M&A wrap: Aston Martin, Formula One, Apax, J.F. Lehman, Most Influential Women, M&A Mid-Market Award Nominations

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Mergers & Acquisitions has named the 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. This marks the fifth 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. This 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 are new to our list, including Rockwood Equity Partners' Kate Faust, William Blair's Shay Brokemond 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.

Mergers & Acquisitions has opened up the nomination process for the 13th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards, which will honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market in 2019. Last year’s winners included: 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
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc secured a 500-million-pound ($656 million) lifeline to restore the balance sheet and help build a new sport-utility vehicle after agreeing to sell a minority stake to billionaire and Formula One team owner Lawrence Stroll. The deal gives the U.K. luxury carmaker much-needed breathing space as it looks to get back in track following a turbulent start to life as a public company. Aston Martin needs funds to ease a debt burden and start building the DBX, its first-ever SUV, which CEO Andy Palmer is banking on to sell in higher volumes than the stylish sports cars made famous in the James Bond movies. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Aston Martin sells stake to formula one billionaire.

BBH Capital Partners and the Stephens Group-backed Westrock Coffee Co. is buying coffee and tea distributor S&D Coffee and Tea from Cott Corp. (NYSE: COT) for $405 million. “This strategic combination will create the nation’s premier coffee, tea, and extract supplier that is capable of serving the most complex and demanding customers across the country and around the world," says Westrock CEO Scott Ford. BMO Capital Markets and Drinker Biddle & Reath are advising Cott. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is advising Westrock.

Align Financial Holdings is acquiring property insurer National LLoyds Corp. from Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTH) for $150 million. Piper Sandler & Co. (NYSEL PIPR) and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are advising Hilltop. Durham Jones & Pinegar is advising Align.

Apax Digital Fund and New Enterprises Associates have invested $100 milion in e-commerce fashion platform Moda Operandi. Santo Domingo Family, Comerica Bank and TriplePoint Capital also participated in the round.

J.F. Lehman & Co. is buying Global Marine Group. The target is a provider of subsea cable maintenance and installation services to the telecommunications, offshore wind and utility sectors. Winchester Capital, Jones Day and Blank Rome are advising J.F. Lehman. Deutsche Bank, ABM Amro and Hogan Lovells are advising the target. Deutsche Bank is providing financing.

Idex Corp. (NYSE: IEX) is buying Flow Management Devices for $125 million. Lock Lord is representing flow.

For more deal announcements, see Weekly wrap: C.H. Robinson, Lee Enterprises, Stanley Black.

For more on fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: Abbott, BlackRock, Searchlight, Wynnchurch.

DEAL TRENDS
Investment banks Seaport Global Holdings and Gordian Group have formed a joint venture called Seaport Gordian Energy that will offer advisory services in energy restructuring. "Gordian Group’s impressive financial restructuring and distressed M&A practice is highly complementary to Seaport Global’s established energy sector investment banking practice and dramatically expands Seaport’s energy restructuring services," says Seaport CEO Michael Meagher.

PEOPLE MOVES
Tim Brown is transitioning from chief financial officer to corporate development officer at Motus to help the company accelerate its M&A strategy. Motus handles remimbursement services for businesses that have mobile staffs.

Ayşe Yüksel Mahfoud has been named head of cross-border practices at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Mafoud is also Norton Rose's Istanbul partner-in-charge.

FEATURED CONTENT
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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