M&A wrap: Last day for M&A Mid-Market Award nominations, Fidelity, Salesforce, Harsco, AEI, One Rock, Atlantic Street

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Today is the last day to nominate M&A Mid-Market Award candidates. The awards honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market in 2019. Last year’s winners included TA Associates, Nike, Fortive and Hollie Haynes, who took home Dealmaker of the Year for raising a second fund for Luminate Capital Partners. Nominations are accepted only through our electronic forms. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. There is no fee. For more information on the nomination process and what we seek in winning candidates, see Call for nominations: Submissions for the M&A Mid-Market Awards due Feb. 7.

DEAL NEWS
Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF) is buying the majority stake it does not already own in life insurance company FGL Holdings (NYSE: FG) for $2.7 billion. "Through our minority ownership position in F&G, we have come to know the business well," says Fidelity CEO Raymond Quirk. Credit Suisse and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP are advising the target. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is representing Fidelity.

Harsco Corp. (NYSE: HSC) is buying Stericycle Inc.s' (Nasdaq: SRCL) domestic environmental solutions business for $463 million. Latham & Watkins is representing Stericycle. Simpson Thacher is advising Harsco.

AE Industrial Partners has acquired American Pacific Corp., a chemicals manufacturer for U.S. government programs, from Huntsman Family Investments, the family office of Jon Huntsman. Kirkland & Ellis and PwC advised AEI. Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI) and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner advised American Pacific.

One Rock Capital Partners has completed its acquisition of ingredients producer Innophos. Lazard and Baker Botts advised Innophos. Latham & Watkins and RBC Capital Markets advised One Rock.

PNC Riverarch Capital has purchased Empire Group, a wholesale distributor of foodservice equipment, from Kian Capital Partners. Metronome Partners advised Empire, and Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. advised Kian.

Salesfore.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) bought Evergage, which was previously backed by Arrowroot Capital, G20 Ventures and Point Judith Capital. Evergage uses data to monitor customer behavior and helps retailers offer personalized services.

Hg Capital has acquired Keensight Capital's and Pléiade Venture's stakes in electonic trading services company SmartTrade Technologies. Arma Partners advised SmartTrade.

Atlantic Street Capital-backed All Star Auto Lights has bought Headlights 101, a provider of refurbished headlights for the auto repair industry.

Enhanced Healthcare Partners-backed Eventus Wholehealth has acquired Extended Care Specialists, a long term healthcare services provider.

Corfin Industries has made a combination with Micross Components. The latter offers microelectronic parts to the aerospace and defense, space, medical and industrials sectors. The deal is led by Behrman Capital, which owns a majority stake in Corfin.

For more deal news, see Weekly wrap: Advent, Crosspoint, Science Applications, Westrock Coffee.

For more on fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: Declaration Partners, KKR, Magnum, RC Advisors.

DEAL TRENDS
Despite major challenges to potential investors, the IPO market was resilient in 2019, according to a report from law firm Paul Hastings. The report examines data from more than 60 IPOs, covering both domestic and foreign issuers, that priced in 2019. Among the findings: Approximately two-thirds of issuers priced at or above the midpoint of the pricing range set before their road show, and 39 percent of IPOs had two classes of stock. “This year’s report demonstrates that the IPO market was resilient in 2019,” says Frank Lopez, co-chair of global securities and capital markets at Paul Hastings.

Credit Suisse Group AG ousted CEO Tidjane Thiam, a move the bank’s chairman called an attempt to fix its reputation in the wake of a scandal that unnerved the Swiss establishment. Thomas Gottstein, 55, a two-decade Credit Suisse veteran, was named to succeed Thiam, making him the bank’s first Swiss-born CEO in almost two decades. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam ousted after firm cites loss of trust.

PEOPLE MOVES
Hendrik Kranenburg passed sudddenly from a heart attack at the age of 64 on Jan. 17 while hiking in Grenada. Kranenburg began his financial career at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and joined S&P in 1984. He joined McGraw Hill in 2006 and he served as a senior advisor to Oaklins DeSilva + Phillips since 2010. Kranenburg is survived by his wife Linda Frankenbach; his children, Katharine Alice and Christopher Todd; and his sister Marion Spence.

Wendy Gugora, Tim Jamison and Dick Shuma have been named shareholders at investment bank Prairie Capital Advisors.

FEATURED CONTENT
Artificial intelligence in healthcare saw about $4 billion in funding across 367 deals in 2019, according to data and research firm CB Insights. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq; AMZN) is no exception. The tech conglomerate is using its recent deals for Health Navigator and PillPack to launch new software services in healthcare. Health Navigator works with companies like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in offering services such as remote diagnoses, and with triage to help patients figure out whether to stay at home, see a doctor or go straight to the emergency room. Read our full coverage: How Amazon is using M&A to revolutionize healthcare.

Pushed by a groundbreaking California law mandating it, more companies are putting women on their public corporate boards. The law faces pressure in court and may not stand, but its rippling effect has already started to increase the visibility and awareness of the important benefits of board diversity. Investors are taking notice and trying to get ahead of the curve. According to a study published by MSCI in March 2018, having three or more women on a company’s board of directors translates to a 1.2 percent median productivity above competitors. Read the full guest article by Venable's Belinda Martinez Vega: Why businesses are adding women to their boards.

If there’s anything M&A professionals dislike, it’s uncertainty. And heading into 2020, there’s more than enough uncertainty to go around, including questions about the economy, international trade, impeachment, domestic politics and more. The funny thing is, the lack of clarity may actually make the first half of the year a great time for M&A, as dealmakers push to close transactions before the looming uncertainty of Election Day and its outcome. We conducted interviews with 8 investment bankers and other M&A advisors. Some said the first half of the year will be robust, while others said the uncertainty may have a negative impact throughout 2020. Read the full story, What’s ahead for M&A in 2020? We ask 8 advisors.

Mergers & Acquisitions examines the impact of 7 technologies on M&A in the retail sector. Read the whole series:

Overview: Retail Tech M&A: 7 Technologies Driving Change
Retail Tech M&A #1: Nike, McDonald's, PayPal, add customization, IoT
Retail Tech M&A #2: Why Walmart and other retailers are buying artificial intelligence startups
Retail Tech M&A #3: Amazon leads race to build fulfillment centers
Retail Tech M&A #4: Do robots fill orders faster?
Retail Tech M&A #5: Voice recognition gives retailers more ways to communicate
Retail Tech M&A #6: Data improves customer service
Retail Tech M&A #7: Demand for convenience drives growth in mobile ordering

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 Influenital Women in Mid-Market M&A. For each, see Special reports overview: M&A Mid-Market Awards, Rising Stars, Most Influential Women.

EVENTS
ACG New York is hosting the 12th annual healthcare conference and bourbon tasting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on Feb. 27.

ACG Raleigh Durham's 18th annual capital conference is being from March 31-April 1 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina.

InterGrowth 2020 is taking place at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from April 20-22.

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