Excelled. Innovated. Inspired. That’s what the eight winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Awards did in 2018. Our awards honor the leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market.
This year’s winners include:
- Hollie Haynes, who took home Dealmaker of the Year for raising a second fund for Luminate Capital Partners, the tech-focused PE firm she founded after leaving Silver Lake.
- TA Associates, which won Private Equity Firm of the Year for growing significantly as the firm celebrated its 50th anniversary and completed its 500th transaction.
- Fortive, which scored Deal of the Year for its $775 million acquisition of Gordian, a provider of construction software in a transformative deal for the construction industry. Soon after snatching up Gordian, Fortive bought Accruent, which develops software used to manage real estate, facilities, and other assets, from Genstar Capital, for $2 billion.
- Nike, which was named Strategic Buyer of the Year, for buying Zodiac and Invertex, a pair of innovative digital startups helping the athletic apparel maker get closer to customers.
Deal of the Year: Fortive (for purchase of Gordian)
Fortive Corp.’s $775 million acquisition of Gordian, a privately-held provider of construction cost data, software and services, from Warburg Pincus LLC, was a transformative deal for Fortive (NYSE: FTV) and for the construction industry as a whole. Gordian provides construction cost data and software that enables owners and operators to manage the entire construction continuum, from design and build, to manage and operate. “Gordian’s over 70 years of proprietary construction cost data and domain expertise and a seasoned management team created the industry standard in construction task data, workflow software and service,” Fortive CEO James Lico said when the deal was announced in July. For more, see: Fortive’s Gordian deal brought efficiency to the antiquated construction industry.
Dealmaker of the Year: Hollie Haynes, Luminate Capital Partners
In raising Luminate Capital Partners’ second fund with $425 million of capital in 2018, Hollie Haynes secured the technology-focused private equity firm’s position as a consummate investor in middle-market enterprise software companies. The San Francisco firm, which Haynes founded in 2014 after a successful 15 years at technology investing powerhouse Silver Lake, has completed nine deals and delivered one exit and two recapitalizations to date. As the firm’s leader, Haynes works on deals, but also spends a lot time talking with investors and management teams, in addition to handling firm issues like financials, tax and IT. “We believe we have earned the right to take a leading position in our sector of the market,” Haynes said in an interview. Haynes is one of 36 dealmakers named in Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. For more, see: Hollie Haynes took Luminate Capital Partners to the next level.
Private Equity Firm of the Year: TA Associates
In 2018, TA Associates invested a record $2.8 billion in new portfolio companies (more than double the $1.3 billion the firm invested the previous year), celebrated its 50th anniversary and completed its 500th investment. Based in Boston and Menlo Park, California, TA is currently investing out of its 12th flagship fund, which closed on a reported $5.3 billion in 2015. New investments were made in 17 companies across the globe, compared with 14 the previous year. The firm achieved $3.1 billion in liquidity through numerous exits (both full and partial), initial public offerings and recapitalizations. Internally, TA was active on the hiring front, and a significant number of staff members achieved promotions. For more, see: TA Associates delivered a record year, as the firm celebrated turning 50.
Private Equity Seller of the Year: The Riverside Co.
Always a prolific seller, the Riverside Co. excelled in 2018 when it came to the total number of exits and the increase in value they represented. The firm, based in Cleveland and New York, completed 16 exits, including three of the top five exits in its history, in terms of proceeds for investors. Marking its 30th anniversary, the firm enjoyed growth in other areas as well, making 60 investments, compared with 44 the previous year, and delivering a record fundraising year, raising more than $2.1 billion. Riverside’s Micro-Cap Fund V hit its hard cap of $1.2 billion in capital commitments in less than four months, with demand exceeding the hard cap by more than 50 percent. For more, see: The Riverside Co. delivered an impressive 16 exits, as the firm celebrated turning 30.
Strategic Buyer of the Year: Nike
While not particularly active on the acquisition front traditionally, in 2018, Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) acquired two innovative companies in order to help speed up the athletic apparel maker’s digital strategy. In March, Nike bought Zodiac Inc., a consumer data analytics firm based in New York and Philadelphia. And then in April, Nike bought Invertex Ltd., a Tel Aviv, Israel-based pioneer in using 3D scanning technology to customize shoes. “We’re adding world-class data-science talent and best-in-class tools to power 1:1 relationships with consumers through digital and physical consumer experiences,” Nike chief digital officer Adam Sussman told investors on an earnings call in March 2018. For more, see Nike bought a pair of digital innovators to deepen customer relationships.
Investment Bank of the Year: Harris Williams
Harris Williams completed 87 transactions in 2018, the most in firm history, up more than 22 percent from two years prior, according to the firm. The year’s aggregate sell-side transaction value of more than $31 billion topped the year prior by more than 28 percent and exceeded 2016’s total aggregate transaction value by more than 50 percent. The Richmond, Virginia, firm experienced strong momentum with strategic and financial buyers located across the U.S., Europe and Asia; more than 20 percent of the firm’s clients were privately-held companies. Harris Williams completed the most buy-side transactions in firm history, a 56 percent increase from 2017. The firm hired 97 full-time employees in 2018 for a total of 315 employees at the end of the year and welcomed the largest analyst and associate classes in firm history. For more, see: Harris Williams advised on more deals than ever before.
Lender of the Year: Monroe Capital
Monroe Capital LLC has enjoyed impressive growth over the last five years, continuing the upward trajectory in 2018. The Chicago lender has increased its assets under management at a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent over five years, bringing the total to $7 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2014. The firm has also expanded significantly when it comes to employees and offices, the number of limited partners with worldwide coverage and loan volume and dollars deployed. For more, see: Monroe Capital grew significantly, including a 35 percent increase in AUM.
Law Firm of the Year: Goodwin
In 2018, Goodwin grew by double digits across key financial metrics, marking the firm’s sixth consecutive year of record revenue and profits. Technology-rich practice areas drove this growth: The firm’s private equity and life sciences practices both grew revenues by 31 percent; technology revenues were up 18 percent; and real estate revenues were up 17 percent. Goodwin’s headcount growth for these practices has soared over the past five years, with the life sciences practice increasing its headcount by 500 percent to 100-plus lawyers, the private equity practice by 350 percent to more than 250 lawyers and the technology companies practice by 257 percent to more than 200 lawyers. For more, see: Goodwin grew, especially in practice areas where innovation meets capital.