M&A wrap: Grubhub, LevelUp, ACG Boston, Yellow Wood, Jennifer Roach, tax reform
Online food ordering company Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) has agreed to buy LevelUp, a provider of payment processing technology for restaurants, for $390 million. Restaurants are scrambling to meet the demands of the next generation of diners, who want more convenience such as online and mobile ordering. "For the last seven years, the LevelUp team has worked to provide our restaurant partners with a complete solution to engage customers in this rapidly evolving digital landscape, says LevelUp CEO Seth Priebatsch. "Together, we will provide restaurants with everything they need to grow profitably as more and more diners opt for the convenience, transparency and control of ordering online." LevelUp gives GrubHub more tools to drive online delivery and pickup orders, making it easier for restaurant chains like KFC, Taco Bell and Bareburger. In 2017, Grubhub paid $288 million for Yelp Inc.'s (NYSE: YELP) Eat24 online food delivery business. Foley Hoag is representing LevelUp and Kirkland & Ellis is representing Grubhub. Read the full story: Grubhub to buy LevelUp, but what does this deal deliver?
ACG Boston is hosting a happy hour women's connection networking event at Keybank's offices on Wednesday, July 25. Drinks and appetizers will be served for dealmakers as they look to strengthen relationships among the women of Boston's deal community. Optional Yoga will also take place.
The newly enacted tax act presents asset buyers, both large and small, with a new opportunity to increase post-transaction cash flow via tax savings. This opportunity results from the very generous expansion of an old rule with no prior significant relevance to asset acquisitions: bonus depreciation. Read the full guest article by Frank Vari of FJV Tax: Tax reform: how buyers and sellers can benefit from expanded bonus depreciation.
Mergers & Acquisitions has announced the Rising Stars of Private Equity. These 11 up-and-coming investors are expected to play significant leadership roles in the future. Congratulations to:
Daniel Hopkin, Partner, Kainos Capital
John Kos, Principal, GTCR
Erik Latterell, Director, Stone Arch Capital
Ethan Liebermann, Principal, TA Associates
Jaime McKenzie, Director, Monomoy Capital
Jennifer Roach, Vice President, Yellow Wood Partners
Joseph Rondinelli, Principal, Frontenac
David Shainberg, Vice President, Balmoral
Tom Smithburg, Vice President, Shore Capital Partners
Nicholas Stone, Managing Director, Cyprium Partners
Afaf Ibraheem Warren, Senior Associate, Siris Capital
For profiles of the emerging leaders, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 11 Rising Stars of Private Equity.
Accel-KKR led a Series B $28 million investment in patient billing and payments technology company Patientco. Existing investor BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners / Sandbox Advantage Fund also participated in the investment.
High Road Capital Partners has acquired Nolan Power Group LLC. The target supplies reserve power batteries, stationary batteries and chargers for the industrials, manufacturing, oil and gas, data center and telecommunications sectors. Jones Day represented High Road. KPMG Corporate Finance advised Nolan Power.
Norwest Equity Partners has invested in Wahoo Fitness, a maker of indoor bike trainers, GPS bike computers and apps, for cyclists and runners. Baird advised Wahoo. Winston Strawn represented Norwest.
Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP) is buying MetaPack Ltd., a U.K.-based provder of shipping software, for $230 million. Metapack's software system allows customers to track deliveries and help manage cross-border regulations.
Yellow Wood Partners announced the promotion of Jennifer Roach Pacini from senior associate to vice president. She joined the Boston PE firm in 2014. Pacini is one of Mergers Acquisitions' Rising Stars of Private Equity.
Chris Blake has joined Perella Weinberg Partners as a partner. Most recently with Citigroup (NYSE: C), Blake focuses on the automotive sector.
High valuations and abundant use of debt continued to mark completed deal activity in the first quarter of 2018, according to GF Data. Two hundred and eight private equity groups and other deal sponsors reported on 52 transactions closed in the quarter. The overall average valuation mark for the quarter was 6.9x valuation multiple, a marked retreat from the torrid 8.0x valuation multiple average in the prior quarter. At first blush, valuations in 2018 seem to have retreated to pre-2017 levels. However, GF Data gravitates to the view that the random fall of completed deals in 4Q 2017 versus 1Q skewed artificially high in the first period and low in the second. Averaged together, the result is a continuation of already unprecedented aggregate valuations attained in the middle quarters of GF Data. Read the full story: Valuations dropped slightly but are still higher than average.
Serena Williams dazzled at Wimbledon. Out of the grand slam game for 16 months as she started a family and suffered post-delivery complications, Williams, seeded 25th, fought her way into the finals. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watched from the All England Club's Royal Box, as Williams finished second to Angelique Kerber on July 14. Williams is among many star athletes who have excelled in business as well as in sports. If you’ve had a beer and chicken wings while waiting for a flight at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, or grabbed a smoothie while shopping at the Federal Plaza in Rockville, Maryland, or enjoyed a steak dinner at New York’s Grand Centralterminal, you’ve got a sports celebrity athlete to thank. Among the athletes investing are Dale Earnhardt Jr.,LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Greg Norman. View our slideshow: Danica Patrick, LeBron James, Serena Williams invest in food & wine.
Summer reading list: From stories of star athletes Arnold Palmer, Keith Hernandez and Tiger Woods to advice from entrepreneurs Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio, KPCB’s John Doerr, Nike’s Phil Knight and Brava Investments’ Nathalie Molina Niño, plus strategies to help business leaders in general, and female dealmakers in particular, the 15 books on Mergers & Acquisitions’ list entertain, instruct and inspire. Check out our listicle: Dealmaker’s guide to summer reading: 15 new books.