M&A wrap: Scientific Games, Don Best Sports, FanDuel, DraftKings, Al Gore's Generation, Caisse, FNZ, Hyatt

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Scientific Games Corp. (Nasdaq: SGMS) is buying sports betting data provider Don Best Sports Corp. The deal comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning a 1992 federal law that barred most states from authorizing sports betting. The decision could pave the way for states to allow sports gambling. DraftKings became the first company to roll out mobile sports betting in New Jersey with a soft-launch of a new app. Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD) and fantasy sports company FanDuel Group are forming a strategic partnership in which the two companies will leverage each other's brands and technology to pursue online gaming across the U.S. Sports betting and gaming provider Paddy Power Betfair has recently acquired a 61 percent stake in FanDuel. "As sports betting rapidly gains popularity in the U.S., we're ready to help our customers capitalize on the new U.S. market while solidifying our long-held leading global position," says Scientific Games CEO Barry Cottle. Scientific Games makes mobile games, instant lottery games, slot machines and electronic table games. Don Best offers betting lines and other stats to more than 100 sportsbooks.

Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management LLP and Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec teamed up to acquire control of wealth-management services provider FNZ in one of 2018's largest fintech deals, according to Bloomberg News. The acquisition of a two-thirds stake held by the private equity firms General Atlantic and HIG Capital values FNZ at about 1.65 billion pounds ($2.2 billion). The deal is the first investment to be made by a new partnership formed by Canada’s second-largest pension fund and the investment firm co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Gore and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner David Blood. The duo plan to deploy $3 billion initially for investments with an 8- to 15-year duration, taking a longer view than the typical private equity deal. Read the full story: Gore's Generation, Caisse buy FNZ in fintech deal.

About 51 percent of U.S. C-suite executives intend to pursue M&A over the next 12 months, and 54 percent expect to increase their deal pipelines over the next year, according to EY's Capital Confidence Barometer. Approximately 98 percent of executives at strategic buyers cite private equity as a direct source of competition.

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
Hyatt Hotels Corp. (NYSE: H) is buying Two Roads Hospitality for up to $600 million. The target operates the Joie de Vivre Hotels, Thompson Hotels, Destination Hotels, and Alila Hotels & Resorts brands. Goldman Sachs & Co. (NYSE: GS) and Latham & Watkins are advising Hyatt. Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC) and Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom are advising Two Roads.

Bain Capital Private Equity is acquiring a majority stake in Rock Software, for about $2 billion. Rock Software develops IT technology that is designed to help businesses run their infrastructure, business processes and data. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suissse and Dechert are advising Rocket Software. Kirkland & Ellis and PwC are advising Bain.

AE Industrial Partners has acquired the Atlas Group, a manufacturer of complex assemblies for commercial, military and business aircrafts. AEI is going to combine Atlas with existing portfolio company F.M.I. Inc. Kirkland & Ellis and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP advised AEI. Dechert and Lazard advised Atlas.

Clearlake Capital-backed Peforce Software is buying Perfecto Mobile, a provider of provider of cloud-based automated mobile and web test software services.

Frontier Capital has made a growth investment in retail data company PriceSpider. Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) advised PriceSpider.

Forum Energy Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FET) has acquired Houston Global Heat Transfer from Pelican Energy Partners. Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP represented Forum.

Commonfund Capital has raised its 12th venture fund at $432 million. Commonfund is a private capital services provider that invests in small and mid-sized businesses. The firm has managed over $16 billion since it was founded in 1988.

Argand Partners-backed OASE Living Water has acquired Atlantic Water Gardens, a suppler of outdoor water products.

Bain Capital Double Impact, the impact investing business of Bain Capital, has acquired and combined home healthcare providers Arosa and LivHome.

John Whiley & Sons Inc. (NYSE: JWA) is acquiring education services provider Learning House from Weld North Holdings for $200 million.

Moonlake Capital is buying ADA Cosmetics, a manufacturer of hotel cosmetics, from Ardian.

New Water Capital has invested in the Perfect Bite Co., which develops recipes and products for grocery stores, airlines and hospitality companies.

Peak Rock Capital has acquired Louisiana Fish Fry Products, a producer of Louisiana inspired food products.

U.S. Lumber Group has acquired moldings supplier Alexandria Moulding from Industrial Opportunity Partners.

People moves
David Brock has joined Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) as a managing director, where he is focusing on the building products sector. Brock was most recently with Jefferies.

Rebecca Brophy has joined McGuireWoods as a partner. She was previously with Smith Anderson and focuses on private equity and M&A.

Theodore Ghorra was hired by Rimon Law as a partner. Most recently with Nixon Peabody, Ghorra advises companies on transactional matters.

Richard NeJame has joined B. RIley FBR as a senior managing director. Nejame was most recently with Oppenheimer and he focuses on restructuring and distressed M&A.

Phil Slater has joined Dorsey & Whitney as a partner. Previously with Morrison & Foerster, Dorsey advises financial institutions on debt matters.

Featured content
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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