M&A wrap: MidOcean, L Catterton, Cholula, Waitr Holdings, P&G

MidOcean Partners has acquired construction data providers Hanley Wood and Meyers Research. The latter is being bought from real estate development company Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW). The two targets offer data on land acquisition, property development, new home sales and marketing. The combined company will be led by Meyers Research founder Jeff Meyers. Kennedy Wilson will own a minority stake in the combined company. “We are excited to bring together two of the premier players in the residential construction data industry. "This transformational merger creates a significantly expanded offering for customers and provides for greater benefits and growth opportunities than either company could have achieved alone," says MidOcean managing director Barrett Gilmer. The deal comes on the heels of MidOcean raising its fifth fund at $1.2 billion. Demand for construction software providers is picking up. For instance, in 2018, Trimble (Nasdaq: TRMB) agreed to buy Viewpoint from Bain Capital for $1.2 billion. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is representing MidOcean. Evercore (NYSE: EVR) and Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom are advising Hanley Wood. Vaquero Capital and Latham & Watkins are advising Meyers Research.

Deal news
L Catterton is acquiring hot sauce distributor Cholula. "Cholula represents a compelling opportunity to invest in a premium brand with an established reputation for quality and authenticity in the growing hot sauce category," says L Catterton global co-CEO Scott Dahnke. Vace Partners and Cravath, Swaine & Moore are advising Cholula. Kirkland & Ellis, Creel, McKinsey & Co., PwC and Alvarez & Marsal are advising L Catterton.

Waitr Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: WTRH) is buying online food delivery company Bite Squad for about $321 million. "We believe that a small fraction of the U.S. restaurant industry’s sales are from off-premise online transactions and this is evolving rapidly," says Waitr CEO Chris Meaux.

Fartech Ltd. (NYSE: FTCG) is buying sneaker company Stadium Goods for $250 million. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Fenwick & West are advising Fartech.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is purchasing beauty company Walker & Co. Brands. The target is known for the Bevel and Form Beauty hair care brands.

Authority Brands has acquired pest control services company Mosquito Squad from Outdoor Living Brands. The McLean Group advised Outdoor Living Brands.

People moves
Tim Healy has joined Twin Brook Capital Partners as a managing director, where he is focusing on originations. He was previously with Linsalata Capital Partners.

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back - organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein's signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. “We are finding this more and more. Yes, we are here to make money, secure retirement for pensioners, but the firm wants to support people’s efforts to make the world a better place.” Frontier Capital supports several causes, including The Miracle League, a baseball organization for people who are mentally and physically challenged. “There’s more to life than work and material things, and our people understand that,” says Frontier managing partner Andrew Lindner. At Detroit-based Huron Capital, the firm’s philanthropic efforts are focused on local groups. “We want to leave our footprint in this community where we live and work while being as helpful as possible,” says partner Gretchen Perkins. “The charitable activities we do as a group, the ability for each employee to influence where Huron’s donations go, and the ability to perform community service during work hours, or receive matching funds for an employee’s personal non-profit passion, all contribute to a portion of an employee’s sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good.” Read the full story, The Big Give.

We asked dealmakers at ACG Philadelphia's M&A East to share their thoughts on Giving Back. Check out our video interview with Baker Tilly Capital's Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. Also watch our conversation with Reed Smith's Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are.

In this busy shopping season, retailers are increasingly turning to tech M&A to help them compete with online purveyors, especially Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). China's largest retailer JD.com and Intel have launched a joint lab that will to explore retail applications for the Internet of Things (IoT). The Digitized Retail Joint Lab will develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising solutions, and technologies to be used in the stores of the future, based on Intel architecture. The ongoing challenges in the sector continue to force some retailers to close, including the June liquidation of Toys R Us, backed by Bain Capital and KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR). Technology is driving many of the transactions. See our list, 5 trends driving retail M&A deals.

The success of the Blackstone-led consortium’s bid for Thomson Reuters Corp, along with the ongoing joint Arconic bid, have gotten people talking about a potential return to the pre-crisis era of club deals and collaborations. Read the full guest article by Augnetius' Hugh Stacey: Are private equity club deals making a comeback?

The Los Angeles Chargers take on the division leading Kansas City Chiefs to kick off NFL Week 15 on Thursday night. Off the field, many players build companies. Off the field, many football players invest in companies. 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. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthersand 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. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

Events
ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit brings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes.

Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York's Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbellconverted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc.

ACG Boston, ACG Connecticut, ACG New Jersey, ACG New York & ACG Philadelphia host ACG Northeast Dealmaking at the Mountain at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont Jan. 27-29. The event provides a chance for middle-market M&A professionals from across the northeast to come together for two days of close knit networking, shared conversations and valuable time spent to deepen your relationships within the deal community.

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