KPS Capital Partners has raised two new funds worth a total of $7 billion. The firm raised $6 billion for its fifth special situations fund. KPS focuses on the automitve, basic materials, branded consumer, healthcare and manufacturing sectors, by investing in companies that are experiencing a period of transition or are challenged by the need to effect immediate and significant change. KPS pursues opportunities where a company’s immediate future appears troubled or uncertain or the solutions to its operational or financial problems are complex. KPS co-founders Michael Psaros and David Shapiro mention: “We are proud of our ability to create real value by seeing value where other investors do not, buying right and making businesses better, across decades, industries, and financial, business and economic cycles.” In addition, KPS raised its first mid-cap fund at $1 billion. The latter will make equity investments that are under $100 million and are deemed too small for the special situations fund. “KPS Mid-Cap will enable us to pursue attractive investment opportunities that we have not been able to capitalize on due to size as our flagship funds have grown,” says KPS co-managing partner Raquel Palmer. “We were tremendously successful in this market in the past and are excited to return, now with our entire firm’s material resources and global platform.” In 2019, KPS acquired Howden, a provider of gas handling products; metal parts maker Tower International; and the Life Fitness brand from Brunswick Corp. Kirkland & Ellis advised KPS on the two fundraises.

Due to the high volume of requests, Mergers & Acquisitions has extended the deadline for nominations for the 2020 edition of the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A until end of day Thurs., Oct. 17. TO NOMINATE A CANDIDATE, CLICK HERE.

Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) is buying the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International for $4.25 billion. The Las Vegas-based casino company also agreed to sell the Circus Circus property on the strip, along with 47 adjoining acres, to real estate mogul Phil Ruffin for $825 million. With the sales, MGM Resorts moves a step closer to becoming a landless casino company, marking a new era for the largest operator of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Blackstone buys the Bellagio from MGM.

Lower middle-market private equity firm Everglades Equity has been formed. The firm is led by former Hidden Harbor Capital Partners exceutive Brett Craig. Everglades focuses on the distribution, facilities services, industrials sectors with businesses that have up to $8 million in Ebitda.

Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) has acquired a minority stake in OurCrowd. The latter is an Israel-based global venture capital and crowdfunding platform that connects investors with early-stage, high-tech companies. Stifel and OurCrowd will establish a distribution relationship focused on building an investment offering for Stifel’s accredited investor clients.

Sabre Corp. (Nasdaq: SABR) has acquired airline software provider Radixx for $110 million. The target helps low-cost airlines with booking and e-commerce. Baird advised the target.

LLR Partners and Parthernon Capital have purchased Daysmart Software from SFW Capital Partners. Daysmart offers business management software to small and medium-sized companies. Raymond James and Kirkland & Ellis advised Daysmart.

CIVC Partners-backed Computer Aided Technology bought Fisher Unitech, a provider of 3D design software tools and 3D printers, from the Riverside Co. Advisors to Riverside were Stifel and Jones Day.

Platinum Equity has acquired TruckPro Holding Corp. a distributor of heavy duty truck and trailer parts, from Harvest Partners. TruckPro was advised by Baird, Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI) and White & Case. Platinum was advised by Latham & Watkins.

Professional services firm Genpact (NYSE: G) is buying digital consultancy Rightpoint.

Prior to its sale to Thoma Bravo, Apttus was once on track for an initial public offering and, at another point, thought Salesforce would be a logical buyer. “There are three main ways for us to exit – sale to a strategic player who wants to enter or strengthen its position in a market space, IPO or sale to another PE firm,” Apttus CEO Frank Holland tells Mergers & Acquisitions in an interview. Read the full story: Thoma Bravo-backed Apttus wants bigger piece of middle office technology market.

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