Industrial technology company Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) has agreed to make a $1 billion equity investment in software provider PTC Inc. (Nasdaq: PTC). The deal will give Rockwell, a maker of electronic motor starters and relays, an 8.4 percent stake in the target. PTC assists manufacturers with computer-aided design and modeling. Rockwell has been looking to increase its technology investments as part of the company’s long-term growth plans. The partnership allows both companies to accelerate growth for their customers who want to transform their physical operations into digital technology. As part of the deal, PTC has agreed to combine its ThingWorx, Kepware, and Vuforia technology with Rockwell’s FactoryTalk analytics software. “We believe this strategic partnership will enable us to accelerate growth by building on both companies’ records of innovation to extend the value of the Connected Enterprise and deepen our customer relationships,” says Rockwell CEO Blake Moret. Morgan Stanley and Goodwin are advising PTC. Goldman Sachs and Foley & Lardner are advising Rockwell.

Deal news
L Catterton and European private equity firm Ambienta have bought a majority stake in Pibiplast, an Italian maker of plastic packaging products for the personal care and beauty industries. The founding Bosi family is keeping a minority stake.

Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK) has agreed to buy VictorOps, an incident management developer, for $120 million. VictorOps was previously backed by Shea Ventures, Foundry Group and Costanoa Ventures.

Heineken Belize BV has acquired a minority stake in beer brewer Belize Brewing Co., known for the Belikin Beer brand. Tully & Holland Inc. advised the target.

Building materials maker Gebr. Knauf KG has agreed to buy construction products manufacturer USG Corp. (NYSE: USG) for about $7 billion. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Baker McKenzie LLP, Shearman & Sterling LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are advising Knauf. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (NYSE: JPM), Goldman Sachs & Co (NYSE: GS)., and Jones Day are advising USG.

Human resources cloud software company Workday Inc. (WDAY) has agreed to purchase Adaptive Insights for $1.5 billion. Adaptive helps businesses update their finances to the cloud. Allen & Co. and Fenwick & West are advising Workday. Morgan Stanley and Cooley are advising the target.

KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR) is buying Envision Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: EVHC) for $46 a share after an almost year-long sale process for the medical company, which staffs hospitals and runs surgery centers in the U.S. In another healthcare PE deal, Shore Capital Partners-backed dental practice Chicagoland Smile Group has partnered with Advanced Family Dental and Orthodontics, to expand to 28 locations in the Chicago area. For more, read our in-depth feature: Why private equity firms like veterinarians, opthamologists and dentists.

People Moves
Joan Binstock was hired by private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners as an advisor, where she is assisting the firm on deal and operational activities across all portfolio companies. Binstock spent the majority of her career as an executive at investment manager Lord, Abbett & Co.

Mark Garrett has joined PE firm General Atlantic as an advisor. Garrett is the former CFO at Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) and he will advise General Atlantic on the technology sector.

Allison Miller was hired by PE firm Arbor Investments as chief marketing officer. She was previously the vice president of marketing for the Chicago Cubs.

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.