M&A wrap: Bumble Fund, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Best Buy, GTCR, GreatCall, P&G
Dating app Bumble, founded by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, is best known for challenging "the antiquated rules of dating" by requiring that women "talk first to set an equal tone from the start," as the website puts it. Now the startup is launching a venture capital fund to invest in women-led businesses. Bumble COO Sarah Jones Simmer is running Bumble Fund's investment strategy, along with senior advisor Sarah Kunst, managing director of venture fund Cleo Capital. Bumble Fund has already made commitments to prenatal and postpartum healthcare company Mahmee, beauty startup BeautyCon and swimwear startup Sofia Los Angeles, according to Forbes. “Through Bumble Fund, we’ll look not only to support those women leaders who have been largely ignored, but we’ll also demonstrate why those investments build smart, successful businesses," Simmer tells TechCrunch. In 2017, just 2.2 percent of VC funding went to women-founded businesses, according to PitchBook. Support for women-led companies appears to be growing. In June, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) announced a program called Launch With GS, which is investing $500 million of the firm’s and clients’ capital in private, late-stage, women-founded, women-owned or women-led companies. In July, 200 female dealmakers gathered for a networking event in New York. Check out our slideshow from the event, Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.
Tech retailer Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) is buying GreatCall, a provider of emergency response services for seniors, from GTCR for $800 million. Under the Jitterbug and Lively Label brands, GreatCall makes wearable devices that connect to services with trained agents who answer questions, dispatch emergency personnel and reach family caregivers. The San Diego-based target, founded in 2006, has more than 900,000 subscribers. “We know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them,” says Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly. “Now, we have a great opportunity to serve the needs of these customers by combining GreatCall’s expertise with Best Buy’s unique merchandising, marketing, sales and services capabilities." The acquisition is part of Best Buy's strategy to expand its products and services for the senior population. Best Buy estimates that there are over 50 million Americans over the age of 65, and the company expects the number to increase by at least 50 percent within the next 20 years. In developing GreatCall, GTCR partnered with long-time industry leader David Inns, in an example of the Chicago PE firm's the Leaders Strategy, a program that involves "finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth." In 2018, the PE firm agreed to sell credit reference firm Callcredit to TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) for $1.4 billion. Goldman Sachs & Co. (NYSE: GS), Allen & Co., and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are advising Best Buy. Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) and Kirkland & Ellis are advising GTCR.
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, which are aimed at relieving muscle, joint and back pain, colds and headaches. P&G is also purchasing skincare brand First Aid Beauty. First Aid, founded in 2009 and based in Newton, Massachusetts, makes products that are designed for sensitive skin, redness, dry skin and eczema. “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.
For years, Jim Coulter and David Bonderman, the billionaire co-founders of private equity firm TPG, flirted with the idea of selling shares in their own firm to the public. No longer. Coulter and Jon Winkelried, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) president who took over for Bonderman as co-chief executive three years ago, have decided to remain an old-school partnership. Read the full story: Buyout titan TPG to stay private, parting ways with KKR, Apollo.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is in the running to acquire Landmark Theaters, a move that would vault the e-commerce giant into the brick-and-mortar cinema industry, reports Bloomberg News. Read the full story: Amazon in running to acquire Landmark movie chain.
Accel-KKR has invested in SugarCRM. The target collects information across sales, services and marketing to help businesses build better customer relationships.
Huron Capital, KCM Capital Partners and Stonehenge Partners have invested in foodservice supplier Atlantic Beverage Co. The target distributes more than 2,000 non-perishable food and beverage products. Huron made the investment out of the firm's Flex Equity fund. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP represented KCM.
Watch maker Movado Group Inc. (NYSE: MOV) is buying MVMT Watches Inc. for up to $200 million. MVMT sells watches, sunglasses and other accessories. The buyer is paying $100 million upfront and up to another $100 million that is based on future contingencies. Centerview Partners and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are advising Movado. Rothschild and Cooley are advising MVMT.
Resource Label Group, backed by First Atlantic Capital and TPG Growth, has acquired Paragon Label. The target is a supplier of labeling services for the premium wine sector.
The Riverside Co. has invested in SET Industrial Services, a provider of vacuum truck, tank cleaning and hyrdroblasting services. Jones Day and Kostopoulos Rodriguez
PLLC represented Riverside. CIBC provided financing.
Mergers & Acquisitions has announced the Rising Stars of Private Equity. These 11 up-and-coming investors are expected to play significant leadership roles in the future. Congratulations to:
Daniel Hopkin, Partner, Kainos Capital
John Kos, Principal, GTCR
Erik Latterell, Director, Stone Arch Capital
Ethan Liebermann, Principal, TA Associates
Jaime McKenzie, Director, Monomoy Capital
Jennifer Roach, Vice President, Yellow Wood Partners
Joseph Rondinelli, Principal, Frontenac
David Shainberg, Vice President, Balmoral
Tom Smithburg, Vice President, Shore Capital Partners
Nicholas Stone, Managing Director, Cyprium Partners
Afaf Ibraheem Warren, Senior Associate, Siris Capital
For profiles of the emerging leaders, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 11 Rising Stars of Private Equity.
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 fundraising news on an on-going basis, see our weekly column, PE fundraisng scorecard: Canson Capital and G Squared Opportunities.
Summer reading list: From stories of star athletes Arnold Palmer, Keith Hernandez and Tiger Woods to advice from entrepreneurs Bridgewater Associates’ Ray 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.