Mergers & Acquisitions has named the 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. This marks the fifth year we have produced the list. It’s been gratifying to watch the project evolve over the years – and become more influential itself. This year, we received more nominations than ever before. As a result, we expanded the number honored to 42 in 2020, up from 36 in 2019. We’re also pleased to welcome many newcomers to the list, such as Kapila Ratnam, general partner, NewSpring. “From an impact perspective, some of the most transformative work I’ve done has been advising fast growing healthcare companies that are improving the healthcare ecosystem in myriad ways,” says Ratnam. Read our full coverage of all the champions of change on our list, including Q&As with each individual.

Thoma Bravo, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Genstar Capital Partners have secured the top three spots in the 2019 HEC-DowJones Private Equity Performance Ranking, which joined forces in 2009 to publish an annual ranking of PE firms based on their historic performance and expected future competitiveness. The 2019 ranking lists the world’s top PE firms in terms of performance, based on all buyout funds raised between 2006 and 2016. The data was analyzed by Olivier Gottschalg, professor of strategy and business policy at HEC Paris Business School.

Editor’s Note: Over the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions will publish the M&A wrap column and our Daily Briefing newsletter on Monday, Thursday and Friday during the last two weeks of the year.

IAC (Nasdaq: IAC) is buying (NYSE: CRCM) for $500 million. is a website that helps people manage family care and find caregivers. IAC owns the Match Group, including dating sites Match, OkCupid and Tinder along with the websites Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. “Family care is exciting new territory for us—and an accelerating market as demand for both child and senior care intensifies worldwide,” says IAC CEO Joey Levin.

ViacomCBS (Nasdaq: VIACA) is buying a 49 percent stake in film and television studio Miramax for $375 million. Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC) and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom are advising the target. Guggenheim Securities and O’Melveny & Myers are advising ViacomCBS.

Bain & Co. is acquiring consumer behavior analytics firm Pyxis. Bain says the acquisition will help the firm’s help private equity, institutional and corporate clients gain a more detailed and accurate picture of their own customers, their competitor’s customers to help them find growth opportunities.

Crisil, a subsidiary of S&P Global Co., is buying data analytics company Greenwich Associates. The target serves over 300 of the top investment banks, corporate banks, commercial banks and asset managers, by offering inisghts to assist them in improving business performance.

May River Capital-backed testing and measurement company Dickson has invested in Oceasoft. The latter monitors temperature, humidity and CO2 levels for the life sciences and agriculture sectors. Alantra France Corporate Finance, EC Mergers & Acquisitions and Paul Hastings advised the buyers.

Genstar Capital and Oak Hill-backed Mercer Advisors has acquired SD Financial Pathways, a wealth management firm located in Dearborn, Michigan.

HVAC company CoolSys has acquired BRR Refrigeration, a commercial refrigeration and HVAC services provider.

For more deal news, see Weekly wrap: Genstar, New York Life, TiVo.

Adams Street Partners has closed the Adams Street 2019 Partnership Fund Program at $740 million. The program offers investors access to all of Adam Street’s investment strategies including including primaries, secondaries, co-investments, growth equity and private credit.

Lower middle-market private equity firm Graycliff Partners has its fourth fund at $350 million. The firm focuses on the business services, distribution and manufacturing sectors. Credit Suisse served as Graycliff’s placement agent while Weil Gotshal & Manges provided legal advice.

For more fundraising news, see PE fundraising scorecard: Abbott Capital, Bertram, North Haven.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, all eyes are on the retail industry, which is undergoing transformational changes. 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

Albertsons, Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Stop & Shop and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) are building automated mini-warehouses and “dark stores” to make deliveries and prepare pickup orders. Mini-warehouses are usually attached to existing stores, and in most cases, “dark stores” are completely separate. Both formats are closed off to customers, and are mostly automated. They use the assistance of robots for speed, save on labor, and get orders out faster. Kroger bought a five percent stake in robotics firm Ocado. Read our full coverage: Smart supermarkets become popular, as Kroger, Walmart add them.

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. The New York firm announced the final close of its latest global real estate fund recently. 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.

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. 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. Adams Street Partners, Balance Point Capital, Carlyle and VSS are all actively engaged in lending. Read the full story: Private equity firms are becoming lenders. Here’s why.

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.

During the holiday season, Mergers & Acquisitions is covering the philanthropic and volunteer initiatives underway in the private equity industry. At Mergers & Acquisitions, we’re covering the philanthropic and volunteer initiatives underway in the private equity industry. Last year, we published The Big Give, an in-depth look at how private equity firms are contributing. Efforts have continued to flourish, fueled by younger Millennials seeking to build a better future and by mature partners considering the legacy they will leave behind. Read our full coverage: Private equity gives back: Vista’s Robert F. Smith, Clearlake’s José E. Feliciano, Riverside employees.

The Annual AM&AA Winter Conference is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona Jan. 8-10.

Deal Wave is being hosted by ACG Orange Country at the Ritz-Carlton-Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California on Jan. 9.

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