M&A wrap: Palo Alto Networks, RedLock, Honda, General Motors, GM Cruise, Trinity Hunt

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Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) is buying cybersecurity company RedLock for $173 million. Demand for new and improved cybersecurity offerings, in some cases spurred by well-publicized data breaches and ransomware attacks, has created a healthy appetite for M&A with cybersecurity-related companies. RedLock provides cybsersecurity services across the cloud for businesses. Some of the company's customers include 21st Century Fox (Nasdaq: FOX), Mattress Firm and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW). "The addition of their technologies allows us to offer the most comprehensive security for multi-cloud environments, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, and significantly strengthens our cloud strategy going forward." says Palo Alto CEO Nikesh Arora. Palo Alto bolstered cloud offerings with the recent $300 million purchase of Evident. Palo Alto will combine the Evident and RedLock technologies to provide customers with analytics, advanced threat detection, continuous security, and compliance monitoring in a single suite of products beginning in 2019.

Honda Motor Co. is investing about $2.75 billion in General Motors Co.'s (NYSE: GM) self-driving car unit, GM Cruise. Honda will make a $750 million equity investment in GM Cruise in a deal that values the unit at $14.6 billion, plus spend $2 billion over 12 years toward deploying the autonomous vehicles, according to a statement. The new partnership has the potential to boost the global scale of GM’s self-driving car technology and accelerate deployment of autonomous vehicles for Honda, reports Bloomberg News. Read the full story: Honda invests in GM Cruise in self-driving car pact.

Nominations must be received by Monday, Oct. 15, for Mergers & Acquisitions' 2019 edition of The Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. By identifying and featuring dozens of influential women, Mergers & Acquisitions nurtures the community of female leaders and provides role models for women who are at earlier stages of their careers. To be considered, candidates must be women who are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. Evidence of influence in the broader M&A industry is essential. When nominating a candidate, please explain how she outperforms her colleagues at her firm and in the industry. Please provide examples of deals she has led, initiatives she has launched and other instances that show evidence of her influence in the middle market. While considering the merits of candidates, it’s helpful to read about women who have met our criteria in the past, such as Kainos Capital co-founder Sarah Bradley, who graced our 2018 cover. See the profiles of 35 women in our previous edition. Click here to learn more about the criteria and to submit a nomination.

Deal news
Trinity Hunt Partners has closed its fifth fund at $350 million. The Dallas-based PE firm focuses on the consumer, business services, healthcare and industrials sectors. The new fund has already closed two investments, according to the firm. Credit Suisse and Jones Day advised Trinity Hunt on the fund raise. For more on PE fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: Three Hills Capital and Triton Fund.

Macquarie Infrastructure Partners is purchasing Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. from Energy Capital Partners. The target provides waste disposal services for local communities and delivers renewable energy to residential and commercial customers. Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank and Latham & Watkins are advising Wheelabrator. Greentech Capital Advisors, RBC Capital Markets and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Macquarie.

Wind Point-backed Pestell Group has acquired BPV Enviromental, a maker of paper-based animal litter, bedding, along with lawn and garden products. Kirkland & Ellis represented Pestell. Antares, BMO Sponsor Finance and PennantPark provided financing.

Norwest Equity Partners has invested in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a professional health coaching certification program. BMO Capital Markets and Jones Day advised the target. PennantPark Investment Advisers and Norwest Mezzanine Partners provided financing.

Kingswood Capital Management has acquired Wave Electronics and will merge it with portfolio company Avad LLC, to a create a new audio, video and security services provider. Dentons US LLP and Goodwin Proctor advised Kingswood. Stephens Inc. advised Wave.

Ardian is buying a majority in Inula Group from Vendis Capital and the company's management. Inula is a distributor of aromatherapy products under the Pranarôm, HerbalGem and Biofloral brands.

Graycliff Partners has acquired Pebble Technology International Inc., a manufacturer of swimming pool finishes.

VT Industries, a manufacturer of wood doors, countertops and vanity surfaces, has acquired Eggers Industries, a maker of doors and millwork.

For more deal announcements, see the weekly wrap: Inspire Brands, Kettle Cuisine, Sirius XM.

Featured content
It's Week 5 of the NFL regular season, and Mergers & Acquisitions takes a look at star players who invest in companies through private equity, venture capital and other vehicles. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan (pictured), 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 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 PE firm HGGC. For more, read the full story: Tom Brady, Muhsin Muhammad, Michael Strahan, Steve Young also build companies.

Food & beverage M&A offers plenty of mouth-watering deals. Giants Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and PepsiCo Inc. (Nasdaq: PEP) update their product lines with healthy offerings, while private equity firms, such as Brynwood Partners, breathe new life into tried and true brands, like Pillsbury. And lots of buyers experiment with meal kits and delivery methods, fueling M&A. Read the full story: 9 food & beverage companies loved by consumers and dealmakers alike.

Strategic buyers leverage data, sell more snacks and cater to seniors. Mergers & Acquisitions outlines the M&A strategies of 8 corporations, including Best Buy, Energizer, Fortune Brands, Hershey, Nike, P&G, Stanley Black & Decker and Tyson Foods. See the full story: Best Buy, Hershey, Nike, P&G and more wield M&A to grow.

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), the owner of Hillshire Farm, wants to “feed the world” with its protein brands and will seek acquisitions to help. How Tyson is focusing on what it does best through M&A.

Between 70 and 80 percent of all M&A integration projects fall short of delivering anticipated value. This isn't because the acquisition target is somehow subpar, it's because the acquiring firm lacks a strong integration strategy. Read the full story: How to accelerate value in the first 100 days after an acquisition.

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
M&A East, hosted by ACG Philadelphia and held Oct. 24-25, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, 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.

Exponent Evening with Tequila Casa Dragones, hosted by Exponent Women LLC, a networking group for female dealmakers, held Oct. 25 at The Dream Downtown in New York, features tequila, food and a conversation between Bertha Gonzales Nieves, co-founder and CEO of Tequila Casa Dragones, and Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. For more on networking group’s previous event, see Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.

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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