M&A wrap: Amperity, Custora, Walgreens, Xerox, HP, Riverside

customershopping

Amperity, an artificial intelligence-powered customer data management company is buying consumer data analytics firm Custora. Amperity, which is backed by Tiger Global Management and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), uses artificial intelligence to give businesses a “customer 360” view of what a customer is buying, what they want and how to reach them. Custora offers analytics to retailers. “We started Amperity to give brands the data and power needed to unleash their best ideas and unlock tremendous value for the consumer – our mission is singularly focused on helping people use data to serve the customer,” says Amperity CEO Kabir Shahani. Retailers are increasingly using artificial intelligence to manage their stores and monitor shopping behavior and offer better experiences. Companies are also relying on data and analytics to get a better grasp of consumer needs. "Combined, on a single platform, we’ll have the ability to modernize a brand’s entire customer data infrastructure – from the way customer data is unified and stored, to how the entire enterprise can access the data they need to make daily decisions around better personalizing the customer experience," adds Custora CEO Corey Pierson. J. Crew, Kenneth Cole and Lucky Brand are some brands that previously used Custora.

DEAL NEWS
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) has been reviewing a potential deal to take the company private in what could become the largest leveraged buyout in history, according to Bloomberg News. The company has recently held informal talks with private equity firms including KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR). Read the full story by Bloomberg: Walgreens Boots is exploring a potential buyout.

Xerox Holdings Corp. (NYSE: XRX) has lined up financing from Citigroup Inc. as it weighs a potential bid for HP Inc., according to Bloomberg News. Acquiring HP would buttress Xerox’s share of the printing and copying market, which has been hit hard by a global shift toward cloud computing. Read the full story by Bloomberg: Xerox lines up financing for potential HP bid.

Taylor Morrison Home Corp. (NYSE: TMHC) is merging with homebuilder and developer William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) in a deal valued at $2.4 billion. "The combined business provides the unique opportunity to gain increased local scale and expertise within six of our major markets," says Taylor Morrison CEO Sheryl Palmer. Citigroup Global Markets (NYSE: C) and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are advising Taylor Morrison. J.P. Morgan Securities (NYSE: JPM) and Latham & Watkins are advising William Lyon.

Workday Inc. (Nasdaq: WDAY) is acquiring Scout RFP for $540 million. The target offers cloud-based software that is designed to streamline project management and processes. Cooley is advising Workday and Fenwick & West is advising Scout.

ICV Partners is buying Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: SAUC), an operator of 64 Buffalo Wild Wings franchises in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Missouri for $130 million. The deal comes on the heels of ICV investing in 42 BWW restaurants in Michigan. Duff & Phelps and Dykema are advising DRH. DLA Piper is representing ICV.

The Riverside Co.-backed SureWerx has acquired Sure Foot Corp., the maker of the Due North footwear traction aid products. Traction aids are lightweight and fit over footwear to minimize slips and falls on ice and snow. Jones Day and BKD advised the buyers. Aramar Capital Group advised Sure Foot. Golub Capital provided financing.

Enhanced Healthcare Partners and Bourne Partners Strategic Capital have acquired Pharmaceutical Associates, a maker of liquid-dose bottle packaging. Hospitals are increasingly using unit-dose liquid packaging as it improves compliance, reduces medicine waste, increases efficiency and improves patient outcomes, according to the two PE firms.

The Halifax Group has invested in AAMP Holdings, a manufacturer of vehicle parts, from Audax Private Equity.

Anacapa Partners has invested in Agasus, which offers rental services for desktop computers and tablets in Brazil.

PEOPLE MOVES
Brian Bogen has joined middle-market investment bank Cascadia Capital as a managing director in the firm's private capital group. Most recently with Saltchuk, Bogen focuses on providing long-term capital services to privately-held businesses in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii.

FEATURED CONTENT
Esteemed M&A attorney Martin (“Marty”) Lipton was honored at a black-tie event hosted by the Institute of International Education at The Pierre in New York on Oct. 30. Called the “the king of M&A,” the co-founder of New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, is well known to dealmakers as the architect of the anti-takeover defense strategy known as the “poison pill.” Lipton was awarded the IIE Stephen P. Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding “in recognition of his lifetime of extraordinary achievement and his lasting contribution to international higher education. Read the full story: Martin Lipton, inventor of the “poison pill” anti-takeover defense honored by IIE.

The private equity model has held up very well over the decades, continuing to outperform the public markets, even as economic cycles come and go. But the rate of growth has slowed, leading PE firms to seek adjacent areas of business to expand. As PE firms face increased pressure to produce higher returns on their investments, many of them are turning to a familiar area of business: lending. Adams Street Partners, Balance Point Capital, Carlyle and VSS are all actively engaged in lending. Read the full story: Private equity firms are becoming lenders. Here’s why.

Bank M&A has been soaring, creating the perfect backdrop for Piper Jaffray’s announced acquisition of Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP. “There has been a lot of consolidation in the bank space,” Piper Jaffray CEO Chad Abraham told Mergers & Acquisitions. “But there are still 5,000 banks, and we expect the pace of consolidation to continue.” For analysis of the deal, see Counting on bank M&A: Why Piper Jaffray bought Sandler O'Neill.

Looking for a glimpse of what’s to come in the private equity industry? Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. As the PE industry undergoes a generational shift, and many firm founders retire, it’s well worth getting to know these emerging leaders, including Branford's Austin Collier, Sterling Partners' Shawn Domanic and Summit Partners' Sophia Popova. For profiles and video interviews, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. For Q&As, see 10 Rising Stars of Private Equity tell their tales.

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 Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. For more on the timeline and nomination process for each, see Special reports overview: M&A Mid-Market Awards, Rising Stars, Most Influential Women.

EVENTS
ACG Boston hosts The 2nd annual Healthcare Conference – Improving the Patient Experience - on Nov. 6 at the UMass Club in Boston, as a part of the ACG Northeast Industry Tour. Speakers include Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn, who is moderating a panel.

ACG Charlotte brings M&A pros together for Deal Crawl at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 6-7.

The Third Annual Women in Alternative Investments Career Forum is taking place at the New York Hilton on Nov. 8.

ACG New York is hosting Middle Market Week in New York from Nov. 11-15. The 17th Annual Private Equity Wine Tasting Gala takes place on Nov. 13 at Gotham Hall.

Exponent Women is hosting a Family Office Event with Owens Group at LX Gallery in New York on Nov. 21. Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn is moderating a panel.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.