LLR Partners has announced the final close of LLR Equity Partners V LP at $1.2 billion. The Philadelphia firm, which backs companies in five industries – education, fintech, healthcare, security and software – has already closed investments from the fund in eight companies: 3SI Security Systems, eLocal, Eye Health America, MedBridge, Midigator, Onapsis, PhishLabs and Professional Capital Services. “Our collaborative and flexible investment approach has remained consistent since LLR’s founding in 1999,” said partner Mitchell Hollin in a statement. “More than ever, we leverage the collective expertise of our multi-disciplinary team, portfolio executives and extensive third-party network to help create value for our companies.” LLR won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Private Equity Firm of the Year, in part for its innovations in developing content with the GrowthBits series and leveraging social media to communicate its strategy. For more, watch our video interview with Michael Sala, managing director, strategic origination: LLR leverages social media, online content to stand out in crowded PE field. LLR’s previous fund closed at $950 million in 2014. Asante Capital Group acted as the European placement agent for the new fund, and Latham & Watkins provided legal counsel.

From stories of star athletes Arnold Palmer, Keith Hernandez and Tiger Woods to advice from entrepreneurs Bridgewater AssociatesRay Dalio, KPCB’s John Doerr, Nike’s Phil Knight and Brava Investments’ Nathalie Molina Niño, plus strategies to help business leaders in general, and female dealmakers in particular, the 15 books on Mergers & Acquisitions’ summer reading list entertain, instruct and inspire. Check out our listicle: Dealmaker’s guide to summer reading: 15 new books.

Peter Van Raalte, co-founder of Corinthian Capital, and Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief of Mergers & Acquisitions, were featured speakers at the ACG NY Industrial Conference at the New York Athletic Club. The conference is part of the ACG Northeast Industry Tour, sponsored by ACG New York, ACG Boston and ACG Philadelphia. View our slideshow: Manufacturing M&A: high prices but plenty of opportunities.

Deal news
Brightstar Capital Partners has agreed to acquire QualTek USA LLC, a provider of engineering, installation, fulfillment and program management, to the telecommunications and power sectors. Jefferies, Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) and Winston & Strawn are advising Brightstar. Blank Rome and Fox Rothschild are advising QualTek. Fifth Third and PNC are providing financing. For more on Brightstar’s investment strategy, read our Q&A with the firm’s managing partner Andrew Weinberg: “Greatest generational transfer of wealth ever seen” benefits Brightstar’s $710M debut fund.

Toyota Motor Corp. is making the largest ever bet by an automaker on ride hailing as it embraces new businesses that threaten to disrupt the industry’s traditional model of vehicle ownership. The world’s most profitable car manufacturer is investing $1 billion in Singapore’s Grab Holdings Inc. Read the full story: Toyota invests in ride hailing to keep pace with GM.

Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) and Clayton Dubilier & Rice have invested in naviHealth, the largest manager of post-acute benefits for healthcare providers. CD&R will own a 55 percent stake in the target, while Cardinal will have 45 percent.

Leerink Revelation Partners, a partnership between investment firms Leerink Capital Partners and Revelation Partners, has raised its second fun at $227 million. The fund focuses on secondary investments in healthcare.

Milestone Partners has bought RedZone Robotics Inc. The target uses robots and tools to inspect and collect data on wastewater pipeline systems. Monroe Capital provided financing.

Pharos Capital Group-backed Family Treatment Network has acquired CCMC School, a special education school. The Braff Group advised the target.

People Moves
Megan Kneipp was hired by lower middle-market PE firm Blue Point Capital Partners as head of business development. Kneipp was most recently the vice president of business development and investor relations at CenterOak Partners.

Michael O’Brien has joined Akerman’s M&A and private equity practice as a partner. He was previously with Vedder Price.

Lender views
Covenant-lite loans are “bleeding down” to the middle market, says Twin Brook Capital Partners co-founder Trevor Clark in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Watch the video interview: With rise of cov-lite loans, experience matters, says Twin Brook’s Trevor Clark. Twin Brook won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Lender of the Year.

“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. 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. Also, see our Q&A with Jennifer Cotton: Abundance of capital drives highly competitive loan process, says Madison Capital’s chief underwriter.

“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, shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018: Trust counts in lending to the middle market, says Monroe Capital’s Karin Kovacic.

Featured content
“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 ACG InterGrowth 2018. 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.

With summer road trips in mind, check out our slideshow on auto deals: Car parts makers fuel M&A, as industry readies for self-driving vehicles. Highlights include: Intel bought Mobileye, and Delphi bought nuTonomy. Meanwhile, private equity firms, including Clearlake, CenterOak Partners and Wabash National, are scooping up all sorts of car-related companies from parts makers to service providers.

In our 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.