M&A wrap: Campbell, Bolthouse, Butterfly, Siris, Moody's

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Butterfly Equity is buying Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), a producer of carrots, juices and salad dressings, for $510 million. The purchase price is less than one third of the $1.5 billion Campbell paid for the target in 2012. Bolthouse’s performance has struggled under Campbell’s ownership, being plagued with poor harvest crops and drink recalls. Campbell hired Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to divest its Campbell International and Campbell Fresh businesses, including the Arnott's, Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet brands. The company has been reviewing operations since the abrupt retirement of CEO Denise Morrison in 2018. “The sale of Bolthouse Farms supports our strategy to focus on our two core North American businesses, Campbell Snacks and Campbell Meals and Beverages, where we have iconic brands and strong market positions," says Campbell CEO Mark Clouse. Butterfly is a Los Angeles-based food and beverage and consumer-focused private equity firm. In 2019, the PE firm announced plans to merge better-for-you restaurant chains Lemonade Restaurant Group and Modern Market Eatery. Advisers to Campbell include: Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Centerview Partners and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. The legal adviser to Butterfly is Kirkland & Ellis.

DEAL NEWS
Siris Capital Group is acquiring digital printing technology company Electronics For Imaging for $1.7 billion. “EFI is at the forefront of the digital transition in the imaging and print industry, underpinned by a strong software heritage and culture of innovation," says Siris co-founder Frank Baker.

Swiss businessman and philanthropist, Hansjörg Wyss, has made a $1.36 billion investment in private investment firm Eldrige Industries. Eldrige will use the proceeds to pursue M&A.

Moody's Corp. is buying a majority in in Vigeo Eiris, a provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, data and assessments. The deal furthers Moody’s objective of promoting global standards for ESG for use by market participants.

For more deal announcements, see Weekly wrap: Genstar, OTC, Great Hill, Gizmodo, Kainos, Kettle Cuisine

For more on PE fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: Bain Capital, Larson, Watermill Group’s Enbi

DEAL TRENDS
Robust M&A will continue and more big deals are expected. About 79 percent of companies with revenues greater than $5 billion say they will pursue M&A, while 64 percent expect to see more mega deals ($10 billion and above) M&A activity in the next 12 months, according to Ernst & Young's Capital Confidence Barometer. US executives are bullish in their growth outlook, with 96 percent indicating the domestic economy will continue to improve, a 27 percent increase from one year ago. The majority of U.S. executives are planning on investing in technology, including new services and products, and finding ways to improve customer service.

FEATURED CONTENT
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: Nike, 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.

Related: Read more about Mergers & Acquisitions' three annual special reports, including the M&A Mid-Market Awards, the Rising Stars of Private Equity, and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Genstar Capital, Audax, HarbourVest ranked as the top U.S. private equity firms of 2018, based on volume of completed deals, according to PitchBook. Check out Mergers & Acquisitions' profiles of 21 firms that led the league tables. Top private equity firms: Genstar, Audax, HarbourVest and more

Also see: Top investment banks in PE-backed deals: KPMG, Houlihan, GS, William Blair.

Technology permeates dealmaking today. “Tech is, more or less, touching everything,” as the authors of The 2019 BDO Technology Outlook Survey put it. You can see the impact of tech throughout the 2018 winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Awardsespecially: Luminate Capital Partners founder Hollie Hayne’s scoring Dealmaker of the Yearfor raising a second fund to invest in enterprise software companies; and TA Associates’ winning Private Equity Firm of the Year for investing a record $2.8 billion in new portfolio companies, most of which are infused with technology one way or the other.

Related: Why private equity firms still love technology
Related: 10 private equity firms share strategies for tech M&A.

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.

EVENTS
ACG Boston hosts a 40th Anniversary Celebration and inaugural awards reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel's Wharf Room on April 24.

InterGrowth 2019 takes place May 6-8 at the Waldorf Astoria & Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida.

Innovation Works holds its second annual AI/Robotics Venture Fair in Pittsburgh May 15-16.

ACG Chicago hosts the Midwest Capital Connection, at The Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, May 21-22.

ACG New York, ACG Boston and ACG Philadlephia are holding the Industrial Conference with Value Creation at the Infor in New York on June 6. The event is part of the Northeast Industry Tour.

ACG Minnesota hosts the The Upper Midwest ACG Capital Connection at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, June 10-11.

ACG Boston brings together 700-plus dealmakers for DealFest Northeast and DealSource Select 2019 at the Cyclorama & The State Room, June 12-13.

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