Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has invested $150 million in fast-casual pizza chain Mod Super Fast Pizza Holdings to help accelerate the target’s growth. Mod is the number one chain in the fast-casual pizza category by U.S. store count with 433, according to the company, which is planning on having over 1,000 locations over the next five years. Mod is known for making individual artisan-style pizzas with any combination of 30 toppings for one price. “Mod has made important investments in online and mobile app ordering, innovative digital marketing strategies and customer loyalty programs and leads its competition in virtually all relevant customer satisfaction scores,” says CD&R partner Paul Pressler. MOD was founded in 2008 in Seattle by entrepreneurs who are known for building Seattle Coffee Co. and Carluccio’s. Dealmaking in the restaurant sector, including pizza, is very active. In 2019, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal said he is going to invest in nine Papa John’s International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) restaurants. In 2017, Cleveland Avenue LLC, a venture capital firm started by former McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) CEO Don Thompson, acquired PizzaRev. PizzaRev uses a “craft your own” approach to pizza, which is cooked in three minutes in a 900-degree stone oven. In 2016, Panda Restaurant Group Inc., one of the largest privately held fast casual Asian restaurant operators, acquired a minority stake in Pieology Pizzeria, which calls itself “the Chipotle of pizza” by letting customers build their own pizzas. The advisor to CD&R is Kirkland & Ellis, and J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) served as Mod’s placement agent.

Just 2 more days to nominate candidates for Rising Stars. Deadline approaches for Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. Last year, we named 11 PE investors to the list, including Ethan Liebermann, who was recently promoted from principal to director of TA Associates, and Jennifer Roach Pacini, a vice president of Yellow Wood Partners. We look for individuals who are full-time private equity investors and whose best days are yet to come. These are the folks you predict will one day play a key leadership role at your PE firm – or will head up their own. There is no age cutoff. We publish the list online in July and in the July/August issue of the magazine. The deadline for nominations is end of day Thursday, May 23, 2019. Nominations will be accepted only through our online form. There is no fee.

Click here for the 2018 Rising Stars of Private Equity.

Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. (NYSE: BR) is buying RPM Technologies, a provider of wealth management software, from Bayshore Capital Inc. for $300 million. Broadridge is being advised by RBC Capital Markets and RPM is being advised by Canaccord Genuity Corp.

Varian Medical Systems is acquiring Cancer Treatment Services International from TPG Growth for $283 million. The target owns and operates a network of cancer treatment facilities across India and South Asia. Ropes & Gray represented Cancer Treatment.

The Riverside Co. has merged Montage, a provider of technology and services to engage, interview and hire job candidates with Shaker International, a provider of predictive talent intelligence and assessment software. The combined company aims to help its client base, including hundreds of global brands and 47 of the Fortune 100, transform talent acquisition by embedding predictive intelligence into automated hiring workflows that enable better candidate experiences and smarter hiring decisions. “Both Montage and Shaker share a common vision, culture and customer- and candidate-centric approach,” said Riverside partner Joe Manning. “Via this merger, we are joining world-class expertise in SaaS, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to transform the talent acquisition process.” The company will be led by Kurt Heikkinen from Montage as CEO, Brian Stern from Shaker International as president, and a leadership team comprised of executives from both companies. Montage was previously backed by venture capital firms, including Baird Capital, Beringea, GCI and Plymouth Growth Partners. In the transaction, Montage was advised by Lightning Partners.

The Riverside Co. has invested in Naturally Slim. The target is a digital health platform focused on helping participants reduce metabolic syndrome, lose weight and lead healthier lives.

Littlejohn & Co.-backed furniture manufacturer Brown Jordan International has acquired Castelle Furniture.

Bison has acquired Cobalt Environmental Solutions, a water infrastructure services provider, from Blue Sage Capital. The sellers were represented by Queen Saenz + Schutz PLLC.

Calera Capital-backed laundry services provider ImageFirst has acquired a majority stake in Faultless Healthcare Linen.

Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and HPS Investment Partners are increasing their stakes in U.K. insurance broker Ardonagh Group.

HCSC Ventures has led a Series C $42 million fund round in Solera Health.

Ardian and Tiger Global Management have led a $60 million investment round in spend management software company Ivalua.

Heritage Commerce agreed to buy Presidio Bank for $200 million. Read the full story: Pricey San Francisco bank deal could motivate others to sell.

Maarten Meurs has joined investment bank William Blair as a managing director, where is helping the firm grow its western European presence. Meurs was previously with ABN Amro.

Brian O’Reilly was hired by middle-market investment firm Graycliff Partners as a managing director. O’Reilly was previously with CVC Credit Partners, and he is responsible for sourcing and evaluating portfolio investments for Graycliff’s dedicated credit fund.

Candice Turner has joined Grant Thornton as a principal to lead its M&A tax practice in the Northeast. She was most recently with KPMG.

Josh DuClos, Eric Kauffman and Mehdi Khodadad have joined law firm Sidley Austin. They were previously with Cooley and focus on private equity.

Ke Huang, Ruomu Li, and Lucy Lu were hired by law firm Morrison & Foerster as partners. They focus on capital markets, including M&A and private equity.

Technology is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and fueling an explosion of transactions. Some of the most promising areas of innovation are: big data, medical devices, revenue cycle management, Software-as-a-Service and payment processing. “Healthcare IT is the largest cottage industry in the world,” says Sam Hendler, who leads healthcare IT deals at Harris Williams. “Healthcare IT is a highly fragmented, multi-billion-dollar market with thousands of companies focused on different $250 million to $500 million sub-markets. Savvy investors see there is an opportunity to aggregate assets and build platforms of scale. It’s an incredibly exciting time in healthcare IT.” For an in-depth look at five technologies driving M&A in healthcare, see Healthcare’s must-have technologies. And for recent transactions that showcase the trends, see 5 private equity-backed healthcare IT deals.

For more on how technology is driving M&A and private equity investments see:
Smart cities, IoT, AI, robots, edge computing will fuel next wave of tech M&A.
Why private equity firms still love technology
10 private equity firms share strategies for tech M&A.

Genstar Capital, Audax and 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.

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

At least two-thirds of U.S. homes have at least one pet, and people are spending more money on their pets than ever, driving M&A across the entire pet care sector. Read the full story: Demand for animal health products and services rises, driving deals.

One of the most significant opportunities to impact the success of due diligence is understanding how to leverage data. In today’s market, the ability to tap into the volume and variety of big data can provide private equity stakeholders with the competitive edge in operational due diligence. Read the full guest article by Maine Pointe’s Mark McTigue and Nathanael Powrie: How data can help PE accelerate value at due diligence.

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.

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.

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.

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

ACG New York, ACG Boston and ACG Philadelphia 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 and the State Room, June 12-13.

Exponent Women hosts the Annual Exchange, which brings a trusted network of women dealmakers together for a focused day of robust content and networking, at Second in New York, on July 11. The Exchange provides attendees with opportunities to establish new connections, reinforce existing ones and absorb timely and relevant knowledge from industry leaders.