If you’ve had a beer and chicken wings while waiting for a flight at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, or grabbed a smoothie while shopping at the Federal Plaza in Rockville, Maryland, or settled in for a steak dinner at New York’s Grand Central terminal, you’ve got a celebrity athlete to thank: Greg Norman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Lebron James, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Michael Jordan, respectively. Many star athletes have invested in food, beverages, restaurants and meal-kit companies. Check out the 13 of them in Mergers & Acquisitions’ slideshow: 13 athletes who invest in restaurants, wineries and juice bars.

New York private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group is forming a joint venture with coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons for Tim Hortons to open more than 1,500 stores in China over the next ten years. “China’s population and vibrant economy represent an excellent growth opportunity for Tim Hortons in the coming years,” says Tim Hortons president Alex Macedo. Tim Hortons operates more than 4,700 restaurants worldwide. The company is owned by Oakville, Ontartio-based Restaurants Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) that also has the Burger King and Popeyes chains in its portfolio.

Exponent, a networking group for women dealmakers that launched in 2017, is gearing up for its first marquee event, called Exponent Exchange, on July 12. The keynote speaker is Sallie Krawcheck, who previously served as CEO of several banks, including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the Citi Private Bank, and is now the CEO of Ellevest, an online investing website aimed at women. Additional speakers include: Lisa Bernstein, global head of human capital, Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO); Sarah Bradley, partner, Kainos Capital; Janet Cowell, CEO, Girls Who Invest; Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief, Mergers & Acquisitions; Jennifer Lu, executive director, Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC); Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder and CEO, Pipeline Angels; Thu Do, chief product officer, Tastemakers Africa; and Adrianne Shapira, managing director, Eurazeo Brands. Underscoring enthusiasm for initiatives aimed at women, sponsors of the event include leading dealmaking companies, such as Apollo, Baird, BDO, Merrill Corp. and Moelis. Read the full story: Entrepreneurs Sallie Krawcheck, Cheraé Robinson to speak at Exponent Exchange.

Deal news
Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking division has agreed to buy Boyd Corp. from Genstar Capital. Boyd sells engineered rubber, plastic, metal, flexible environmental sealing products. Goldman Sachs & Co. (NYSE: GS) and Davis Polk & Wardwell are advising Goldman Sachs. Baird And Weil Gotshal & Manges are advising Boyd and Genstar.

Getronics Group has acquired Pomeroy Group Holdings from Clearlake Capital. Pomeroy works with businesses to help them assess, plan, design, build, test, implement, and manage IT infrastructures. William Blair and Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) advised Pomeroy. Kirkland & Ellis and Cooley provided legal advice.

WindRose Health Investors-backed Ovation Fertility has partnered with Midwest Fertility Specialists, where the latter is merging its IVF laboratory and outpatient facility with Ovation Fertility.

NewHold Enterprises LLC, a holding company focused on long-term ownership and acquisition-led growth of middle market industrial and services companies, formed American AllWaste LLC, a growth platform focused on the non-hazardous liquid waste industry. AllWaste also acquired three non-hazardous liquid waste facilities in the Southwest.

People Moves
Minoru Koshibe has joined the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) in Japan as a senior advisor, where he is advising the firm on trends in the chemicals sector. Koshibe is the former executive vice president of Mitsui Chemicals.

Featured content
Private equity firms are more active in the public sector than they were a couple of years ago, Brian Miller, the CFO of Tyler Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TYL), tells Mergers & Acquisitions. The company’s $150 million deal for data service company Socrata probably will not be the company’s last. Tyler has completed more than 40 acquisitions in the past decade. Read the full story: Tyler Technologies sticks with M&A strategy, despite PE competition.

Justify recently joined the elite group of Triple Crown winners. But, as anyone who’s ever bet the ponies knows, they can’t all be Justifys. Sometimes you get a winner and sometimes, for reasons that aren’t quite clear to anyone, you get an underperformer. It’s a concept with which most fund sponsors may be intimately familiar. You bet on the investment because you foresee its potential and understand the path it needs to take in order to achieve it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting a stuck-in-the-mudder into racing shape, written by Accordion‘s Rishi Jain and Anthony Horvat: 6 strategies to turn an underperformer into a “mudder.”

Huron Capital’s new Flex Equity Fund resonates with companies that “need a partner to help them grow, or to provide some liquidity, but don’t want to give up a controlling interest,” says partner Douglas Sutton in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. The Detroit firm won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Seller of the Year. Watch the video: Huron’s Flex Equity resonates with owners who don’t want to give up control.

As the dominoes start to fall and momentum builds, timing will matter to investors in cannabis, writes Jeffrey Howard, managing partner at Salveo Capital, an alternative investment firm specializing in the legalized cannabis sector, in a guest article. For most, the question isn’t whether the federal government legalizes cannabis, it’s how much longer investors will be able to capitalize on this undefined future to influence and profit from how the ecosystem ultimately takes shape, says Howard. If the M&A market can serve as a leading indicator, the runway for investors is already becoming shorter as strategic buyers represent, both, a threat and opportunity. In fact, major players within Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco and Big Pharma have each made inroads in the space, which proves out the investment thesis, but will surely beckon added competition. Read the full story: How to seize M&A opportunities in marijuana’s gray market.

Summer reading list: 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’ list entertain, instruct and inspire. Check out our listicle: Dealmaker’s guide to summer reading: 15 new books.