The Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), founded by David Rubenstein, has closed its third U.S. collateralized loan obligation (CLO) fund in 2018 at $612 million. The fund will invest predominantly in senior secured leveraged loans. In January, the firm announced that it had raised more than $800 million for the Carlyle Structured Credit Fund to invest in CLOs backed by U.S. and European senior secured corporate loans actively managed by third parties. And in June, the firm closed a a U.S. CLO fund totaling $611 million. The firm's structured credit and CLO business now has about $23.6 billion in assets. Carlyle’s global credit businesses includes: loans & structured credit, opportunistic credit, private credit, energy credit and distressed Credit. CLOs, which offer attractive risk-return profiles compared with other forms of corporate debt, have made a comeback in recent years. In 2018, Monroe Capital raised its second CLO at $456.3 million. In 2017, Antares Capital raised its first CLO fund with nearly $2.1 billion in commitments. Madison Capital Funding LLC, the directing lending arm of New York Life Insurance Co., closed a $325 million fund. And Trinitas Capital Management LLC closed the firm’s sixth CLO. Carlyle's latest CLO fund raise was arranged by JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). For ongoing coverage of private equity fundraising activity, see our weekly column, PE fundraising scorecard: Crescent and G Squared.

Separately, Carlyle announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Ambio Holdings Inc., a pharmaceutical ingredient contract development and manufacturing company. Ambio is a peptide biologics services provider for drugs approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and China National Medical Products Administration.

Steve Young, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who serves as a managing director at PE firm HGGC, is joining the board of advisors of SyncThink, creators of the Eye-Sync brain health analytics technology. “This is about empowerment,” Young says in a statement, “Athletes at all levels deserve an objective tool to make informed decisions about the risks of playing their sport.... Just as when I was in the NFL twenty years ago, today’s process to evaluate players for head injuries remains wholly subjective. SyncThink’s sideline-ready solution will educate athletes, parents, coaches, teams and medical personnel with real-time, brain health analytics and make the sport safer.”

Networking opportunities for middle-market dealmakers will be abundant this fall. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Alphabet chairperson John Hennessy and former Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb are among the featured speakers at ACG regional gatherings. Check out our preview of upcoming events, ACG New England Clambake kicks off fall networking season.

Deal news
United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) is acquiring BlueLine Rental, one of the ten largest equipment rental companies in North America, from Platinum Equity for $2.1 billion. BlueLine will expand United Rentals' fleet by more than 46,000 rental assets. "BlueLine has a fleet mix that complements our own, and a well-diversified base of mid-sized and local customers, many of whom can use our specialty solutions," says United Rentals CEO Michael Kneeland. Morgan Stanley & Co., Centerview Partners and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP are advising United Rentals. Barclays, Catalyst Strategic Advisors and Latham & Watkins LLP are advising Platinum.

Franklin Templeton Investments is forming a joint venture with Asia private equity fund-of-funds specialist Asia Alternatives Management to launch Franklin Templeton Private Equity. Franklin Templeton will be the majority owner, and Asia Alternatives and members of Franklin Templeton's management team will hold minority stakes in the new entity, which will formally begin operations in October. FTPE will bed led by former San Francisco Employees' Retirement System managing director Arthur Wang.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) has agreed to buy patient prescription files from 185 Fred's Inc. (Nasdaq: FRED) in 10 Southeastern States for $165 million. he deal is part of Fred's process to shed non-core assets, while it increases Walgreens patient access in the Southeast. PJ Solomon and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP are advising Fred's. Sidley Austin LLP and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP are advising Walgreens.

Ancor Capital Partners has acquired StatinMed Research, a healthcare data provider. Capital Southwest Corp., Cion Investments, Harbert Management Corp. and Dos Rios Partners provided financing and co-invested with Ancor.

Dr. Oetker, a Germany-based baking products company, is buying WIlton Brands, a cake decorating and candy making brand, from TowerBrook Capital Partners.

Evaneos SA, an Internet marketplace for vacation tours, has received $80 million in growth financing from Partech Partners, Level Equity Management and Quadrille Capital, who join existing investors BpiFrance, Serena Capital and XAnge. Arma Partners advised Evaneos.

SMO Inc., a subsidiary of the Wills Group Inc., has acquired Tevis Oil Inc.'s convenience retail and wholesale motor fuel assets. Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc. and Dulany Leahy Curtis & Brophy LLP advised Tevis.

For more deal announcements see, The weekly wrap: Boston Scientific, SS&C Technologies, Thoma Bravo.

People moves
Andy Fincher was hired by HBM Holdings as president and chief operating officer. Fincher was most recently the CEO of Dover Engineered Systems.

Featured content
"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. Pendleton looks to invest in companies led by diverse entrepreneurs, which she defines as entrepreneurs of color, LGBT entrepreneurs, women, veterans, and disabled entrepreneurs. She also backs companies that have products and services that cater to those markets. "People think that they are niche markets, but they're actually growing in terms of spending dollars and market size." Pendleton spoke on a panel moderated by Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn at Exponent Exchange. For more, see Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.Watch the full video: M&A Insights: Inclusion investing.

The energy industry is teeming with M&A activity, as companies seek to improve operations. Hubbell and Ingersoll Rand are among the strategic buyers. Private equity firms acquiring include AE Industrial Partners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Genstar Capital. Companies in the energy industry are focused on improving operational efficiencies and analytical capabilities. The issues are urgent for oil and gas companies, because depressed prices mean profits are hard to come by, says Caroline Blitzer Phillips, who advises clients on energy deals as a partner at law firm Vinson & Elkins. They are also essential for renewable energy, which “has been quite expensive in some cases, because the infrastructure is not in place.” From providers of “smart grids” to developers of energy management software, Mergers & Acquisitions looks at recently acquired targets. Read the full story: 14 smart energy deals.

While some of the firms that were instrumental in launching the middle market back in the 1980s and 1990s have long since been shuttered, their legacy lives on. They proved to be excellent training grounds for many successful dealmakers. Heller Financial certainly belongs in this category, and Mergers & Acquisitionsfeatured its alumni a few years ago. Another firm with a far reach is Holleb & Coff, a Chicago law firm that closed in 2000, after a nearly 50-year run. Many of the lawyers who worked at Holleb & Coff back in the day are making a significant impact on M&A today, including: John Corvino, general counsel to the Chicago White Sox; · Brian Kerwin, chair of Duane Morris’ global corporate practice; Theodore (Ted) Koenig, the founder and CEO of Monroe Capital; Kenneth Serota, president of Hu-Friedy Manufacturing Co., and Michelle Warner, general counsel, USG Corp. (NYSE: US). Read the full story: Holleb & Coff alumni: Where are they now?