Mergers & Acquisitions has named the 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. This marks the fifth year we have produced the list. 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. We’re also pleased to welcome many newcomers to the list, such as Maria Watts, managing director, Baird. “Bankers are encouraged to take on new roles and strategic risks, and I am more open-minded to that in the future as a result,” says Watts. Read our full coverage of all the champions of change on our list, including Q&As with each individual.

PolyOne Corp. (NYSE: POL) is buying Clariant’s masterbatch business for $1.45 billion. The target makes color and additive technologies for the consumer, packaging and healthcare sectors. Jones Day is advising PolyOne. Citi (NYSE: C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) are providing financing.

TiVo Corp. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the inventor of the digital video recorder, and technology licensor Xperi Corp. (Nasdaq: XPER) are merging. The enterprise value of the combined company is approximately $3 billion. In May, TiVo announced plans to split in two by spinning off its patent portfolio in the first half of 2020. That would have left TiVo with its product division, which offers streaming devices, digital video recording and software services. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: TiVo merges with technology licensor Xperi.

Helen of Troy Ltd. (Nasdaq: HELE) is buying haircare brand Drybar for $255 million. “Drybar will complement our Revlon and HOT Tools products, allowing our brands to resonate with consumers and professionals across the good, better, and best segments,” says Helen of Troy CEO Julien Mininberg.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Nasdaq: GT) has acquired Raben Tire Co. from Palladium Equity Partners. Raben is one of the largest tire and service companies in the Midwest. BB&T Capital Markets and Greenberg Traurig advised Raben.

Ardian has acquired Cerelia, a European provider of read-to-bake pizza dough, pancakes, crepes and cookies, from IK Investment Partners.

About 76 percent of exceutives say their businesses will be just as or more profitable in 2020 compared with 2019, according to a survey conducted by accounting firm EisnerAmper. About 54 percent of respondents say their biggest concern in 2020 is an economic slowdown. In the middle market, dealflow remains steady. Read our full coverage: Dr. Scholl’s, Drunk Elephant and Quest Nutrition were among the targets purchased in November.

Jeff Moredock has been promoted to principal at consumer-focused private equity firm Kainos Capital, and Julie Sanders has been promoted to director at the same firm.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, all eyes are on the retail industry, which is undergoing transformational changes. 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

Albertsons, Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Stop & Shop and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) are building automated mini-warehouses and “dark stores” to make deliveries and prepare pickup orders. Mini-warehouses are usually attached to existing stores, and in most cases, “dark stores” are completely separate. Both formats are closed off to customers, and are mostly automated. They use the assistance of robots for speed, save on labor, and get orders out faster. Kroger bought a five percent stake in robotics firm Ocado. Read our full coverage: Smart supermarkets become popular, as Kroger, Walmart add them.

It’s a milestone year for the Blackstone Group Inc. (NYSE: BX), which transitioned from a publicly traded partnership to a corporation on July 1. The New York firm announced the final close of its latest global real estate fund recently. With $20.5 billion of total capital commitments, Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX is the largest real estate fund ever raised. Mergers & Acquisitions spoke with Stephen A. Schwarzman, the firm’s co-founder, chairman and CEO. Read the full story: “Complete control” is the beauty of private equity, says Blackstone’s Stephen A. Schwarzman.

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.

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.

During the holiday season, Mergers & Acquisitions is covering the philanthropic and volunteer initiatives underway in the private equity industry. At Mergers & Acquisitions, we’re covering the philanthropic and volunteer initiatives underway in the private equity industry. Last year, we published The Big Give, an in-depth look at how private equity firms are contributing. Efforts have continued to flourish, fueled by younger Millennials seeking to build a better future and by mature partners considering the legacy they will leave behind. Read our full coverage: Private equity gives back: Vista’s Robert F. Smith, Clearlake’s José E. Feliciano, Riverside employees.

The Annual AM&AA Winter Conference is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona Jan. 8-10.

Deal Wave is being hosted by ACG Orange Country at the Ritz-Carlton-Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California on Jan. 9.

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