M&A wrap: Taylor Swift, Carlyle, Nike, McDonald's, Leonard Green, Shorehill, Cerberus

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Mergers & Acquisitions has launched a new weekly 7-part series on retail technology M&A. We’re kicking it off with an in-depth look at how the Internet of Things is transforming retail and how the trend is playing out in dealmaking. Nike (NYSE: NKE) is making acquisitions to enhance its customer experiences. Nike bought Zodiac and Invertex Ltd., a pair of innovative digital startups helping the athletic apparel maker get closer to customers. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), the world’s largest restaurant chain, is gobbling up digital startups to improve customer experiences by capitalizing on IoT innovations- a strategy new CEO Chris Kempczinski supports. The company is buying personalization company Dynamic Yield for a reported $300 million in its largest deal in more than 20 years, and will use the software to customize drive-thru menus. Check back every Friday throughout the holiday shopping season for a new installment.

DEAL NEWS
Leonard Green & Partners has invested in WCG, which is already backed by Arsenal Capital Partners. Novo Holdings also invested in the deal. WCG is a clinical trials services provider that helps biopharmeceutical companies accelerate the delivery of new treatments and therapies to patients. Centerview Partners LLC and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advised WCG. Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised Arsenal. Barclays and Latham & Watkins advised Leonard Green.

Shorehill Capital has bought Triad Technologies, a distributor of industrial fluid power services, from Svoboda Capital. Cowen and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP advised Triad.

American Industrial Partners-backed ACProducts is buying Masco Cabinetry from Masco Corp. (NYSE: MAS) for $1 billion. Masco owns the Delta faucets and the KraftMaid cabinets brands.

Cerberus Capital Management has acquired a majority stake in used-car dealer Off Lease Only. The target owns four dealerships in Florida.

For more deal news, see Weekly wrap: Anheuser-Busch, Allegro, OpenText.

To see which other firms are fundraising, check out PE fundraising scorecard: Atalaya, Investcorp, Kohlberg, Sage Equity

DEAL TRENDS
HGGC's deal for Monotype, Shopify' Inc.'s (NYSE: SHOP) purchase of 6 River Systems and SK Capital's acquisition of Poylone's assets are among the transactions highlighted in October. For more, see Key middle-market deals that closed in October.

Taylor Swift accused her former record label of blocking her from performing her old songs at an awards show or using them in an upcoming documentary, escalating a dispute between the pop star and powerful celebrity manager Scooter Braun. The singer-songwriter tweeted an impassioned plea asking U.S. asset management firm Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) and fans to help her in efforts to secure ownership of six albums she previously recorded under Big Machine Label Group LLC. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Taylor Swift seeks Carlyle's help in dispute over past hits.

FEATURED CONTENT
Esteemed M&A attorney Martin (“Marty”) Lipton was honored at a black-tie event hosted by the Institute of International Education at The Pierre in New York on Oct. 30. Called the “the king of M&A,” the co-founder of New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, is well known to dealmakers as the architect of the anti-takeover defense strategy known as the “poison pill.” Lipton was awarded the IIE Stephen P. Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding “in recognition of his lifetime of extraordinary achievement and his lasting contribution to international higher education. Read the full story: Martin Lipton, inventor of the “poison pill” anti-takeover defense honored by IIE.

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.

Prokanga is a unique recruiting firm that offers full-time and flexible recruiting services. Prokanga is managed by co-founders Jamie Cheney and Lesley Finer (pictured). Mergers & Acquisitions spoke with Finer, who has more than 10 years of recruiting for the finance industry and leads the finance practice at Prokanga. For more, see Why financial services pros need flexibility.

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.

Online retailers, including Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), are adding more fulfillment centers to meet consumer demands for faster shipping times. The owners of these properties along with the contractors that build them are becoming prime M&A targets. More local fulfillment centers means faster delivery times and lower last-mile costs to both retailers and customers. Read the full story: Amazon and Walmart open more logistics centers, driving warehouse M&A.

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.

EVENTS
Exponent Women is hosting a Family Office Event with Owens Group at LX Gallery in New York on Nov. 21. Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn is moderating a panel.

The Annual Winter Conference AM&AA is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizon fron 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.

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