M&A daily wrap: GI Partners, Meredith, Weather Channel, Citigroup

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GI Partners has reached deals to buy legal document review provider Consilio from Shamrock Capital along with risk management and cybersecurity firm Advanced Discovery. After the deal closes, the combined company will have more than 60 offices, review centers and data centers across 11 countries. Jefferies and Paul Hastings are advising GI Partners. Harris Williams is advising Consilio and BlackArch Partners is doing the same for Advanced Discovery. Financial terms were not disclosed. The combined company will be GI Partners fourth investment out of the firm's fifth fund. The PE firm recently acquired a majority stake in financial services technology company Doxim.

Mergers & Acquisitions names winners of 11th annual M&A Mid-Market Awards. Not only did they grow their businesses significantly, but they also led the way in innovation and thought leadership. Many of the winning firms forged new strategies for connecting the M&A community. Some of the winners include: Dealmaker of the Year: Randy Jacops, CEO of database software developer Idera, for growing the company through several acquisitions in 2017 and recapitalizing the company with new majority stake owner HGGC in a $1 billion deal; Investment Bank of the Year: William Blair for achieving significant growth, including exceeding the previous year’s deal value by nearly 75 percent; and Private Equity Firm of the Year: LLR Partners for impressive growth in transactions and firm development and for pioneering innovations in portfolio leadership support, including original content and networking events. Read full coverage of all the awards here.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has acquired a majority stake Avetta. Norwest Venture Partners wiil keep a minority stake in the company. Avetta provides cloud-based supplier risk management and compliance software that allows businesses to more effectively manage and qualify service providers performing activities across their global operating sites to drive better safety and regulatory compliance. Avetta has operations in Utah, California and Texas. William Blair advised Avetta and Norwest. Raymond James advised Welsh Carson.

Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) said it will seek buyers for Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money. The company said the decision is part of its strategy to divest non-core assets. "These are attractive properties with strong consumer reach. However, they have different target audiences and advertising bases, and we believe each brand is better suited for success with a new owner," says Meredith CEO Tom Harty. Meredith completed its $1.8 billion deal for Time in 2018.

Meal-kit company HelloFresh has acquired rival Green Chef for undisclosed terms. Consumer demand for quicker, easier and healthier fiids is driving M&A in the meal-kit sector. For example, in 2017, grocery store chain Albertsons purchased Plated.

Entertainment Studios Inc. a subsidiary of Allen Media LLC has purchased the Weather Channel from the Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BK), Bain Capital and Comcast/NBCUniversal. Morgan Stanley, Allen & Co., PJT Partners, Ropes & Gray and Jones Day advised the Weather Channel. Sklar Kirsh Nelson Mullins and Loeb & Loeb represented Allen Media.

Technology services provider Zensar Technologies has agreed to acquire Chicago-based Cynosure for $33 million. The target is a platform implementation service for the property and casualty insurance sector.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) hired Alexis Maskell to co-head the firm's European, MIddle East and African (EMEA) alternatives assets group, including private equity, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices. Based in London, Maskell was mostly the co-head of investment banking at HSBC, where he focused on private equity.

Valuation multiples continued to surge in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to GF Data. Deal pricing pushed upward to an average mark of 8.1 times Ebitda, a 19.3 percent increase over the year-ago fourth quarter (6.8 times) and a 7.0 percent jump from 3Q ’17 (7.5 times). Read the full story here.

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