Thoma Brovo has raised $2.4 billion for its second Discover Fund, which invests in middle-market software developers. The fund underscores private equity firms’ enthusiasm for backing companies that provide software and technology-enabled services. “The Discover Fund has demonstrated that Thoma Bravo’s approach of partnering with current management teams to implement our market-leading operating practices and metrics, investing in organic growth through product development and more effective distribution, and making accretive acquisitions is a model that works across size, stage and scale,” said partner A.J. Rohde. “We remain excited about the growing opportunities we see in the software market.” Thoma Bravo is led by managing partners Orlando Bravo, Seth Boro, Scott Crabill, Lee Mitchell, Holden Spaht, Carl Thoma and partners Jack Le Roy, Robert Sayle and Hudson Smith. The firm, which has offices in Chicago and San Francisco, is enjoying a strong 2018, with many deal announcements, including: selling cybersecurity provider Bomgar to Francisco Partners; acquiring ABC Financial and Barracuda; taking a majority stake in Nintex; and creating a vehicle management platform.

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to release “Expanding The On-Ramp: Recommendations to Help More Companies Go and Stay Public,” a report providing public policy recommendations to encourage more U.S. public companies. The report was produced in partnership with a number of organizations, including the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, Nasdaq, TechNet, SIFMA, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, American Securities Association and Equity Dealers of America. “Six years after the passage of the Jobs Act, we now have a good understanding of what further reforms are needed to make it easier for venture-backed companies to enter the public markets and succeed once there,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “Our goal is for this report to build off the success of the Jobs Act, which made it easier to go public, and provide a critical set of policy changes to make it more attractive to be a public company. The venture capital industry has historically fed the IPO pipeline. Reversing the decline in the number of U.S. public companies is a top priority, and this report is a significant step for our efforts. We look forward to working with Congress, the SEC and other stakeholders to make these reforms a reality.”

Platte River Equity has invested in Dealers Transmission Exchange. The target's owners have partnered with the Denver PE firm on the deal. Dealers Transmission is a provider of powertrain and transmission repair and maintenance services to customers in the energy, industrial and mining industries.

SNH Capital Partners has bought ProMax, an automotive software company. ProMax's technology is designed to help businesses with lead generation, website design, inventory, credit reporting, and client relationship management.

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'Orangefrom 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.

Apollo Aviation Group has raised $950 million for its fourth fund, SASOF IV, which is focused on buying mid-life commercial airplanes. The fund has already committed to buy 37 aircrafts, including four A319s, nine A320s, one A321, four A330s, and 19 B737s. All of them are leased to airlines globally. Miami-based Apollo Aviation raised $833 million in its third fun in 2015.

McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) has agreed to buy Medical Specialties Distributors from New Mountain Capital for $800 million. Medical Specialties provides supply chain, biomedical services, and technology services to healthcare providers operating in low cost alternate sites of care, including home infusion, long-term care, home health, and oncology providers. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising the target.

Apax Partners-backed Vyaire Medical has acquired Acutronic Medical Systems and in a separate deal, agreed to buy ImTmedical. Both companies manufacture respiratory care products, particularly ventilation equipment.

Halifax Group-backed Delphi Behavioral Health Group has merged with Summit Behavioral Health. Summit, based in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, operates a network of treatment centers that offer drug and alcohol medical detox, residential, and outpatient services.

In an effort to close the Monsanto acquisition, Bayer has agreed to sell further crop sciences businesses to BASF for up to $2 billion. The Business includes the global vegetable seeds business, certain seed treatment products, the research platform for wheat hybrids and certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe that are predominantly used in industrial applications.

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.

Vistra has acquired Radius, a cloud-software company that provides managed and advisory services, from Hg. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nice (Nasdaq: NICE) has agreed to acquire Mattersight Corp. (Nasdaq: MATR), a provider of cloud-based analytics for customer service organizations for $90 million. Mattersight uses analytics to gain a deep understanding of both customers and agents, and acts on these insights in real time to connect consumers with the organization in a personalized manner. Union Square Advisors and Cooley are advising Mattersight.

EQM has reached a deal with EQT to acquire its Olympus Gathering System and its 75 percent interest in the Strike Force Gathering System. EQM reached a separate deal with Gulfport Energy to acquire its 25 percent interest in the Strike Force Gathering System. EQT will receive $1.15 billion in cash and 5.9 million EQM common units and Gulfport Energy will receive $175 million in cash.

Hicks Equity Partners-backed Drilings tools International has acquired the drill pipe rental division of Premium Oil Services LLC. The New Iberia, Louisiana-based target rents drill pipe, tubing workstrings, blowout preventers and handling tools mainly to energy companies. Hicks Equity is the private equity arm of the Thomas Hicks family office. Doug Deal Consulting and Bracewell advised the buyers, who received from PNC Business Credit. PPHB advised the sellers.

EllisDon Corp. has purchased the remaining 70 percent stake it did not already own in Carillion Services Inc., Carillion EllisDon Services Inc., Carillion Services Inc., and Carillion EllisDon Services Inc. EllisDon is a construction and building services firm based in London, Ontario.

Doug Campbell has joined New York-based Harvest Partners LP as a partner. Most recently with Oaktree Capital Management, Campbell will focus on on partnering with management teams to accelerate value creation initiatives and drive performance in portfolio companies.

Simon Jones was hired by New York-based Turnspire Capital Partners as an operating partner. Jones is currently the executive chairman of One Discovery Inc. and was previously the CEO of 3SI Security Systems.

Ole Slorer has joined BTIG LLC as a managing director and head of of energy and shipping investment banking. He will be based in New York. Slorer was previously a shipping equity research analyst at Morgan Stanley.

For more new hires, promotions and other dealmaker career news, including Baird's hiring 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.

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market deamaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.