M&A wrap: Bregal Sagemount, GTCR, Ebix, WHP, Anne Klein, Gemspring, Visa

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Looking for a glimpse of what’s to come in the private equity industry? Meet the 10 dealmakers named by Mergers & Acquisitions as the 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity:

Austin Collier, Branford Castle Partners
Kevin Cunningham, LNC Partners
Shawn Domanic, Sterling Partners
Stephen Jeschke, GTCR
Danielle Lalli, Huron Capital
Jason Mironov, TA Associates
James Oh, Transom Capital Group
Sophia Popova, Summit Partners
Pavan Tripathi, Bregal Sagemount (pictured)
Christine Wang, Francisco Partners

The Rising Stars share a common set of core values. They are passionate about building companies. They are naturally curious and interested in changing things for the better. They enjoy working with portfolio company managers, investment bankers and other deal team members. They appreciate the responsibility and autonomy their firms have given them. They are grateful for the leaders who have helped shape their careers, and they are generous with their own time when it comes to nurturing the next generation. As the PE industry goes through a generational shift and many firm founders retire, it's well worth getting to know these emerging leaders. They represent the future of private equity. For profiles and video interviews, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity For Q&As, see 10 Rising Stars of Private Equity tell their tales

DEAL NEWS
Ebix Inc. (Nasdaq: Ebix) is buying online Indian-based travel services provider Yatra Online Inc. (Nasdaq: YTRA) for about $338 million. Ebix is a suppler of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, healthcare and e-learning industries. The acquisition expands Ebix's geographic presence in India. Advisors to Yatra include: Citi and Goodwin Procter. Bass, Berry & Sims plc is representing Ebix.

WHP Global has formed as a new company with a $200 equity commitment from Oaktree Capital Management. The company will look to acquire consumer brands, and plans to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years. WHP has acquired women's fashion brand Anne Klein from Premier Brands. Advisors to WHP on the Anne Klein deal include: Pryor Cashman LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Advisors to Premier include: Guggenheim Securities and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. Financing was provided by: BlackRock Private Credit, TCP Capital Corp., and BlackRock Capital Corp.

Snapdragon Capital Partners LLC and the Maze Group LLC are buying a minority stake in nutritional supplements company Nutraceutical International Corp. from HGGC. The target owns the Solaray, Zhou Nutrition, Heritage Store, Kal, Dynamic Health, Zand, Honey Gardens, and Nu U Nutrition brands. Advisors to Nutraceutical include: Piper Jaffray & Co. , William Hood & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis. Morrison Cohen is representing the buyers.

People’s United Financial is eager to buy more banks. The $48 billion-asset, which agreed to acquire United Financial Bancorp. for $759 million, has averaged more than two deals a year since the financial crisis. The United deal is the fifth-biggest bank merger announced this year. Jack Barnes, People's United's chairman and CEO, told analysts during a conference call to discuss the deal that he could actually accelerate that pace. Read the full story: People’s United has no intention of stopping at $50 billion.

Gemspring Capital-backed TMP Worldwide has acquired Perengo. The target offers recruitment software that helps businesses automate and improve their hiring processes.

Visa (NYSE: V) has purchased payments software company Payworks. The latter offers payment connectivity technology for e-commerce and mobile.

PEOPLE MOVES
Eric Hartung has joined middle-market lender Madison Capital Funding as a managing director, where he is focusing on new originations in the healthcare sector. Hartung was most recently with Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF).

Peter Cannito has joined aerospace and defense-focused private equity firm AE Industrial Partners as an operating partner. He was most recently the CEO of Polaris Alpha.

Karan Kapoor was hired by Duff & Phelps' Pagemill Partners, where he is focusing on technology investment banking. Kapoor was most recently with Clear Capital Advisors.

Elizabeth Qian was hired by private equity firm TA Associates as vice president. She previously worked on finance and strategy at Amazon Web Services.

DIVERSITY IN DEALMAKING
Gender-diverse PE investment committees outperformed all-male investment committees substantially, finds a recent study by Oliver Gottschalg, a professor at HEC Paris. The results are compelling: Gender-diverse PE investment committees outperformed all-male investment committees substantially, as measured by several metrics: 7 percent more alpha; .52x more total value to paid-in multiple; and 12 percent higher internal rate of return. Also impressive: the failure rate of gender-diverse investment committees was 8 percent lower. The findings provide concrete evidence showing the value of including women on deal teams and may help to convince skeptics. Women still hold just 9.4 percent of senior positions at PE firms globally, the report found, indicating the industry still has a long way to go before reaping the benefits of gender diversity. The low representation underscores the importance of projects that feature successful female dealmakers, such as Mergers & Acquisitions' Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Networking groups, such as Exponent Women, play a crucial role in developing communities for women dealmakers. The New York group hosted its second annual Exponent Exchange on July 11 at Second in New York. The event last year brought together 200 women.

A new payment company is attacking the hurdles professional women face when returning to the workforce after time away, a distinct problem borne out of the broader gender gap in financial services. “This is an economic problem, where you have something like a parent who left the workforce and then could not get back in,” said Samantha Ettus, founder and CEO of Park Place Payments. Read the full story: Behind a payment startup's battle to bridge the gender gap.

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.

FEATURED CONTENT
Alex Rodriguez is best known as the New York Yankees star who hit 696 home runs over the course of his 22-year baseball career, but today he’s making a name for himself as an investor as the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. One recent example: While serving as a guest judge on CNBC’s Shark Tank, Rodriguez backed Ice Shaker, an insulated bottle maker founded by former National Football League fullback Chris Gronkowski. Rodriguez talked about his life off the field as a savvy investor since his 20’s as the keynote speaker at EisnerAmper’s 4th annual Alternative Investment Summit at the The Museum of Modern Art on June 19. Among the topics discussed in a conversation led by Charles Weinstein, CEO of EisnerAmper: Rodriguez’ childhood as the son of a single mom; his investment thesis, which shares much with other middle-market investors; how he’s helping singer/dancer/actress Jennifer Lopez (to whom he became engaged in March) transition her business initiatives from licensing her brands to owning them; and how one day he just might buy a baseball team. Read the full story: A-Rod talks Ice Shaker, NRG eSports, J. Lo & maybe buying a baseball team.

Activity and urgency characterize the current dealmaking environment, say investment bankers and other M&A advisors interviewed by Mergers & Acquisitions. After a record-breaking 2018, forecasts for 2019 remain bullish. Advisors point to a lot of cash that must be deployed by strategic buyers and private equity firms alike; a healthy U.S. economy; and low interest rates. Competition for high-quality targets has never been more intense, especially for technology providers, they report, which means sellers are commanding high prices. It all adds up to a seller’s market. A mood of urgency prevails, as dealmakers seek to close deals quickly, while conditions remain favorable. The advisors interviewed for this story say they don’t see signs of a recession this year; however they are closely monitoring bellwethers, including corporate earnings, wage pressure, global supply chains and slowdowns abroad. They are recommending that clients be prepared for an economic slowdown in the next two years. Specialization is the name of the game, and investment bankers advise clients to seek targets with business-model stability, limited cyclical exposure and a recurring revenue business model. Technology, business services, healthcare, consumer and manufacturing are among the most promising sectors. Read the story: 8 M&A advisors urge closing deals now, while economy stays strong.

Organizations in industries, ranging from manufacturing to healthcare, are using M&A to add automated technology in their processing systems. Advances in robotic technology are making it possible to complete more complex tasks at higher speeds and with improved control and outcomes. Read the full story: Accelerating automation through M&A.

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.

EVENTS
InIVest 2019 is being held from July 16-17 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The event brings together more than 1,500 executives from the wealth management industry.

The Women's Connection Golf Clinic & Networking event takes place on July 17 at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, Massachussets. The event is being hosted by ACG Boston.

ACG Seattle hosts the Northwest Middle Market Growth Conference at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle on July 25.

ACG New York's summer dealmaking conference takes place at Gurney's Star Island Resort & Marina in Montauk, NY, July 31-Aug.1.

The Great Lakes ACG Capital Connection is being held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel in Detroit from Sept. 4-6.

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