Feb. 8 deadline: Time is running out to submit nominations for Mergers & Acquisitions’ 12thAnnual M&A Mid-Market Awards, which will honor leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market in 2018. Looking at past winners provides a good guide to what we’re seeking. Last year’s winners included Campbell Soup, Huron Capital, Idera, LLR Partners, McGuireWoods, Stryker, Twin Brook and William Blair.

Related: Call for Nominations: 12th Annual M&A Mid-market Awards.

Opengate Capital is buying Sargent and Greenleaf from Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK). The target manufacturers mechanical and electronic locks for safes, vaults and safe deposit boxes. The business, founded in 1857, serves the banking, cash transit, residential security, railroad / utilities and government security segments. OpenGate CEO Andrew Nikou says the PE firm already started looking how it “can drive innovation into the business through technological enhancements as part of our full potential strategy and believe real growth can be achieved.” OpenGate has made more than 30 acquisitions since it was founded in 2005. The firm invests in businesses that have up to $300 million in enterprise value across the consumer, business services and industrials sectors. Stanley manufactures industrial and tool products, and is known for the Black and Decker brand. The company has been active in M&A. In 2018, Stanley Black announced plans to buy a 20 percent stake in outdoor power equipment manufacturer MTD Products Inc. for $234 million. In 2017, the company bought Newell Brands Inc.’s (Nasdaq: NWL) tools business, including the Irwin brand, for $1.95 billion, and acquired the Craftsman brand from Sears for $900 million.

Deal news
KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR) has bought petrochemicals company LCY Chemical Corp. for $1.56 billion. “KKR has a demonstrated track record of supporting the growth and success of companies globally,” says LCY chairman TH Hong. “And we want to leverage their expertise to accelerate our strategy and enable us to better anticipate and meet the evolving needs of our customers in Taiwan and worldwide.”

Aterian Investment Partners-backed Vander-Bend Manufacturing has purchased metal fabrication manufacturer J.L. Haley Enterprises Inc. Ventoux Securities advised J.L. Haley. Weil Gotshal & Manges advised Aterian.

BV Investment Partners has acquired a majority stake in RKD Group LLC, a software provider of fundraising and marketing services for the nonprofit sector. The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc. advised RKD.

Brixey & Meyer Capital has acquired logistics company CityDash LLC. The deal is Brixey’s first out of its second $40 million lower middle-market market fund.

Fulcrum Equity Partners has invested in medical management services company Georgia Pain and Wellness Center. Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP represented Georgia Pain.

Livongo Health has bought digital behavioral health services provider myStrength Inc.

eMDs has acquired Aprima Medical Software, a provider of electronic health record and practice management software.

DataBank has acquired PNC Bank’s data center located near Pittsburgh.

People moves
Hunter Allen was hired by Rockwood Equity Partners as a senior analyst. He is responsible for transaction analysis and due diligence, financial and operational modeling, and strategic and operational involvement with portfolio companies and senior executive teams. Allen was most recently operational analyst fuel distributor Offen Petroleum.

Tim Kilgallon has been named CEO at Varsity Healthcare Partners-backed behavioral health services company Ideal Option. Kilgallon previously served as CEO at Free & Clear. Varsity invested in Ideal in 2018.

Tom Stromberg has joined Perkins Coie as a partner. Most recently with Jenner & Block, Stromberg focuses middle-market M&A in the life sciences, software and cryptocurrency industries.

Featured content
Technology permeates many of today’s private equity deals, and PE firms are hot on the trail of innovations that will drive sustainable value to customers and make companies more efficient, more effective and less expensive to run. Among the developments appealing to PE investors are: artificial intelligence, data management, data virtualization, digital marketing, healthcare IT, industrial automation, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine learning, payment processing and Software-as-a-Service. To gain more insights into what kinds of tech deals will dominate the field in 2019, Mergers & Acquisitions reached out to 10 private equity firms that are active investors in technology: Francisco Partners, Genstar, Great Hill, HGGC, Insight, LLR, Riverside, Silver Lake, TA and Vista.

Related: 10 private equity firms share strategies for tech M&A.

Mergers & Acquisitions has named 36 leaders the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Kainos Capital’s Sarah Bradley, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors’ Nishita Cummings and Pelham S2K Managers’ Venita Fields. All 36 are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. This year, we asked the featured dealmakers to tell their own stories through Q&As, including their advice for women.

Related: Meet the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Mergers & Acquisitions asked leading dealmakers about their outlook for the middle market in 2019. Watch the video conversations, shot at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East: It is a seller’s market, and deal activity is expected to remain steady, says Ramsey Goodrich of Carter Morse & Goodrich: Outlook 2019: Great time to sell. Private equity firms and strategic buyers will use their excess cash and capital to look for deals, says Bharat Ramprasad of Stifel Nicolaus: Outlook 2019: Excess capital to fuel M&A. Rising interest rates and regulatory changes may increase volatility, cautions Mark Emrich of Murray Devine: Outlook 2019: Keep an eye on rising interest rates.

Family-owned businesses require a lot preparation to sell to PE firms, says Carls Marks AdvisorsWarren Feder. Watch the video: How to prep a family biz for sale to private equity.

The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will face off in the Super Bowl. Off the field, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media. 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 private equity firm HGGC. Check out: NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

The SBIA and the AM&AA are hosting a Deal Summit at The Doral in Miami from Feb. 20-22. The event offers networking opportunities with senior-level M&A adviors and lower middle-market funds.

ACG New York hosts the 11th Annual Healthcare Conference at the Metropolitan Club in New York on Feb. 28. Dealmakers get to network with healthcare-focused private equity firms and other industry professionals.

ACG Minnesota and Corvus North are hosting AIM: A Women’s Leadership Conference at the Minneapolis Hyatt on March 7. The conference is designed to support and encourage female leaders to grow and achieve success throughout their career journeys.