M&A wrap: M&A East, Casa Dragones, Bertha Gonzalez Nieves, Exponent, KKR, Fiat, Littlejohn

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It’s a busy week for dealmakers on the east coast. Networking tees off on the links with the M&A East Annual Golf Outing on Oct. 23 at the Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Then there’s M&A East at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia Oct. 24-25. The annual conference brings together 1,300 top strategic and financial dealmakers and leading middle-market advisors for deal sourcing and networking. Featured speakers include Walter Robb, former CEO Whole Foods, and Chris Voss, former FBI lead hostage negotiator. The Women in Dealmaking session will focus on Women in the Board Room.

In New York, women dealmakers gather on Oct. 25 for Exponent Evening with Tequila Casa Dragones. The event features tequila sipping and a fireside chat with Casa Dragones CEO Bertha Gonzalez Nieves, conducted by Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn. Nieves co-founded Casa Dragones in 2008 with Bob Pittman, the prolific media executive best known for co-founding MTV Networks. “Casa Dragones is a small batch tequila producer with a passion for crafting extraordinary tequilas one bottle at a time,” as the company’s website puts it. The tequila has become a favorite of connoisseurs, including Oprah Winfrey. At the Exponent event, Nieves will share stories about the company’s founding and growth. Exponent Women is a new group for female dealmakers, and it is gaining momentum quickly, attracting sponsors, including Merrill Corp., Duff & Phelps, J.P. Morgan. For more on the group’s previous event, see Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.

Deal news
KKR & Co.’s Calsonic Kansei has agreed to buy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's car-parts unit, Magneti Marelli, in the first major deal for the Italian-American carmaker under new CEO Mike Manley. The transaction, valued at 6.2 billion euros ($7.1 billion), will create Japan-based Magneti Marelli CK Holdings, according to Bloomberg News. Read the full story: KKR-backed company buys Fiat's Magneti.

WorleyParsons Ltd. is buying Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.'s (NYSE: JEC) energy, chemicals and resources segment for $3.3 billion.

Littlejohn & Co. has acquired the Cook & Boardman Group, a maker of door frames and door locks. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represented Littlejohn. Goldman Sachs, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc., and KKR Capital Markets LLC provided financing.

One Equity Partners has bought Orion Systems Integrators from Potomac Equity. The target offers digital transformation, data analytics and IT services to businesses. William Blair and Perkins Coie advised Orion.

Gryphon Investors-backed Hepaco has bought Trans Environmental, which offers industrial cleaning and emergence response services. Moore & Van Allen PLLC represented Hepaco and Howard & Hardyman represented Trans.

KLX Energy Services Holdings is buying Motley Services LLC, a coiled tubing services provider, for $148 million. Freshfields is advising KLX.

LongueVie Capital-backed Zavation Medical Products has acquired medical device manufacturer Pan Medical U.S. Corp. Abacus Finance Group is providing financing.

NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR) is buying payment processing company JetPay (Nasdaq: JTPY) for $184 million. Financial Technology Partners, FTP Securities and Dechert are advising JetPay. BofA Merrill Lynch is advising NCR.

Stellex Capital Management has bought glass manufacturer Custom Glass Solutions. Stinson Leonard Street LLP and Lincoln International LLC advised the target. Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP represented Stellex. Czech Asset Management provided financing.

Waud Capital Partners has created Heart + Paw, a pet care services platform, that will bed led by former Banfield Pet Hospital CEO Vincent Bradley. Waud has committed $100 million of equity to the new company.

Z Capital Partners and Affinity Gaming has offered to buy casino operator Full House Resorts (Nasdaq: FLL) for $132.5 million. Sidley Austin is representing Z Capital and Affinity Gaming.

Arsenal Capital Partners has purchased Polytek Development Corp. from Morgenthaler Private Equity. The target makes liquid mold rubbers and casting plastics that are used to create concrete casting and sculptures.

Atar Capital has bought Pathways, a provider of behavorial and mental health services.

For more deal announcements, see the weekly wrap: Carlyle, Crestview, Walmart.

For more on PE fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: Gallant Capital and Larson Capital.

Featured content
The NFL season heads into Week 8. Off the field, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Many NFL players invest in companies. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. Mergers & Acquisitions takes a look at star players who invest in companies through private equity, venture capital and other investment vehicles.

Mergers & Acquisitions identifies 15 cities as fertile communities for dealmaking. We look at metropolitan areas from Austin (where Michael Dell launched a PC business out of his dorm room back in the day and where thousands gather every year for SXSW) to St. Louis (home of private equity firm Thompson Street Capital Partners). Be sure to check out Milwaukee (with private equity firm Robert W. Baird & Co. and investment bank Clearly Gull) and Minneapolis (home of strategic buyers 3M, Best Buy, General Mills, Hormel and Target). And don’t forget Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and more. See our list, Dealmaker's guide to 15 cities where M&A thrives.

Why investors like diversity. "Companies that are inclusive and also diverse tend to outperform companies that aren't," says investor Lorine Pendleton of Pipeline Angels and Portfolia in this video interview shot at Exponent Exchange, a gathering of 200 female dealmakers. Watch the full video: M&A Insights: Inclusion investing.

Events
ACG Chicago's Family Office Conference, held Nov. 8, at the Westin Chicago River North, brings deamakers together for a "deep dive" into family offices. The event features a keynote by Laurent Roux, Gallatin Wealth Management, and panels, including: Current State of Family Office Direct & Co-Investment Activity, with Gary Levenstein, Nixon Peabody; and Impact of Millennial Generation on Family Office Investment Strategy including Social Impact Investing, with Adam Lieb and Tony Oommen, Fidelity Family Office Services.

ACG Florida Capital Connection, held Nov. 12-14, at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, puts “sun and fun” into dealmaking for the middle market, bringing together hundreds of dealmakers. The keynote speaker is Forbes Media CEO Steve Forbes, and the featured speaker for the Women’s Forum is Valerie Crites Fowler, who served as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service for over 29 years, reaching the rank of Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service.

Middle Market Week, hosted by ACG New York and held Nov. 26-30 at various locations throughout New York, brings together leading global middle-market dealmaking professionals to develop and enhance their dealmaking activities, strengthen their long-term relationships, and provide numerous opportunities for networking all week long. Mark your calendar for the Private Equity Annual Wine Tasting Gala on Nov. 28 at Gotham Hall. The building was constructed in the 1920s as the headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank. The gala brings together the leading middle market private equity firms for an evening of fine wines and networking.

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