Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Groupe PSA, the French maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, have confirmed that there are ongoing discussions “on a possible business combination” between the two car companies, “aimed at creating one of the worl’s leading mobility groups,” according to statements from both companies. The deal would give PSA access to the U.S. market and give Fiat more resources to develop new cars, which is essential as the auto industry evolves with autonomous vehicles, ride sharing and other developments. Talks between Fiat and Renault collapsed in June. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Fiat-Peugeot talks signal growing pressure on car industry.

Clayton, Dublier & Rice is buying Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE), a provider network and security services, for $3.8 billion. “We believe this transaction is in the best interest of Anixter and our stockholders,” says Anixter CEO Bill Galvin. Centerview Partners, Wells Fargo and Sidley Austin are advising Anixter. BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (NYSE: JPM), Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Credit Suisse and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP are advising CD&R.

The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) is buying a majority stake in insurance broker the Hilb Group from Abry Partners. J.P, Morgan, Sica Fletcher and Kirkland & Ellis are advising the sellers. Latham & Watkins and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised Carlyle. Ares Capital Management LLC, Crescent Capital Group, Owl Rock Capital, Antares and Barings are providing financing.

The Carlyle Group-backed Workforce Logiq has acquired talent acquisition firm Engage Talent.

Merit Capital Partners has invested in Elgen Manufacturing Co., a maker of ductwork accessories for HVAC contractors.

Anacapa Partners has invested in Auronix, a communications software provider in Mexico.

Overall M&A activity in the third quarter saw $600 billion worth of deals closed, according to PitchBoook. So far in 2019, more than 8,000 deals have closed, worth about $1.6 trillion. The activity is on pace with the first three quarters of 2018. Among the deals that closed include: Cox Automotive’s purchase of Rivian Automotive; TPG Sixth St Partners‘ deal for Smartdrive Systems and Boathouse Capital backing TapClicks. Read the full story: Key middle-market M&A deals completed in Q3 2019

The private equity model has held up very well over the decades, continuing to outperform the public markets, even as economic cycles come and go. But the rate of growth has slowed, leading PE firms to seek adjacent areas of business to expand. As PE firms face increased pressure to produce higher returns on their investments, many of them are turning to a familiar area of business: lending. Adams Street Partners, Balance Point Capital, Carlyle and VSS are all actively engaged in lending. Read the full story: Private equity firms are becoming lenders. Here’s why.

It’s a milestone year for the Blackstone Group Inc. (NYSE: BX), which transitioned from a publicly traded partnership to a corporation on July 1. The New York firm announced the final close of its latest global real estate fund recently. With $20.5 billion of total capital commitments, Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX is the largest real estate fund ever raised. Mergers & Acquisitions spoke with Stephen A. Schwarzman, the firm’s co-founder, chairman and CEO. Read the full story: “Complete control” is the beauty of private equity, says Blackstone’s Stephen A. Schwarzman.

Bank M&A has been soaring, creating the perfect backdrop for Piper Jaffray’s announced acquisition of Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP. “There has been a lot of consolidation in the bank space,” Piper Jaffray CEO Chad Abraham told Mergers & Acquisitions. “But there are still 5,000 banks, and we expect the pace of consolidation to continue.” For analysis of the deal, see Counting on bank M&A: Why Piper Jaffray bought Sandler O’Neill.

Looking for a glimpse of what’s to come in the private equity industry? Meet Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. As the PE industry undergoes a generational shift, and many firm founders retire, it’s well worth getting to know these emerging leaders, including Branford’s Austin Collier, Sterling Partners’ Shawn Domanic and Summit Partners’ Sophia Popova. 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.

To celebrate deals, dealmakers and dealmaking firms, Mergers & Acquisitions produces three special reports every year: the M&A Mid-Market Awards; the Rising Stars of Private Equity; and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. For more on the timeline and nomination process for each, see Special reports overview: M&A Mid-Market Awards, Rising Stars, Most Influential Women.

The Institute of International Education holds its 2019 IIE Centennial Gala at the Pierre in New York Oct. 30. The Gala honors Martin Lipton, founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz law firm, with the IIE Stephen P. Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding.

ACG Boston hosts The 2nd annual Healthcare Conference – Improving the Patient Experience – on Nov. 6 at the UMass Club in Boston, as a part of the ACG Northeast Industry Tour. Speakers include Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn, who is moderating a panel.

ACG Charlotte brings M&A pros together for Deal Crawl at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 6-7.

The Third Annual Women in Alternative Investments Career Forum is taking place at the New York Hilton on Nov. 8.

ACG New York is hosting Middle Market Week in New York from Nov. 11-15. The 17th Annual Private Equity Wine Tasting Gala takes place on Nov. 13 at Gotham Hall.

Exponent Women is hosting a Family Office Event with Owens Group at LX Gallery in New York on Nov. 21. Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn is moderating a panel.