M&A wrap: Rockwood Equity, Francisco Partners, Zoll Medical, Stifel, Most Influential Women, Evergreen, Gryphon

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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 Kate Faust, partner, business development, Rockwood Equity. "I am fortunate to have often been the 'first of something' in my career," says Faust. "A great network of smart, supportive people has helped me navigate my 'firsts.'" Read our full coverage of all the champions of change on our list, including Q&As with each individual.

Francisco Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., the private equity arm of Elliott Management, are buying LogMeln Inc. (Nasdaq: LOGM), a cloud-based connectivity company, for $4.3 billion. “This investment builds on the strength of our infrastructure and security software franchise and we are thrilled to partner with the company to achieve its long-term strategic vision,” says FP co-founder Dipanjan “DJ” Deb. Qatalyst Partners, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (NYSE: JPM) and Latham & Watkins LLP are advising LogMeln. Mizuho Bank, Deutsche Bank Securities, Jefferies LLC, RBC Capital Markets, Paul Hastings LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP are advising the buyers. Barclays, RBC, Deutsche, Jefferies Finance and Mizuho are providing financing.

Gryphon Investors has closed its second junior debt fund, Gryphon Mezzanine Partners II, at $300 million. The fund will make minority investments in junior debt financings of Gryphon portfolio companies that are led by third-party lenders. "Our mezzanine strategy was initiated to satisfy the demand of a number of the firm’s limited partners seeking attractive risk adjusted yields in the junior debt securities of Gryphon portfolio companies," says Gryphon founder David Andrews.

Norwest Equity Partners has acquired Clover Imaging Group from 4L Holdings. Clover produces remanufactured printer cartridges that helps businesses lower their printing costs while also reducing their environmental impact. Lincoln International and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Clover. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is advising Norwest. National Bank Association and TCW Asset Management provided financing.

Webster Equity Partners-backed Discovery Behavioral Health has acquired Casa Palmera Care Centers, an operator of substance abuse treatment centers. Bailey Southwell advised Casa.

LLR Partners has acquired a majority stake in Geoforce, a provider of traceability services for field equipment and vehicles. Vaquero Capital advised Geoforce and DC Advisory advised LLR.

Genstar Capital has invested in Truck-Lite, a provider of safety lighting, filtration systems and telematics services for commercial vehicles, from BDT Capital Partners and Koch Equity Development. Baird, Barclays and Jones Day advised Truck-Lite. Weil, Gotshal & Manges advised Genstar.

Lovell Minnick Partners has invested in payments technology company Fortis Payment Systems. Sidley Austin and Strawhecker Group advised Lovell Minnick. Butzel Long advised Fortis.

Resurgens Technology Partners has made an investment in OfficeSpace Sofware, a software provider that helps companies manage workspace. Software Equity Group advised OfficeSpace.

The Halifax Group has invested in Maverick Fitness Holdings, an operator of 30 Orangetheory fitness franchises in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

About 76 percent of exceutives say their businesses will be just as or more profitable in 2020 compared with 2019, according to a survey conducted by accounting firm EisnerAmper. About 54 percent of respondents say their biggest concern in 2020 is an economic slowdown. The survey was taken online and in-person by approximately 940 business owners, executives, family office executives and high net worth individuals at the annual EisnerAmper Business Summit Series, which was held Oct. 29-Nov. 13.

PE fundraising in 2020 will fall below 2019 totals, analysts at PitchBook predict, who also see another acquisition of a major alternative asset manager. In addition, general partners will increasingly hold on to some of their top-performing assets longer, the big four public GPs will expand their strategy offerings at twice the rate of comparable GPs.

Carl Gatenio was hired by Raymond James as a managing director and co-head of building products. Gatenio was most recently with Lincoln International.

Deanna Barry has been promoted to partner, CFO at private equity firm Incline Equity Partners, while Sarah Halvonik has been promoted to vice president, business development, at the same firm.

Martin Ruhaak has joined law firm Ropes & Gray as a partner. Ruhaak was most recently with Katten Muchin Rosenman, and focuses on private equity and M&A.

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.

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