M&A wrap: ICV, Horizon Air, Highview, AEA, DuPont, Huron, Balance Point, Carlyle

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ICV Partners has invested in Horizon Air Freight, a freight forwarder and logistics company for the marine industry. HAF manages and consolidates marine spare parts inventory and arranges for delivery of parts and supplies to customer vessels. "Given the fragmented nature of the industry we expect to make strategic acquisitions that broaden our reach and capabilities so HAF can continue to provide best in class service to shipping companies and cruise lines worldwid," says ICV managing director Zeena Rao. ICV focuses on investing in businesses that have up to $300 million in revenue and $40 million in Ebitda. “ICV has successfully invested in logistics companies similar to ours, they understand our business model, and their experience will be extremely valuable as we seek ways to better serve our existing and future customers," adds HAF CEO Steve Leonidis. "We are now well-positioned to take advantage of the fragmented nature of our industry to win new customers and enter into new markets.” PE firms are betting on the growth of the logistics sector as customers seek faster delivery times and businesses look to ramp up their last-mile services. Earlier in 2019, ATL Partners, which focuses oen transportation and logistics, raised its second fund at $575 million. ATL has made two investments out of the second fund in Pilot Freight Services and Rock-It-Cargo. DLA Piper advised ICV. BB&T Capital Markets and Holland & Knight advised HAF.

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. Middle-market loans offer a potential growth path for PE firms, Including Adams Street, Balance Point, Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) and VSS, many of whom view credit as a natural extension of their bread-and-butter operations. Read our full coverage: Private equity firms are becoming lenders. Here’s why.

At Mergers & Acquisitions, we've begun work on one of our most popular projects of the year: the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 14. Last year, we honored 36 women, including Marilyn Adler (Medley Capital), Jennifer Cotton (Madison Capital Funding), Nishita Cummings (Kayne Anderson), Venita Fields (Pelham S2K), Jeri Harman (Avante Mezzanine Partners), Pam Hendrickson (the Riverside Co.), Gretchen Perkins (Huron Capital) and Trisha Renner (Baird). Who will make it on this year's list? To be considered, candidates must be women who are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. Evidence of influence in the broader M&A industry is essential. When nominating a candidate, please explain how she outperforms her colleagues at her firm and in the industry. Please provide examples of deals she has led, initiatives she has launched and other instances that show evidence of her influence in the middle market. An important guide to what we're looking for can be found in the dealmakers we've honored in previous years. See profiles of, and Q&As with, past honorees here.

TO NOMINATE A CANDIDATE, CLICK HERE.

DEAL NEWS
Highview Capital has acquired K-12 food distributor Gold Star Foods from Castle Harlan, and will merge it with current portfolio company Good Source Solutions. Alvarez & Marsal Capital Partners also invested in the combined company. Sidley Austin LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Alvarez & Marsal advised the buyers.

AEA Investors has bought BMS Enterprises, a provider of disaster recovery services. Metronome Partners and Kelly Hart & Hallman advised BMS. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson advised AEA.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) is buying Evoqua Water Technologies' (NYSE: AQUA) ultrafiltration and membrane biofiltration technologies business. Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI) is advising Evoqua.

Huron Capital-backed InterVision has purchased IT services and consulting firm Fotis Networks.

PEOPLE MOVES
Jon Nemo has been promoted to senior partner at AE Industrial Partners, while Charlie Compton, Kirk Konert and Peter Schumacher were promoted to partners.

FEATURED CONTENT
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. Most recently, the New York firm announced the final close of its latest global real estate fund 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.

The New York Yankees finished first place in the American League East division with one of the best overall records in Major League Baseball. Alex Rodriguez is best known as the former Yankees star who hit 696 home runs over the course of his 22-year baseball career, but today he’s making a name for himself as an investor and the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. One recent example: While serving as a guest judge on CNBC’s Shark Tank, Rodriguez backed Ice Shaker, an insulated bottle maker founded by former National Football League fullback Chris Gronkowski. Rodriguez talked about his life off the field at EisnerAmper’s 4th Annual Alternative Investment Summit. Read the full story: A-Rod talks Ice Shaker, NRG eSports, J. Lo & maybe buying a baseball team.

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.

EVENTS
Exponent Women is hosting a fall rooftop networking session at RSM in New York on Oct. 7.

M&A East is taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Oct. 22-23.

ACG Charlotte is hosting Deal Crawl at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 6-7.

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.

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