TowerBrook Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all: our team, our families, our portfolio companies, their employees and suppliers, our investors and the communities in which we live and work.

In such unprecedented times, the health and wellbeing of our team members remains a top priority for TowerBrook. We have put in place systems and support to ensure our team can continue to work effectively and safely throughout this period. With the switch to working from home, we focused on employee welfare, investing in home office equipment, increasing the pace of internal communication, enhancing our mentoring programme and setting up a health and wellness task force that publishes a regular newsletter and has successfully engaged our team members in a wide range of activities to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing. We also made interest-free hardship loans available to all team members.

We continue to work closely with our portfolio and investment partners to help them identify, monitor and manage key risks to their employees, stakeholders and operations, and to support them as and when required.

In 2020 the TowerBrook Foundation pledged to make additional funding available to local community organizations in London and New York to help them mitigate the impact of the crisis and its consequences for those they serve. The funds were distributed evenly between four charities, as seen to the right.

The TowerBrook Foundation offers matched gifts whereby individual donations from any TowerBrook team member are matched on a 3:1 basis. Throughout 2020, the Foundation increased the match to 4:1 to support charities directly involved in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

At the same time, our portfolio companies expanded their handprint by taking positive action to benefit their teams, partners and communities. We are immensely proud to partner with businesses that exemplify our purpose and values. A few of their many contributions are highlighted below.

 

 

Americares

Working to save lives and improve the health of people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential. The TowerBrook Foundation grant was channelled directly to provide critical PPE for New York’s frontline healthcare workers to help ensure they could continue their life-saving work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imperial Health Charity

The TowerBrook Foundation grant helped to expand the COVID-19 Legacy Programme across the five Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals in London. The Programme provides hospital staff with long term in-house counselling and emotional support, along with properly resourced staff rooms and quiet rest spaces for staff battling the effects of the pandemic.

Salute the NHS

Established in April 2020 with a mission to deliver one million nutritious, balanced and tasty meals in three months to feed the vital NHS frontline workers. The TowerBrook Foundation grant was used to deliver much needed meals and food care packages to staff in 53 hospitals across the UK, 12 of which were in Greater London.

World Central Kitchen

Using food to heal communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond. The TowerBrook Foundation grant helped supply meals for frontline workers in New York while at the same time supporting employment in local restaurants.

Kaporal

Kaporal designs, manufactures and distributes clothing and accessories and is based in Marseille, France.

In March 2020, the company leveraged its relationship with a former supplier in Hong Kong to procure 4,000 face masks free of charge that were then donated to a major hospital in Marseille.

KeHE

KeHE provides natural & organic, specialty & fresh products to chain and independent grocery and natural food stores throughout North America.

The company donates 10% of profits to the KeHE Cares® Foundation, allowing KeHE owner-employees to serve others by giving their time and talents to those in need. COVID-19 has seen KeHE Cares partnering with local organisations to help alleviate food shortages in Southside Chicago and other communities across the U.S. Recently, the company’s Care partners in Laredo (TX) gave back to KeHE, using sewing materials and equipment previously provided by the company for vocational training to make over a thousand cloth masks for KeHE employees. KeHE also transformed its annual Holiday Show in June 2020 into a virtual event and donated the proceeds to KeHE Cares partners across the country to help them support communities affected by COVID-19.

Acacium Group

Acacium Group provides specialized staffing, workforce management solutions and managed services to the healthcare, social care and life science sectors, principally in the U.K.

The company took a number of steps to help hospital trusts in the UK during the crisis, including increasing pay to nurses for short-notice shifts, providing longer lines of agency supply, and offering price discounts to support trusts who were struggling to source staff in the usual way. Acacium also led the management of the temporary staff supply-chain for the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital that was built at the Excel Centre in London to cope with demand. Separately, Acacium’s life science business adapted to working closely with a number of biotech and pharma companies on both COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral therapies, providing resources to accelerate the progress of clinical trials. Acacium also provided experienced staff to assist in the UK-wide COVID-19 Infection Survey, a time-critical study designed to contribute essential evidence of infection and immunity in the UK population.

La Maison Bleue

La Maison Bleue (LMB), an operator of privately-owned nurseries, provides more than 10,000 nursery places in France and Switzerland and employs in excess of 4,000 staff.

In response to COVID-19, the company made crèches available for the children of hospital staff and essential workers. LMB also used its Facebook page to communicate with more than 25,000 followers during the lockdown periods, offering advice to parents on how to manage the physical and emotional needs of infants confined at home. LMB employees made numerous contributions, including educational games and creative workshops for toddlers, advice to parents on getting a better night’s sleep and instructions for making cloth face masks.

OVHcloud

OVHcloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider, headquartered in Roubaix, France, specializing in cloud and internet infrastructure.

The company experienced greatly increased demand for its services as working from home and healthcare needs rose sharply. OVHcloud launched Open Solidarity, a global initiative that enables companies to collaborate with one another by guaranteeing the provision of reliable infrastructure, free of charge, for the entire duration of the crisis. Open Solidarity supports remote working for both businesses and public service providers, including schools and healthcare organizations, and can be scaled up to meet demand, including traffic spikes caused by heavy workloads.

R1

R1 is a publicly traded provider of revenue cycle management services to U.S. healthcare providers.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, R1 launched a dedicated global taskforce to prepare and activate a series of actions, including continuity and contingency plans across its global footprint. Operating in a work-from-home environment, in co-ordination with its customers, R1 provided real-time support and monitoring with proactive controls to maintain high-value service and productivity delivery. The company implemented COVID-19-specific HR policies and provided full coverage for all COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services for employees enrolled in an R1 medical plan. The company provided ongoing guidance and support to customers in addressing key operational and regulatory impact areas.

R1’s Helping Hands programme supports the company’s employees to make a meaningful impact in local communities through volunteering, with a focus on healthcare, education and human services. In 2020, Helping Hands resolved to maintain support for organizations it helped in the past, while seizing the opportunity to support causes in COVID-impacted communities. A total of $375,000 was donated to a range of organizations including the Ronald McDonald Foundation, Meals on Wheels and Feeding America. R1 staff donated more than 5,000 hours and wrote upwards of 700 letters to support residents in 47 Ascension Living facilities.

Rewards Network

Rewards Network is a marketing services and financial technology company serving the U.S. credit card, loyalty and restaurant industries.

The company focused on supporting its restaurant network through the COVID-19 crisis by offering comprehensive guidance to restaurants on navigating the process of securing government funding and sharing best practices in management. The suite of restaurant industry information marshalled by Rewards Network included advice on refining and optimising take-out and delivery, and steps restaurant owners could take to help ensure the health of their staff and customers. Rewards Network’s salesforce offered guidance to restaurants at no charge, and the company waived the cost of its marketing services product until the end of May 2020 for new restaurants joining its programme. Rewards Network employees volunteered for a half day’s service at the Chicago Food Depository.

TLN

The Learning Network (TLN) is a provider of value-added content and services to schools and higher education institutions in the Netherlands.

Following the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company leveraged its specialist knowledge and distribution channels to make digital teaching and learning materials freely available to schools and students. Schools that already accessed physical books through TLN were able to use the digital variants free of charge. TLN, in partnership with Academy4Learning, also offered schools and their teachers the opportunity to attend free webinars and training courses to help them design and implement digital education.

TRIMEDX

TRIMEDX is the largest independent, provider-driven, clinical asset management organization in the U.S.

The company worked with numerous hospital customers throughout the U.S., helping them prepare for a surge in COVID-19 patients and often providing additional services outside of contract scope free of charge. This included helping with equipment transfers to hospitals in need, setting up new ICU rooms, procuring additional clinical equipment and servicing additional devices for no charge. TRIMEDX also worked with universities to assist in the prototyping and production of ventilators and offered assistance with clinical equipment repairs to companies and government agencies in need.

TRIMEDX Foundation was created to address the international need for medical equipment repair and support. With volunteer technicians working tirelessly on the front line, the Foundation faced a new set of challenges around patient care, safety and the shipping and receiving of medical equipment and supplies. A portion of TRIMEDX Foundation’s 2020 travel budget was redistributed, and a virtual volunteer programme created to serve its partners in the developing world through pre-recorded videos, conference calls, preventive maintenance and troubleshooting manuals.