M&A daily wrap: Golf Digest Online, Golftec, Masters, William Blair, Carlyle, Thoma Bravo

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Golf Digest Online (GDO) is acquiring a majority stake in premium golf lesson provider Golftec from Gart Capital Partners. "Helping golfers around the globe to play better and enjoy the game is vital for the success of the golf industry, and so Golftec will be an impactful addition to our group," says GDO CEO Nobuya Ishizaka. GDO is not affiliated with Conde Nast's Golf Digest magazine. Golftec, based in Englewood, Colorado, operates 200 golf instruction centers across the U.S. and Asia. The target uses its SwingTru motion technology and data to allow students monitor their swings in real-time video. The company also provides students with custom club fittings. Gart will keep a minority stake in Golftec. GDO held a minority stake in the target before the deal was announced and operates 10 Golftec centers in Japan. Tokyo-based GDO owns five retail stores and has an e-commerce site that sells new and used golf equipment. In addition, GDO is Japan's largest online tee-time booking service and owns a number golf news websites. For more on golf-related deals that involve popular brands such as Callaway and TaylorMade, see the slideshow: M&A in the Masters.

The Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) has acquired Accolade Wines. The Australian target is known for the Hardys, and Grant Burge, St Hallett, Petaluma and Arras brands.

Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire a majority stake in cyber threat detector LogRhythm. The target serves more than 2,500 businesses and uses analytics and automation to help companies respond and reduce the risk of cyberattacks. Kirkland & Ellis is representing Thoma Bravo. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Cooley are advising LogRhythm.

Bain Capital Private Equity has agreed to invest in TriTech Software Systems, a provider of public safety technology. TriTech's software helps more than 4,000 emergency agencies with 911 dispatch, record management and billing. William Blair and Willkie Farr & Gallagher are advising TriTech. Kirkland & Ellis is representing Bain.

Madison Dearborn Partners has agreed to buy pharmaceutical outsourcing services company Alcami Corp. from Ares Capital Corp. (Nasdaq: ARCC). Alcami elps pharmaceutical companies with ingredient development, manufacturing and testing. William Blair and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Alcami. Barclays and Jefferies are advising Madison Dearborn.

TSG Consumer Partners-backed Sunshine Fitness, a Planet Fitness Inc. (NYSE: PLNT) franchisee, has acquired two franchise groups across Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. The purchase of 31 gyms increases Sunshine's portfolio to 64 clubs. Ropes & Gray is representing TSG. The McLean Group and Morgan Lewis are advising the sellers.

Delos Capital has purchased a majority stake in fitness club operator US Fitness. HRS Management, the family office of Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) co-founder Joshua Harris, has invested alongside Delos. US Fitness owns 46 clubs under the Onelife Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and Sport & Health brands. Cole Schotz is representing Delos.

For more on this week's deals, including acquisitions from MGM and Polaris, read the The weekly wrap: Blackstone, MGM, Polaris.

New York private equity firm Mill Point Capital LLC has closed its inaugural fund, Mill Point Capital Partners LP, at $450 million. The fund focuses on investing in middle-market companies across the business services and industrial sectors. Acalyx Advisors Inc. served as placement agent while Kirkland & Ellis provided legal advice.

Hotel operator MCR has raised a $300 million fund called the MCR Hospitality Fund LP that increases MCR's buying power to $1 billion. The fund will focus on acquiring Marriott International Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) and Hilton Hotels Corp. (NYSE: HLT) hotels. MCR's fund has acquired 11 hotels since 2017 and expects to complete 25 deals by the end of 2018.

For more on PE fundraising, read the full story: PE fundraising scorecard: Crestview Partners and Genesis Capital.

Mergers & Acquisitions seeks to profile Rising Stars of Private Equity, and we’d like your help identifying candidates. The individuals we select will be featured on our website, www.TheMiddleMarket.com, beginning in mid-July, and in the July/August issue of our magazine. We’re looking for individuals who are full-time private equity investors and whose best days are expected to be in the future. These are the folks you predict will one day play a key leadership role at your PE firm – or heading up their own. There is no specific criteria, but investing in middle-market companies and growing them should be the focus of day-to-day activities. Promising candidates may have been recently promoted, or have recently launched a new endeavor. Most will not be at the partner level yet. There is no age cut-off. The nomination process is informal, and all decisions will be made by our editorial team, which is headed by Editor-in-Chief Mary Kathleen Flynn. Please email suggestions, questions and comments to marykathleen.flynn@sourcemedia.com. In the email subject line, please include: “Rising Stars of Private Equity Candidate" and the PE professional's name and firm. Tell us why you think the individual stands out, and why his/her path is heading up. The deadline is Fri June 8. For more details, read the full story: Who are the Rising Stars of Private Equity? Nominate candidates by June 8. And for related content, see the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including our slideshow.

“The rise in private debt has been tremendous over the last three or four years,” says Sunil Mehta, managing director, Madison Capital Funding LLC, in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Investors from all over the globe are attracted to this asset class. “There aren't very many asset classes that have performed this consistently over the last 10 or 15 years, and you have asset managers in the class that have been able to perform for not only two or three years but for decades.” Madison, a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Co., has long been a stellar source of capital in the middle market. Watch the video: Investors from all over the globe are attracted to private debt, says Madison's Sunil Mehta.

“If there's one theme we're seeing across all of our deals, it is the digital transformation of all companies,” says Matt Conaty, director, financial sponsors, William Blair, in this video interview, shot at InterGrowth 2018. “Every business today is looking for ways to become more automated, to become more sophisticated in the way that they use their data and the way that they access their customers.” William Blair won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Investment Bank of the Year. Watch the video: Digital transformation is the name of the game, says William Blair’s Matt Conaty.

The private equity healthcare sector is thriving. Robust deal activity continues from 2017’s momentum in all size levels of the market, ranging from the lower middle-market to large buyout. Driven by healthy valuations in the public markets and funds flush with new capital,Stonington Capital Advisors expects these forces to continue to drive deal activity through 2018. Read the full story: Why lower mid-market healthcare M&A is poised for growth.

"You have to go out and make deals happen; they’re not going to occur on their own,” says TA Associates managing partner Ajit Nedungadi about the private equity firm’s focus on deal origination. Headquartered in Boston, TA has invested about $20 billion in nearly 500 companies since the firm was founded 50 years ago in 1968. We asked Nedungadi about TA’s investment strategy in Europe and the firm’s culture, including the focus on proprietary deal flow. Read the full story: At TA Associates, “you’re either working a live deal or hunting for the next one.”

“At the end of the day, it really matters how you behave if there’s a problem,” says Karin Kovacic, managing director, East Coast region, of middle-market lender Monroe Capital. Watch our video interview, which was shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018: Trust counts in lending to the middle market, says Monroe Capital’s Karin Kovacic.

More covenant-lite loans are “bleeding down” to the middle market, says Twin Brook Capital Partners co-founder Trevor Clark in this video interview, in which he discusses the downside of loosening lender protections. “There are clearly some groups out there that haven’t had as much experience lending through a credit crisis." Twin Brook won Mergers & Acquisitions' M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Lender of the Year.

To gain insights on how lenders evaluate potential transactions in today's highly competitive market, we asked Madison Capital Funding's chief underwriting officer Jennifer Cotton to share her thoughts. Read the full story here: Abundance of capital drives highly competitive loan process, says Madison Capital's chief underwriter.

In Mergers & Acquisitions’ updated Buyer’s Guide, we profile nine categories of product and services designed to help M&A professionals perform in today’s highly competitive dealmaking arena. Read the full story: From fund administrators to VDRs, dozens of firms help M&A pros compete.

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 and William Blair.

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