Technology-focused private equity firm Accel-KKR has closed a new fund, Accel-KKR Emerging Buyout Partners, at $640 million. The fund will continue Accel-KKR’s strategy of investing in software and tech-enabled services businesses, focusing on small-cap companies. The new fund raises Accel-KKR’s total assets under management to over $10 billion. “Despite the less-than-ideal conditions imposed by the pandemic, we completed a very efficient, successful fundraise almost completely during the lockdown," says Accel-KKR managing partner Rob Palumbo. "We now look forward to putting this capital to work and leveraging our software investing experience to help the next cohort of software companies and founders succeed.” The fund currently consists of three software platform companies: Blue Mountain Quality Resources; Cloud9 Software; and InSight Mobile Data and Rhino Fleeting Tracking. Accel-KKR has invested in over 250 companies since it was founded in 2000.

Mergers and Acquisitions has announced our Call for Nominations, and we are seeking candidates for the 2021 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Deadline is Monday, December 7, 2020. Click here to learn more and nominate a candidate. It will mark the sixth year we have produced the list, which recognizes female leaders with significant influence inside their companies and in the wider dealmaking world. It’s been gratifying to watch the project evolve over the years – and become more influential itself. Last year, we received more nominations than ever before. As a result, we expanded the number honored to 42 in 2020, up from 36 in 2019. Many dealmakers were new to our 2020 list, including Rockwood Equity Partners' Kate Faust and Avante Capital Partners' Ivelisse Simon. Read our full coverage of all the champions of change on our list, including Q&As with each individual. We will publish the 2021 list in the February issue of Mergers & Acquisitions.

LVMH has agreed to buy Tiffany & Co. at a slightly reduced price of almost $16 billion, preserving the luxury industry’s biggest takeover and avoiding a courtroom battle over an earlier deal that soured. The owner of brands like Dior fashions and Hennessy cognac will pay $131.50 a share, down from the original price of $135. The deal gives LVMH a major boost in the global jewelry market, adding a famous brand that can compete with Richemont’s Cartier. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: LVMH Revives Biggest Luxury Deal by Settling Tiffany Dispute.

Carlyle Group Inc. is acquiring Siemens AG’s mechanical-drive unit Flender for more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in one of the last acts to unwind the German conglomerate under its longtime CEO Joe Kaeser. The disposal of Bocholt, Germany-based Flender marks one of the final steps by Kaeser to turn the industrial-manufacturing giant into a more manageable entity for his successor, Roland Busch. Read the full story by Bloomberg: Carlyle Acquires Siemens’s Mechanical-Drive Unit for $2.4 Billion.

Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) is buying digital payments company Bread for $450 million. Bread's technology includes buy now, pay later services. The acquisition expands Alliance's services to allow retailers to offer their customers more flexible payment options during the pandemic. "With the timing of the holiday season upon us, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, and perhaps nowhere as significantly as in financial services and payments," says Alliance chief commercial officer Val Greer. J.P. Morgan and Davis Polk are advising Alliance. Centerview Partners LLC and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising Bread,.

AE Industrial Partners-backed Redwire has acquired Roccor, a maker of parts and systems for the aerospace and defense and space sectors. “The global satellite industry is growing rapidly, and the financial and operational support from Redwire and AE Industrial will allow us to keep pace with the demands of a constantly evolving industry," says Roccor president Chris Pearson. PwC and Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised Redwire. Sparks Willson and Near Earth LLC advised Roccor.

Francisco Partners is buying cybersecurity company Forcepoint from Raytheon Technologies. "Security is an increasingly important strategic investment area for enterprises," says Francisco partner Brian Decker.

Palladium Equity-backed Quirch Foods has bought Colorado Boxed Beef, a distributor of protein and ethnic food products.

Timothy Leahy has been promoted to partner at healthcare-focused investment firm Concord Health Partners.

Ken Beyer has been named CEO at Gryphon Investors-backed Transportation Insight HoldCo. He was previously with Ingram Micro Inc.

Michael Doppelt has joined Constitution Capital Partners as a managing director, investor relations. He was previously with Lightyear Capital and Irving Place Capital.

Kevin Kemmerer has been hired as CEO at Clearlake-backed Dude Solutions. He was most recently with iPipeline.

Anabelle Skalleberg was hired as a principal and Olga Levin was hired as director of finance at the Watermill Group.

"When Covid-19 hit, everything stopped,” says Jeri Harman, the founder of Avante Capital Partners, in the October cover story of Mergers & Acquisitions, written by contributing editor Danielle Fugazy. “We were looking internally to understand where our portfolio was and figure out how we could help existing portfolio companies. That lasted until May. Now we are busy again. It’s not like last year, but there is good deal flow.”

To find out what we can expect in the months to come, we turned to Churchill Asset Management’s Randy Schwimmer, the founder and publisher of The Lead Left, for a contributed article on predictions for 2021. “Transaction efficiency is key to getting deals done,” he says.

As millions of American cast their ballots early, Mergers & Acquisitions turns to Pam Hendrickson, COO of the Riverside Co., who serves on the board of American Investment Council, for a look at the election from private equity’s perspective.

For the full October issue of Mergers & Acquisitions, download the Digital Edition.

For the full versions of these stories, click on the links below.

Most Influential Women of Mid-Market M&A is one of three special projects Mergers & Acquisitions publishes annually. For more details, see: Special reports: Advancing the middle market through Most Influential Women, M&A Mid-Market Awards and Rising Stars.

The M&A Wrap is a bi-weekly column that is published on Mondays and Thursdays.