,842 cases were recorded. 

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.