Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and GIC have completed their purchase of a 55 percent stake in Thomson Reuters’ financial and risk business, which is now called Refinitiv. The deal comes as businesses are increasingly relying on data to help them make better decisions, making data providers attractive M&A targets. “We firmly believe that efficient, transparent and trusted markets are good for all and that Refinitiv’s role is at the heart of this, providing access to clean and consistent data on a global scale,” says Refinitiv CEO David Craig. Thomson Reuters is keeping the other 45 percent in the target and the sale of the majority stake values the entire business at around $20 billion. Refinitv offers data and insights to traders, investors and other financial professionals. The target, which competes with Bloomberg news and data terminals, also provides regulatory and risk management services. Some other deals include: ION Investment Group’s purchase of Dealogic; Morningstar Inc.’s (Nasdaq: MORN) deal for PitchBook; Inc.’s (NYSE: CRM) purchase of Datorama; S&P Global’s (NYSE: SPGI) acquisition of Kensho Technologies; and Thomas H. Lee Partners-led consortium buying Dun & Bradstreet. Canson Capital Partners, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advised the buyers on the Refinitiv deal.

Blackstone has started talking to investors about a second fund dedicated to buying stakes in alternative-asset managers, according to Bloomberg News. The New York-based firm is seeking at least $3.3 billion for its second fund, which will buy minority stakes in alternative-asset managers with a focus on private equity, real estate and infrastructure. Read the full story: Blackstone is seeking $3.3 Billion to buy stakes in peers.

Mergers & Acquisitions has opened up the nomination process for the 2019 edition of The Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. By identifying and featuring dozens of influential women, Mergers & Acquisitions nurtures the community of female leaders and provides role models for women who are at earlier stages of their careers. To be considered, candidates must be women who are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. Evidence of influence in the broader M&A industry is essential. When nominating a candidate, please explain how she outperforms her colleagues at her firm and in the industry. Please provide examples of deals she has led, initiatives she has launched and other instances that show evidence of her influence in the middle market. While considering the merits of candidates, it’s helpful to read about women who have met our criteria in the past, such as Kainos Capital co-founder Sarah Bradley, who graced our 2018 cover. See the profiles of 35 women in our previous edition. Nominations must be received by Monday, October 15, 2018. Click here to learn more about the criteria and to submit a nomination.

Deal news
Platinum Equity completed its $2.1 billion purchase of LifeScan, a blood glucose monitoring products distributor, from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). Morgan Lewis advised Platinum Equity.

TSG Consumer Partners has bought a minority stake a Dutch Bros. Coffee, the largest privately held drive-thru coffee company in the U.S. with more than 300 locations.

Angeles Equity Partners and Clearlake Capital Group-backed American Construction Source has acquired building products distributors Edwards Building Center and Breckenridge Building Center.

Stellex Capital Management has acquired Grammer Industries Inc., a logistics company for hazardous materials. Piper Jaffray & Co. (NYSE: PJC) and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advised Grammer. Deloitte Corporate Finance, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, K&L Gates LLP and Kirkland & Ellis advised Stellex. NewStar Financial, Bain Capital Credit and CIT Financial provided financing.

Falfurrias Capital Partners has acquired Global Plasma Solutions, a provider of air purification devices that are designed to improve indoor air quality while reducing energy costs associated with commercial, residential and industrial HVAC systems

Gen Cap America has bought physical therapy products company Orthopedic Phyiscal Therapy Products.

IT infrastructure company Kaseya has acquired software data backup service Spanning Cloud Apps from Insight Venture Partners.

Maple Leaf Foods is buying Viau Foods, a Canadian producer of Italian cooked, dry-cured and charcuterie meats, for $215 million.

Landmark Partners and PAI Partners are investing about $150 million in chemicals distributor Perstop.

Silversmith Capital Partners has made a growth equity investment in MediQuant, a provider of hospital data active archiving. Ropes & Gray represented SIlversmith.

Wind Point-backed Ox Engineered Products has acquired HomeGuard Building Products, a manufacturer of micro-perforated woven and non-woven polyolefin housewraps. Reed Smith and BKD LLP advised Wind Point and Ox.

People moves
Tony Feuerstein and Adam Weinstein have joined Sidley Austin as partners. They were most recently with Akin Gump and they focus on private equity and M&A.

Timothy Loomer has been named CEO at Millpond Equity Partners and Wasena Capital-backed Science Interactive Group, a provider of science, technology, engineering, and math products to the education sector. Loomer was most recently with education-focused investment bank Tyton Partners.

Tom Monteleone was hired by Clearlake Capital-backed Provation as chief financial officer. Monteleone was most recently the CFO at software company Ancile.

Dan Shribman has joined B. Riley Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: RILY) as president of principal investments, which seeks acquisitions and investments of undervalued businesses. Shribman was previously with Anchorage Capital Group.

Featured content
With football season underway, Mergers & Acquisitions takes a look at star players who invest in companies through private equity, venture capital and other investment vehicles. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan (pictured), who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of PE firm HGGC. For more, read the full story: Tom Brady, Muhsin Muhammad, Michael Strahan, Steve Young also build companies.

Food & beverage M&A offers plenty of mouth-watering deals. Giants Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and PepsiCo Inc. (Nasdaq: PEP) update their product lines with healthy offerings, while private equity firms, such as Brynwood Partners, breathe new life into tried and true brands, like Pillsbury. And lots of buyers experiment with meal kits and delivery methods, fueling M&A. Read the full story: 9 food & beverage companies loved by consumers and dealmakers alike.

Strategic buyers leverage data, sell more snacks and cater to seniors. Mergers & Acquisitions outlines the M&A strategies of 8 corporations, including Best Buy, Energizer, Fortune Brands, Hershey, Nike, P&G, Stanley Black & Decker and Tyson Foods. See the full story: Best Buy, Hershey, Nike, P&G and more wield M&A to grow.

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), the owner of Hillshire Farm, wants to “feed the world” with its protein brands and will seek acquisitions to help. How Tyson is focusing on what it does best through M&A.

Between 70 and 80 percent of all M&A integration projects fall short of delivering anticipated value. This isn’t because the acquisition target is somehow subpar, it’s because the acquiring firm lacks a strong integration strategy. Read the full story: How to accelerate value in the first 100 days after an acquisition.

Why investors like diversity. “Companies that are inclusive and also diverse tend to outperform companies that aren’t,” says investor Lorine Pendleton of Pipeline Angels and Portfolia in this video interview shot at Exponent Exchange, a gathering of 200 female dealmakers. Watch the full video: M&A Insights: Inclusion investing.

M&A East, hosted by ACG Philadelphia and held Oct. 24-25, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, brings together 1,300 top strategic and financial dealmakers and leading middle-market advisors for deal sourcing and networking. Featured speakers include Walter Robb, former CEO Whole Foods, and Chris Voss, former FBI lead hostage negotiator. The Women in Dealmaking session will focus on Women in the Board Room.

Exponent Evening with Tequila Casa Dragones, hosted by Exponent Women LLC, a networking group for female dealmakers, held Oct. 25 at The Dream Downtown in New York, features tequila, food and a conversation between Bertha Gonzales Nieves, co-founder and CEO of Tequila Casa Dragones, and Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. For more on networking group’s previous event, see Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.

ACG Florida Capital Connection, held Nov. 12-14, at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, puts “sun and fun” into dealmaking for the middle market, bringing together hundreds of dealmakers. The keynote speaker is Forbes Media CEO Steve Forbes, and the featured speaker for the Women’s Forum is Valerie Crites Fowler, who served as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service for over 29 years, reaching the rank of Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service.

Middle Market Week, hosted by ACG New York and held Nov. 26-30 at various locations throughout New York, brings together leading global middle-market dealmaking professionals to develop and enhance their dealmaking activities, strengthen their long-term relationships, and provide numerous opportunities for networking all week long. Mark your calendar for the Private Equity Annual Wine Tasting Gala on Nov. 28 at Gotham Hall. The building was constructed in the 1920s as the headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank. The gala brings together the leading middle market private equity firms for an evening of fine wines and networking.