Bloomberg News

A couple thousand dealmakers will be heading to sunny San Diego for three days of networking at the Association for Corporate Growth’s InterGrowth 2018 May 2-4. Mergers & Acquisitions will be there, shooting video interviews with M&A leaders. Jeff Immelt, who served as CEO and chairman of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) from 2001 to 2017, is the keynote speaker. In February, Immelt was named chairman of Athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHN), a provider of network-enabled services for hospital and ambulatory clients. While his legacy at GE is currently being reexamined by some observers, his bio argues that “Immelt transformed GE into a simpler, stronger and more focused digital industrial company. He revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce and culture, positioning GE for the future. During his tenure, industrial earnings doubled and GE returned $143 billion in dividends, more than in the cumulative history of the company. Immelt was willing to disrupt GE reshaping the company’s portfolio during the last decade, with bold moves such as the $260 billion sale of GE Capital assets, the acquisition of platforms in Life Sciences and Renewables, adding global energy leader Alstom, the combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes, and the divestitures of legacy businesses like GE Appliances, NBC Universal and Plastics. He was the architect of the GE Store, leveraging GE’s unique scale to drive growth. Under his leadership, GE re-established market leadership with technological innovation, grew a strong share position in essential industries, and built a backlog of $320 billion.” In the middle market, the divestiture of GE Capital assets launched a highly competitive process for prolific lender Antares Capital, which ultimately was won by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in a $12 billion deal that closed in August 2015. The discussion with Immelt will be moderated by Jay Jester, a dealmaker well known in the private equity industry. Jester joined Audax Private Equity at its inception in 2000. As a managing director, Jester leads the Boston firm’s marketing and business development efforts. His team sources more than 1,000 new investment opportunities per year, according to Audax. Jester also serves on the board of ACG Global.

KKR, LLR Partners, the Riverside Co., Shore Capital Partners, TA Associates and other private equity firms and strategic buyers, including Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH), are investing in eye doctors, dentists and veterinarians, plus revenue cycle management providers and other areas of healthcare that are ripe for consolidation, as Mergers & Acquisitions explores in our in-depth feature, Why private equity firms like veterinarians, opthamologists and dentists, and slideshow, 6 healthcare specialties driving M&A deals.

As Americans begin to plan road trips and other summer vacations, car deals are thriving, especially in the nascent self-driving tech sector. Intel bought Israel's Mobileye for about $15 billion. Meanwhile, in a much smaller deal, Delphi bought NuTonomy. As the industry readies for autonomous driving, there's a big wave of consolidation going on among makers of traditional car parts, with several new deals announced this week. Investcorp acquired KSI Trading Corp., a supplier of aftermarket auto body parts that services 10,000 collision repair shop customers across 25 locations in 14 states. Woodward Inc. bought diesel parts maker L'Orange from Rolls-Royce. And Canadian automotive retailer AutoCanada has acquired 15 stores from the Grossinger Auto Group. Akerman represented the seller. Other car part buyers include CenterOakPartners, Clearlake Capital Group and Wabash National. Meanwhile, Carl Icahn is among the sellers. Check out our slideshow on the rush of activity.

The digital age necessitates that everyone — not just organizations — build and maintain an online presence in order to achieve greater success. This is especially true for private equity. Without an online brand, you risk losing out on business deals and networking opportunities. For tips on how to brand your PE firm, see the story in Voices by Saratoga Investment Corp.'s Joe Burkhart.

Learn how makers of medical equipment are courting buyers, as Aeroflow Healthcare's Andrew Amoth writes about in Voices.

To see which private equity firms are currently raising funds, see PE fundraising scorecard: Ardian, Balance Point, BlackRock, Golub.

For more of this week's deal announcements, including McKesson's purchase of Medical Specialties Distributors from New Mountain Capital, Square's acquisition of Weebly and 3i's investment in International Cruise & Excursions, see The weekly wrap: McKesson, Square, 3i Group.

For recent hires, promotions and other dealmaker career news, including Baird'shiring Brett Skolnik as healthcare managing director and Tony Armand's joining Norwest Equity Partners as an operating partner, read People Moves.

Read full coverage of Mergers & Acquisitions' 11th annual M&A Mid-Market Award winners: Campbell Soup, Huron Capital, Idera CEO Randy Jacops, LLR Partners, McGuireWoods, Stryker, Twin Brook andWilliam Blair.

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