M&A wrap: Arsenal, Forbes, Optima, Francisco Partners, Gridiron, PE Rising Stars

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Arsenal Capital Partners has closed its fifth fund at $2.36 billion. The middle-market PE firm focuses on the industrials and healthcare sectors in businesses that have up to $500 million in enterprise value. "We are delighted that through this recent fundraise, we also were able to initiate new relationships with a number of blue-chip investors, diversifying our global investor base and fortifying our institution for years to come," says Arsenal co-founder Terry Mullen. Earlier in 2019, Arsenal sold Elite Comfort Solutions to Leggett & Platt for $1.25 billion. In 2018, Arsenal-backed Meridian completed the acquisitions of Epoxy Technology and Adhesives Technology Corp. Also in 2018, Arsenal-backed Carolina Color acquired Chroma Color. The firm's investor base for its latest fund consists of 58 percent of capital coming from the U.S., 33 percent from Europe and the balance from Middle East, Asia and Australasia. Some of its notable investors include: The Regents of the University of California, California State Teachers' Retirement System, affiliates of APG Asset Management, Minnesota State Board of Investment, and PKA AIP A/S. Arsenal has raised $5.3 billion since it was founded in 2000. Kirkland & Ellis advised Arsenal.

Call for nominations: Mergers & Acquisitions has opened up the nomination process for the second annual 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. Last year, we named 11 PE investors to the list, including Ethan Liebermann (pictured: top row, far right), who was recently promoted from principal to director of TA Associates, and Jennifer Roach Pacini (bottom row, far left), a vice president of Yellow Wood Partners. For the Rising Stars of Private Equity, we look for individuals who are full-time private equity investors and whose best days are yet to come. These are the folks you predict will one day play a key leadership role at your PE firm – or will head up their own. There is no age cutoff. As a general rule of thumb, we are looking for candidates beyond entry-level investing but before making partner. We publish the list online in July and in the July/August issue of the magazine. The deadline for nominations is end of day Thursday, May 23, 2019. Nominations will be accepted only through our online form.There is no fee.

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A RISING STAR OF PRIVATE EQUITY
Click here for the 2018 Rising Stars of Private Equity.

Related: Read more about Mergers & Acquisitions' three annual special reports, including the M&A Mid-Market Awards, the Rising Stars of Private Equity, and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

DEAL NEWS
FWM Holdings, the parent company of Forbes Family Trust and LGL Partners, is buying Optima Fund Management. Optima is a private investment firm that specializes in alternative investments. “We believe Optima delivers strategies that are well-positioned to perform as markets grow more volatile," says FWM CEO Keith Bloomfield. Forbes Family Trust is a family office that manages investments and the wealth for the Forbes family. Steve Forbes is the chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes. Cambridge International Partners is advising Optima.

Francisco Partners has acquired a majority stake in PayScale from Warburg Pincus. PayScale offers compensation software and data to employers and employees. Advisors to PayScale include: Raymond James and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. The legal advisor to Francisco is Kirkland & Ellis.

Gridiron Capital has acquired Jacent from Lariat Partners. Jacent sources, warehouses, ships and stocks over 3,500 impulse items to more than 15,000 grocery stores across North America.

Lavu, a provider of mobile point-of-sale and payments systems, has bought MenuDrive. The target offers online and mobile ordering technology for restaurants.

Grain Management, a private equity firm focused on the communications sector, has raised its fourth fund at $899 million. Credit Suisse Securities served as Grain's placement agent and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison provided legal counsel.

FEATURED CONTENT
Excelled. Innovated. Inspired. That’s what the eight winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ 12th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards did in 2018. Our awards honor the leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market. In addition to Nike, award winners include: Fortive, TA Associates, the Riverside Co., Harris Williams, Monroe Capital, Goodwin and Luminate Capital Partners' Hollie Haynes. Read our full coverage: Meet the winners of the M&A Mid-Market Awards: Nike, Fortive, TA, Harris Williams.

Related: Read more about Mergers & Acquisitions' three annual special reports, including the M&A Mid-Market Awards, the Rising Stars of Private Equity, and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Genstar Capital, Audax, HarbourVest ranked as the top U.S. private equity firms of 2018, based on volume of completed deals, according to PitchBook. Check out Mergers & Acquisitions' profiles of 21 firms that led the league tables. Top private equity firms: Genstar, Audax, HarbourVest and more

Also see: Top investment banks in PE-backed deals: KPMG, Houlihan, GS, William Blair.

Technology permeates dealmaking today. “Tech is, more or less, touching everything,” as the authors of The 2019 BDO Technology Outlook Survey put it. You can see the impact of tech throughout the 2018 winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Awards especially: Luminate Capital Partners founder Hollie Hayne scoring Dealmaker of the Year for raising a second fund to invest in enterprise software companies; and TA Associates winning Private Equity Firm of the Year for investing a record $2.8 billion in new portfolio companies, most of which are infused with technology one way or the other.

Related: Why private equity firms still love technology
Related: 10 private equity firms share strategies for tech M&A.

Mergers & Acquisitions has named 36 leaders the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Kainos Capital's Sarah Bradley, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors' Nishita Cummings and Pelham S2K Managers' Venita Fields. All 36 are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. This year, we asked the featured dealmakers to tell their own stories through Q&As, including their advice for women. Related: Meet the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

EVENTS
InterGrowth 2019 takes place May 6-8 at the Waldorf Astoria & Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida.

Innovation Works holds its second annual AI/Robotics Venture Fair in Pittsburgh May 15-16.

ACG Chicago hosts the Midwest Capital Connection, at The Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, May 21-22.

ACG New York, ACG Boston and ACG Philadelphia are holding the Industrial Conference with Value Creation at the Infor in New York on June 6. The event is part of the Northeast Industry Tour.

ACG Minnesota hosts the The Upper Midwest ACG Capital Connection at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, June 10-11.

ACG Boston brings together 700-plus dealmakers for DealFest Northeast and DealSource Select 2019 at the Cyclorama & The State Room, June 12-13.

Exponent Women hosts the Annual Exchange, which brings a trusted network of women dealmakers together for a focused day of robust content and networking, at Second in New York, on Thurs July 11. The Exchange provides attendees with opportunities to establish new connections, reinforce existing ones, and absorb timely and relevant knowledge from industry leaders.

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