M&A wrap: Feb. 7 Deadline for M&A Mid-Market Award nominations; Advent, Crosspoint, Forescout, First Eagle, THL Credit, Nestlé, Samsung

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Advent International and Crosspoint Capital are buying cybersecurity company Forescout Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: FSCT) for $1.9 billion. “As enterprises continue to shift to the cloud and decentralized networks, today’s chief information security officers are looking for secure solutions to increase visibility and provide orchestration, making their network controls more seamless,” says Crosspoint managing partner Greg Clark. "Forescout’s platform is already ahead of the curve, and we believe we can further advance the company’s market position by applying the collective experience and expertise in cybersecurity software of the Advent and Crosspoint Capital team.” Forescout offers cloud, device and network security services. The company previously worked with Aflac (NYSE: AFL), Humana (NYSE: HUM) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). “We are still in early innings of a large market opportunity as every organization needs visibility into what is connecting to their network and how to mitigate against high risk devices, including non-traditional IoT and OT devices," adds Forescout CEO Michael DeCesare. Morgan Stanley and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are advising Forescout. Ropes & Gray is advising Advent. Financing is being provided by Owl Rock Capital.

The deadline for Mergers & Acquisitions 13th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards nominations is fast approaching. The awards honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market in 2019. Last year’s winners included TA Associates, Nike, Fortive and Hollie Haynes, who took home Dealmaker of the Year for raising a second fund for Luminate Capital Partners. Nominations are accepted only through our electronic forms. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. There is no fee. For more information on the nomination process and what we seek in winning candidates, see Call for nominations: Submissions for the M&A Mid-Market Awards due Feb. 7.

DEAL NEWS
First Eagle Alternative Credit has closed its fourth middle-market lending fund that has $782 million of available investment capital including leverage. First Eagle Alternative Credit is a alternative credit manager formed by the combination of THL Credit and the private credit operations of First Eagle Investment Management. The fund will provide senior-secured loans to sponsor-backed companies that have up to $40 million in Ebitda. "We expect that the increased scale of our combined direct lending platform will further improve our competitiveness in originating alternative investments and enhance our network of sponsor relationships,” says First Eagle president Chris Flynn.

Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) is buying Unisys Federal from Unisys (NYSE: UIS) for $1.2 billion. The target is a provider of infrastructure modernization, cloud migration and IT services to the Federal government. "This exciting opportunity advances our strategy by building on our modernization capabilities, increasing customer access, accelerating growth and enhancing shareholder value,” says SAIC CEO Nazzic Keene. Guggenheim Securities, Citigroup Global Markets and King & Spalding are advising SAIC.

Nestlé’s health science arm has invested another $200 million in Aimmune Therapeutics' peanut allergy drug Palforzia. This comes on top of Nestlé’s already existing $273 million stake, raising the company's total investment to $473 million.

Hg-backed tax software provider Sovos has bought Booke Seminars from Aon. Booke Seminars offers education seminars to insurance and IRS employees on topics related to casualty, property, life and health insurance. EY and Morris, Manning & Martin advised Sovos.

Samsung Electonics has acquired TeleWorld Solutions in a deal designed to help network operators accelerate and simplify rollouts of 5G networks across the U.S. Clearsight Advisors advised TeleWord.

Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, has long been interested in EBay Inc., seeing similarities in the two companies’ platforms, but the online marketplace didn’t want to discuss a takeover, ICE CEO Jeff Sprechter said. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: eBay wasn't interested in a deal with NYSE's owner, CEO says.

DEAL TRENDS
Investment banks Drake Star Partners and TC Capital have formed a strategic partnership to expand their global opportunities. The partnership grows Drake's presence in Southeast Asia, while strenghthening TC's presence in North America and Europe.

PEOPLE MOVES
Matt Moore has been promoted to partner and Daniel Cohen has been promoted to principal at middle-market private equity firm Alpine Investors.

Jeanie Cogill has joined law firm King & Spalding as a partner. Previously with Morgan Lewis, Cogill focuses on executive compensation and employee benefits related to M&A.

Stephen Ball, Charles Leeming and Ben Squires have been hired as partners at law firm Squire Patton Boggs. All three focus on private equity.

FEATURED CONTENT
Artificial intelligence in healthcare saw about $4 billion in funding across 367 deals in 2019, according to data and research firm CB Insights. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq; AMZN) is no exception. The tech conglomerate is using its recent deals for Health Navigator and PillPack to launch new software services in healthcare. Health Navigator works with companies like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in offering services such as remote diagnoses, and with triage to help patients figure out whether to stay at home, see a doctor or go straight to the emergency room. Read our full coverage: How Amazon is using M&A to revolutionize healthcare.

Pushed by a groundbreaking California law mandating it, more companies are putting women on their public corporate boards. The law faces pressure in court and may not stand, but its rippling effect has already started to increase the visibility and awareness of the important benefits of board diversity. Investors are taking notice and trying to get ahead of the curve. According to a study published by MSCI in March 2018, having three or more women on a company’s board of directors translates to a 1.2 percent median productivity above competitors. Read the full guest article by Venable's Belinda Martinez Vega: Why businesses are adding women to their boards.

If there’s anything M&A professionals dislike, it’s uncertainty. And heading into 2020, there’s more than enough uncertainty to go around, including questions about the economy, international trade, impeachment, domestic politics and more. The funny thing is, the lack of clarity may actually make the first half of the year a great time for M&A, as dealmakers push to close transactions before the looming uncertainty of Election Day and its outcome. We conducted interviews with 8 investment bankers and other M&A advisors. Some said the first half of the year will be robust, while others said the uncertainty may have a negative impact throughout 2020. Read the full story, What’s ahead for M&A in 2020? We ask 8 advisors.

Mergers & Acquisitions examines the impact of 7 technologies on M&A in the retail sector. Read the whole series:

Overview: Retail Tech M&A: 7 Technologies Driving Change
Retail Tech M&A #1: Nike, McDonald's, PayPal, add customization, IoT
Retail Tech M&A #2: Why Walmart and other retailers are buying artificial intelligence startups
Retail Tech M&A #3: Amazon leads race to build fulfillment centers
Retail Tech M&A #4: Do robots fill orders faster?
Retail Tech M&A #5: Voice recognition gives retailers more ways to communicate
Retail Tech M&A #6: Data improves customer service
Retail Tech M&A #7: Demand for convenience drives growth in mobile ordering

To celebrate deals, dealmakers and dealmaking firms, Mergers & Acquisitions produces three special reports every year: the M&A Mid-Market Awards; the Rising Stars of Private Equity; and the Most s for each, see Special reports overview: M&A Mid-Market Awards, Rising Stars, Most Influential Women.

EVENTS
ACG New York is hosting the 12th annual healthcare conference and bourbon tasting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on Feb. 27.

ACG Raleigh Durham's 18th annual capital conference is being from March 31-April 1 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina.

InterGrowth 2020 is taking place at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from April 20-22.

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