M&A wrap: Transom Capital, GTCR, Palladium, Volkswagen, Ford, Hillenbrand

Register now

Looking for a glimpse of what’s to come in the private equity industry? Meet the 10 dealmakers named by Mergers & Acquisitions as the 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity:

Austin Collier, Branford Castle Partners
Kevin Cunningham, LNC Partners
Shawn Domanic, Sterling Partners
Stephen Jeschke, GTCR
Danielle Lalli, Huron Capital
Jason Mironov, TA Associates
James Oh, Transom Capital Group (pictured)
Sophia Popova, Summit Partners
Pavan Tripathi, Bregal Sagemount
Christine Wang, Francisco Partners

The Rising Stars share a common set of core values. They are passionate about building companies. They are naturally curious and interested in changing things for the better. They enjoy working with portfolio company managers, investment bankers and other deal team members. They appreciate the responsibility and autonomy their firms have given them. They are grateful for the leaders who have helped shape their careers, and they are generous with their own time when it comes to nurturing the next generation. As the PE industry goes through a generational shift and many firm founders retire, it's well worth getting to know these emerging leaders. They represent the future of private equity.

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

DEAL NEWS
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) will cooperate on electric and self-driving car technology, sharing costs on a global scale to take a major step forward in the industry’s disruptive transformation. VW will invest $2.6 billion in Ford’s autonomous-car partner Argo AI in a deal that values the operation at more than $7 billion. Unprecedented shifts facing the auto industry are forcing players to consider new partnerships and potential consolidation. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: Volkswagen invests in Ford's self-driving car partner.

Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI) is buying Milacron Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN) for about $2 billion. The target manufactures, distributes, and services engineered and customized systems for the plastics technology sector. Advisors to Hillenbrand include: J.P. Morgan Securities (NYSE: JPM) and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Advisors to Milacron include: Barclays and Ropes & Gray.

Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) is acquiring Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques for $1.69 billion. The deal is part of Colgate's strategy to focus on the oral, personal care and pet nutrition sectors. Filorga is a anti-aging skincare brand. Advisors to Colgate include: Citi, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats. Advisors to the target include: Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bredin Prat and BNP Paribas.

KPS Capital Partners-backed metal parts supplier Autokiniton Global Group is buying auto parts maker Tower International Inc. for $900 million. Advisors to Tower include: J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (NYSE: JPM), Houlihan Lokey Capital and Lowenstein Sandler LLP. Advisors to ACG include: Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

SalesPage Technologies has acquired Advisor Atlas, a data provider to asset managers.

For more deal news, see Weekly wrap: Cisco, Piper Jaffray, Transom.

FUNDRAISING NEWS
Middle-market PE firm Palladium Equity Partners has raised its fifth fund at $1.56 billion. The fund has made three investments in: spice supplier Spice World; material company Kymera International; and Hispanic food products distributor Quirch Foods. Simpson Thacher advised Palladium.

For more on PE fundraising, see PE fundraising scorecard: Accel-KKR, Apax, New Heritage, Summit Partners.

FEATURED CONTENT
Alex Rodriguez is best known as the New York 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 as 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 as a savvy investor since his 20’s as the keynote speaker at EisnerAmper’s 4th annual Alternative Investment Summit at the The Museum of Modern Art on June 19. Among the topics discussed in a conversation led by Charles Weinstein, CEO of EisnerAmper: Rodriguez’ childhood as the son of a single mom; his investment thesis, which shares much with other middle-market investors; how he’s helping singer/dancer/actress Jennifer Lopez (to whom he became engaged in March) transition her business initiatives from licensing her brands to owning them; and how one day he just might buy a baseball team. Read the full story: A-Rod talks Ice Shaker, NRG eSports, J. Lo & maybe buying a baseball team.

Gender-diverse PE investment committees outperformed all-male investment committees substantially, finds a recent study by Oliver Gottschalg, a professor at HEC Paris. The results are compelling: Gender-diverse PE investment committees outperformed all-male investment committees substantially, as measured by several metrics: 7 percent more alpha; .52x more total value to paid-in multiple; and 12 percent higher internal rate of return. Also impressive: the failure rate of gender-diverse investment committees was 8 percent lower. The findings provide concrete evidence showing the value of including women on deal teams and may help to convince skeptics. Women still hold just 9.4 percent of senior positions at PE firms globally, the report found, indicating the industry still has a long way to go before reaping the benefits of gender diversity. The low representation underscores the importance of projects that feature successful female dealmakers, such as Mergers & Acquisitions' Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Networking groups, such as Exponent Women, play a crucial role in developing communities for women dealmakers. The New York group hosted its second annual Exponent Exchange on July 11 at Second in New York. The event last year brought together 200 women.

Activity and urgency characterize the current dealmaking environment, say investment bankers and other M&A advisors interviewed by Mergers & Acquisitions. After a record-breaking 2018, forecasts for 2019 remain bullish. Advisors point to a lot of cash that must be deployed by strategic buyers and private equity firms alike; a healthy U.S. economy; and low interest rates. Competition for high-quality targets has never been more intense, especially for technology providers, they report, which means sellers are commanding high prices. It all adds up to a seller’s market. A mood of urgency prevails, as dealmakers seek to close deals quickly, while conditions remain favorable. The advisors interviewed for this story say they don’t see signs of a recession this year; however they are closely monitoring bellwethers, including corporate earnings, wage pressure, global supply chains and slowdowns abroad. They are recommending that clients be prepared for an economic slowdown in the next two years. Specialization is the name of the game, and investment bankers advise clients to seek targets with business-model stability, limited cyclical exposure and a recurring revenue business model. Technology, business services, healthcare, consumer and manufacturing are among the most promising sectors. Read the story: 8 M&A advisors urge closing deals now, while economy stays strong.

Excelled. Innovated. Inspired. That’s what the eight winners of Mergers & Acquisitions’ 12th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards did in 2018. Our awards honor the leading dealmakers and deals that set the standard for transactions in the middle market. In addition to Nike, award winners include: Fortive, TA Associates, the Riverside Co., Harris Williams, Monroe Capital, Goodwin and Luminate Capital Partners' Hollie Haynes. Read our full coverage: Meet the winners of the M&A Mid-Market Awards: Nike, Fortive, TA, Harris Williams.

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.

EVENTS
InIVest 2019 is being held from July 16-17 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The event brings together more than 1,500 executives from the wealth management industry.

The Women's Connection Golf Clinic & Networking event takes place on July 17 at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, Massachussets. The event is being hosted by ACG Boston.

ACG Seattle hosts the Northwest Middle Market Growth Conference at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle on July 25.

ACG New York's summer dealmaking conference takes place at Gurney's Star Island Resort & Marina in Montauk, NY, July 31-Aug.1.

The Great Lakes ACG Capital Connection is being held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel in Detroit from Sept. 4-6.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.