As the presidential candidates prepare for their final debate, Mergers & Acquisitions turns to Pam Hendrickson, COO of the Riverside Co., who serves on the board of American Investment Council, for a look at the election from private equity’s perspective. “We are continuing to educate policy makers about how our industry employs millions of Americans, provides long term capital that can spur economic recovery, helps growing companies, and strengthens the retirement of millions of public sector workers through their pensions,” Hendrickson says. “Our industry must be engaged managing political risk and promoting our positive impact. This is an ongoing process and we must remain engaged before, during, and after election day.” Read our full coverage: Election Spotlight: Businesses of All Kinds Will Face a Tax Increase, If No Action is Taken.

Mergers and Acquisitions has announced our Call for Nominations, and we are seeking candidates for the 2021 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Deadline is Monday, December 7, 2020. Click here to learn more and nominate a candidate. It will mark the sixth year we have produced the list, which recognizes female leaders with significant influence inside their companies and in the wider dealmaking world. It’s been gratifying to watch the project evolve over the years – and become more influential itself. Last 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. Many dealmakers were new to our 2020 list, including Rockwood Equity Partners’ Kate Faust and Avante Capital Partners’ Ivelisse Simon. Read our full coverage of all the champions of change on our list, including Q&As with each individual. We will publish the 2021 list in the February issue of Mergers & Acquisitions.

DEAL NEWS
Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF) has agreed to buy 51 percent of Crescent Capital Group for as much as $338 million, bolstering its asset management business with one of the largest investors in alternative credit. Many companies are struggling to stay alive through the coronavirus pandemic, and are turning to alternative lenders such as Crescent for money they can’t get from banks or capital markets. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Sun Life Buys Majority Stake in Crescent Capital to Bolster Asset Management Business.

Adidas AG, the German sportswear giant, is exploring a sale of its Reebok brand, according to Bloomberg News. Reebok in the pandemic has suffered more than the Adidas brand. While sales at the German label fell 33 percent in the second quarter, Reebok’s revenue fell 42 percent, as it struggles to keep pace with rival Nike (NYSE: NKE). Read the full story by Bloomberg: Adidas Reportedly Prepares Sale of Reebok Brand.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has made two more deals since the PE firm recently raised its second European fund. The firm has acquired Ducares B.V., which operates under the Triskelion and Ducares, and offers food and feed testing, along with compliance and risk management services. Separately, Levine has purchased NMi Certin B.V. The latter provides scientific measurement testing and inspection services. Both targets were acquired from First Dutch Innovations. Levine has raised $544 million for its second European fund earlier in October betting on finding more deal opportunities in the region.

HarbourVest Partners has acquired a minority stake in education technology company Finalsite. Bridge Growth Partners will remain Finalsite’s majority owner. The need for education software and digital connectivity has been growing during the coronavirus pandemic with more virtual learning taking place. Finalsite offers Software-as-a-Service to over 5,000 independent and public K-12 schools across 100 countries.

Summit Partners has made a $56 million growth equity investment LearnUpon. The latter is a cloud-based technology company that helps businesses with employee development and training. “In today’s knowledge economy, we believe corporate learning has become a key requirement for all organizations of scale – and the added challenge of remote working has only accelerated the importance of delivering learning digitally,” says Summit Principal Antony Clavel.

Trilantic North America has made a minority investment in SemaConnect, a provider of electric vehicle charging stations. The rise in use in electric cars is creating a demand for charging stations.

Core Industrial Partners LLC has acquired J&K Ingredients Corp., a manufacturer of baked goods ingredients with an emphasis on natural, organic and clean label products. The the target is known for its Bred-Mate, Rice-Mate and Sor-Mate brands. Winston & Strawn LLP advised Core.

IN THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
“When Covid-19 hit, everything stopped,” says Jeri Harman, the founder of Avante Capital Partners, in the October cover story of Mergers & Acquisitions, written by contributing editor Danielle Fugazy. “We were looking internally to understand where our portfolio was and figure out how we could help existing portfolio companies. That lasted until May. Now we are busy again. It’s not like last year, but there is good deal flow.”

To find out what we can expect in the months to come, we turned to Churchill Asset Management’s Randy Schwimmer, the founder and publisher of The Lead Left, for a contributed article on predictions for 2021. “Transaction efficiency is key to getting deals done,” he says.

For the full October issue of Mergers & Acquisitions, download the Digital Edition.

For the full versions of these stories, click on the links below.

SPECIAL REPORTS
Most Influential Women of Mid-Market M&A is one of three special projects Mergers & Acquisitions publishes annually. For more details, see: Special reports: Advancing the middle market through Most Influential Women, M&A Mid-Market Awards and Rising Stars.

The M&A Wrap is a bi-weekly column that is published on Mondays and Thursdays.