In another sign that software deals will continue to fuel M&A, tech-focused private equity firm Thoma Bravo is considering raising a new $15 billion fund early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg News. The firm, which has offices in San Francisco and Chicago, could begin fundraising for its 14th flagship fund as soon as the first half of 2020, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. A representative for Thoma Bravo declined to comment to Bloomberg. The firm announced the close of Thoma Bravo Fund XIII at $12.6 billion in January. At that time, managing partner Orlando Bravo said: “The number and size of private equity investment opportunities in enterprise software and technology is expanding. Our firm’s investment and operating philosophy continues to deliver excellent operating results for our companies.” In April, the firm announced it had raised $2.4 billion for its second Discover Fund, which invests in middle-market software developers. Earlier this week, the firm announced the acquisition of IDS, a provider of asset finance software solutions, from SV Investment Partners.

Time is running out to nominate candidates for the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Submit nominations by end of day Mon. Oct. 14. Last year, we honored 36 women, including Marilyn Adler (Medley Capital), Jennifer Cotton (Madison Capital Funding), Nishita Cummings (Kayne Anderson), Venita Fields (Pelham S2K), Jeri Harman (Avante Mezzanine Partners), Pam Hendrickson (the Riverside Co.), Gretchen Perkins (Huron Capital) and Trisha Renner (Baird). Who will make it on this year’s list? 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. An important guide to what we’re looking for can be found in the dealmakers we’ve honored in previous years. See profiles of, and Q&As with, past honorees here.


Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) plans to buy a majority stake in online grocer Cornershop, a deal designed to both extend its geographic reach and bolster profits by bundling food delivery with rides. Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced its intention more than a year ago to purchase Cornershop outright for $225 million and re-sell it to its Mexican subsidiary, only to have Mexican regulators oppose it in June for antitrust reasons. “Whether it’s getting a ride, ordering food from your favorite restaurant, or soon, getting groceries delivered, we want Uber to be the operating system for your everyday life,” says Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Uber acquires Chilean Grocery startup Walmart failed to buy.

HGGC has completed its $825 million purchase of font design and imaging technology company Monotype. JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Goodwin Procter advised Monotype. Deutsche Bank and Kirkland & Ellis advised HGGC.

Charlesbank Capital Partners and TA Associates have invested in IT management company HelpSystems. They joined existing investor HGGC. The target’s software automates processes, encrypts and secures data and provides access to information for large businesses. Kirkland & Ellis advised HelpSystems and HGGC. Goodwin Procter advised TA, and Ropes & Gray advised Charlesbank.

Cornell Capital has acquired Spectrum Automotive Holdings Corp. from Southfield Capital. The target is an agent, marketer and administrator of finance and insurance products and services for the auto sector. Sandler O’Neill & Partners, PwC and Finn Dixon & Herling advised Southfield.

Alpine Investors-backed Team Services Group bought home care services company AmeriBest Home Care from Boyne Capital.

Björn Killmer has joined private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice as a partner. He was previously with Triton Partners, and focuses on industrials investments in Europe.

The New York Yankees advanced to the American League Championship Series this week. Alex Rodriguez is best known as the former Yankees star who hit 696 home runs over the course of his 22-year baseball career, but today he’s making a name for himself as an investor and the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. One recent example: While serving as a guest judge on CNBC’s Shark Tank, Rodriguez backed Ice Shaker, an insulated bottle maker founded by former National Football League fullback Chris Gronkowski. Rodriguez talked about his life off the field at EisnerAmper’s 4th Annual Alternative Investment Summit. Read the full story: A-Rod talks Ice Shaker, NRG eSports, J. Lo & maybe buying a baseball team.

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. Most recently, the New York firm announced the final close of its latest global real estate fund 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.

Bank M&A has been soaring, creating the perfect backdrop for Piper Jaffray’s announced acquisition of Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP. “There has been a lot of consolidation in the bank space,” Piper Jaffray CEO Chad Abraham told Mergers & Acquisitions. “But there are still 5,000 banks, and we expect the pace of consolidation to continue.” For analysis of the deal, see Counting on bank M&A: Why Piper Jaffray bought Sandler O’Neill.

Looking for a glimpse of what’s to come in the private equity industry? Meet Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. As the PE industry undergoes a generational shift, and many firm founders retire, it’s well worth getting to know these emerging leaders, including Branford’s Austin Collier, Sterling Partners’ Shawn Domanic and Summit Partners’ Sophia Popova. For profiles and video interviews, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. For Q&As, see 10 Rising Stars of Private Equity tell their tales.

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.

M&A East is taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Oct. 22-23.

ACG Charlotte is hosting Deal Crawl at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 6-7.

The Third Annual Women in Alternative Investments Career Forum is taking place at the New York Hilton on Nov. 8.

ACG New York is hosting Middle Market Week in New York from Nov. 11-15.