E-commerce technology company Kibo is buying Monetate, which offers personalized software to retailers. The target’s technology helps consumer brands and marketers directly target customers. “As the market becomes more dynamic, the future of commerce is centered around the customer, and the key to creating a competitive advantage relies on personalization,” Kibo says in a release. “The most successful retailers and brands understand their customers and realize they must go beyond disjointed point solutions and fully commit to a holistic, personalized customer journey.” Businesses must find new innovative ways to attract and keep consumers who have high demands such as personalization, and are using acquisitions to help. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD)is buying personalization company Dynamic Yield in its largest deal in over 20 years. The world’s largest restaurant chain will use Dynamic Yield’s technology to customize drive-thru menus based time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and suggest additional menu items based on a customer’s order. In 2018, Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), bought Invertex, which uses 3D scanning to customize shoes. Kibo CEO David Post adds: “Providing a personalized customer journey is vital to brands and retailers in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Time is running out to nominate candidates for the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Submit nominations by end of day Mon. 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.


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 to. 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.

Frazier Healthcare Partners is buying Meddata, a provider of billing and collections services to healthcare providers, from MedNax Inc. (NYSE: MD) for up to $300 million. Advisors to Mednax include: Barclays, Guggenheim Securities LLC, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and McDermott, Will & Emery LLP. Frazier is being represented by Goodwin Procter.

TPG Capital has completed its purchase of CollabNet VersionOne, a software provider for government and large-scale businesses. TPG has committed up to $500 million to the target.

PPC Flexible Packaging has acquired Popular Ink from Highlander Partners. The target prints and converts multi-colored flexible packaging products including gel packs, stand-up bags, pouches and stick packs. Mesirow Financial advised Highlander.

IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) has bought Novation Analytics, a data provider to the automotive sector.

Highview Capital-backed National Fire & Safety has acquired RCI Systems, a contractor of fire-sprinkler services.

Accent Equity has bought Scandinavian Cosmetics Group from Aurelius Equity.

Craigh Kahler was hired by private equity firm Orix Capital Partners as a managing director. He was most recently with Safanad.

Eleanor Shanks has joined law firm Sidley Austin. She was previously with Proskauer Rose, and focuses on private equity and M&A.

The New York Yankees advanced to the American League Championship Series this week. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.