M&A wrap: Allstate, InfoArmor, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, Paytm

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Insurance company Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) is buying InfoArmor Inc., a provider of employee identity protection to more than 1 million employees and their family members at over 1,400 firms, for $525 million. InfoArmor is known for two brands: PrivacyArmor, which is offered to employees by more than 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, is a proactive identity monitoring service that alerts users at the first sign of fraud and restores an individual’s identity; and VigilanteATI, a corporate threat intelligence service, which monitors for emerging threats and protects companies from hacks and cyberattacks. "Consumers are increasingly at risk of having their digital identities compromised," says Allstate CEO Tom Wilson. "With the acquisition of InfoArmor, Allstate will protect more customers from this risk and help rebuild their lives after they have been hacked." Cyberattacks are plaguing companies and individuals, making identity and cybersecurity companies attractive targets. Some deals in the sector include: Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) pending purchase of Duo Security and KMPG's acquisition of Cyberinc.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) has agreed to buy a stake in the company behind Paytm, India’s biggest digital payments brand, reports Bloomberg News. The deal marks Warren Buffett’s foray into the country’s startups. Buffett is set to acquire 3 percent to 4 percent of One97 Communications Ltd., valuing the target at more than $10 billion. One97 Communications, founded by billionaire Vijay Shekhar Sharma, runs the Paytm brand and is the leading player in India’s booming digital payments market. Buffett would join a star-studded group who have invested in Sharma’s companies, including Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ant Financial. Read the full story: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway backs India's Paytm, say sources.

The energy industry is teeming with M&A activity, as companies seek to improve operations. Hubbell and Ingersoll Rand are among the strategic buyers. Private equity firms acquiring include AE Industrial Partners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Genstar Capital. Companies in the energy industry are focused on improving operational efficiencies and analytical capabilities. The issues are urgent for oil and gas companies, because depressed prices mean profits are hard to come by, says Caroline Blitzer Phillips, who advises clients on energy deals as a partner at law firm Vinson & Elkins. They are also essential for renewable energy, which “has been quite expensive in some cases, because the infrastructure is not in place.” From providers of “smart grids” to developers of energy management software, Mergers & Acquisitions looks at recently acquired targets. Read the full story: 14 smart energy deals.

Deal news
Deloitte has purchased QSpace, a cloud-based end-to-end automated, validation lifecycle management system from Archimedis Healthcare Private Ltd., a family-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer based in India. The deal expands Deloitte's compliance services for life sciences companies.

EY has acquired Bulger Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in the software industry. The acquisition will expand EY-Parthenon’s advisory services as technological convergence drives demand for software-focused advice.

Packaging products producer Berry Global Group Inc. (NYSE: BERY) has acquired Laddawn Inc., a manufacturer of polyethylene bags and films. The target has around $145 million in annual sales.

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Co. has bought Urban Armor Gear LLC, a manufacturer of branded, patented, and rugged protective cases for mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.

Hull Street Energy has acquired nine hydroelectric power facilities in New Hampshire from Eversource. Manatt Phelps and Phillips and Van Ness Feldman advised Hull Street.

Pamlico Capital has made a growth equity investment in Airwavz Solutions Inc., an operator of wireless infrastructure inside office and hospitality buildings. The target's services allow tenants and wireless carriers improve coverage and increase network capacity. Citizens Capital Markets and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP advised Airwavz. Alston & Bird represented Pamlico.

Polaris Growth Fund has made growth investment in Iridium Technology, a software provider for law financial and performance management. Western Reserve Partners advised the target.

For more deal announcements, see The weekly wrap: Cava Group, Hartford Financial, Tyson Foods.

For PE fundraising news, see PE fundraising scorecard: TPG Asia and Versey Street Capital.

People moves
Jeff Weinstein and Patrick Lampe have joined Morgan Lewis as partners. They represent arrangers, banks, investors, and issuers and underwriters in connection with securitizations, structured finance, and commercial finance transactions.

For more, read People moves: Rajib Sarkar joins Keefe Bruyette & Woods' insurance group as an MD.

Featured content
As Indra Nooyi ends her 12-year run in the top job at PepsiCo Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), the number of women CEOs in the S&P 500 drops to 24. But in the middle market, a growing movement is nurturing women-led companies. For example, Lorine Pendleton, a member of Pipeline Angels, focuses on inclusion investing, backing companies led by diverse entrepreneurs. Read the full story: Inclusion investing nurtures companies led by women and minorities.

Exponent, a new group of women dealmakers, brought together 200 women from private equity funds, investment banks, startups and M&A advisory firms for the Exponent Exchange, featuring Sallie Krawcheck as the keynote speaker. Previously the CEO of Wall Street banks, including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Citi Private Bank, Krawcheck serves as the CEO of Ellevest, an online investing platform for women. Mergers & Acquisitions participated as an in-kind sponsor, and editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn moderated a panel. Check out our slideshow, Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.

Mergers & Acquisitions has announced 11 Rising Stars of Private Equity, including John Kos, GTCR; Ethan Liebermann, TA Associates; Jennifer Roach, Yellow Wood Partners; and Afaf Ibraheem Warren, Siris Capital . The up-and-coming investors are expected to play significant leadership roles in the future. See: Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 11 Rising Stars of Private Equity.

While some of the firms that were instrumental in launching the middle market back in the 1980s and 1990s have long since been shuttered, their legacy lives on. They proved to be excellent training grounds for many successful dealmakers. Heller Financial certainly belongs in this category, and Mergers & Acquisitions featured its alumni a few years ago. Another firm with a far reach is Holleb & Coff, a Chicago law firm that closed in 2000, after a nearly 50-year run. Founded by Marshall Holleb and Morris Coff in 1951, the firm advised prestigious clients, such as American National Bank, Hollinger International Inc.and LaSalle Bank. Revenue topped $40 million in 1997. In its heyday, Holleb & Coff employed 130-plus attorneys; it was the law firm to work for in the Midwest. Drawn to the supportive culture, new associates and seasoned partners alike enjoyed working at the venerated firm. Many of the lawyers who worked at Holleb & Coff back in the day are making a significant impact on M&A today, including: John Corvino, general counsel to the Chicago White Sox; · Brian Kerwin, chair of Duane Morris’ global corporate practice; Theodore (Ted) Koenig, the founder and CEO of Monroe Capital; Kenneth Serota, president of Hu-Friedy Manufacturing Co., and Michelle Warner, general counsel, USG Corp. (NYSE: US). Read the full story: Holleb & Coff alumni: Where are they now?

See Mergers & Acquisitions' look at 10 PE firms that have succeeded in raising new funds recently despite an overall slowdown in PE fundraising, including the Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG), PPC Partners, Soundcore Capital Partners and Sycamore Partners. For the latest on PE fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: TPG Asia and Versey Street Capital.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is focusing on growing its top 25 brands, including Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet paper, Crest toothpaste, Pampers diapers, Nyquil cough and cold medicine, and Tide laundry detergent, while seeking acquisitions. In April, P&G announced plans to buy Merck KGaA’s consumer-health business for $4.2 billion. The deal includes the Femibion and Neurobion over-the-counter healthcare brands. P&G is also purchasing skincare brand First Aid Beauty. “What you have to have is the brand consumers prefer, because then retailers want to carry it, because it builds the basket,” P&G CEO David Taylor explains. Read the full story: Why P&G is changing its M&A strategy.

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.

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