M&A wrap: Pelham S2K Managers, Blackbaud, Vector Capital, GI Partners

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Mergers & Acquisitions has named 36 leaders the 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Medley Capital's Marilyn Adler, Kainos Capital’s Sarah Bradley, Madison Capital Funding’s Jennifer Cotton, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors' Nishita Cummings, Pelham S2K Managers' Venita Fields (pictured), Antares Capital’s Shannon Fritz, Avante Mezzanine Partners’ Jeri Harman, Duane Morris’ Nanette Heide, the Riverside Co.’s Pam Hendrickson, Monroe Capital’s Karin Kovacic, Stifel’s Justine Mannering, KPS Capital Partners’ Raquel Palmer, Huron Capital's Gretchen Perkins, Accordion’s Michelle Van Hellemont and Sterling Investment Partners’ Amy Weisman. 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. "Go to work with a purpose," advised Fields. "Give your best effort but also make sure that the job gives you its best (best training, best opportunities).

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

With the rising number of cyberattacks, conducting due diligence on data is more important than ever in dealmaking. Read the full guest article by Neil Coulson and Cynthia Cole of Bakter Botts: Why mitigating data risk is crucial in M&A.

Deal news
Blackbaud Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) has acquired YourCause for $157 million. YourCause is a software company that helps businesses and their employees make and track donations, and sign up for volunteering. “We understand that business success today is more than finances; it’s also critical to engage on social issues,” says Blackbaud CEO Mike Gianoni. “In a time where 84 percent of Americans believe businesses shoulder a responsibility to bring social change, providing those businesses with the right tools not only helps attract and retain customers and employees, but it helps to build a better world.”

Vector Capital is acquiring software firm Aspect Software Inc. The PE firm is investing more than $100 million in Aspect's business. Jefferies, DCS Advisory and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are advising Aspect. Paul Hastings is representing Vector.

Acreage Holdings is buying cannabis company Form Factory Inc. for $160 million. Cozen O'Connor is advising Acreage.

GI Partners has bought wireless network company Single Digits. The target's software allows property owners to tailor their wireless internet access to the specific needs of their guests and residents. Paul Hastings advised GI Partners. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Goodwin Procter advised Single Digits.

Turnspire Capital Partners formed Crane Carrier Holdings to acquire the specialty vehicle group of Hines Corporation, which designs, manufactures and sells heavy-duty truck chassis. Chapman & Cutler LLP advised Turnspire.

Bain Capital Double Impact has purchased HealthDrive, a provider of on-site dentistry, optometry, podiatry, and audiology to residents in long-term care, skilled nursing, and assisted living facilities.

Lovell Minnick-backed Foreside Financial Group has bought NCS Regulatory Compliance. The target offers outsourced compliance and regulatory services to the registered investment adviser and broker-dealer sectors.

3i-backed Cirtec Medical is acquiring Metrigraphics, a manufacturer of ultra-high precision, custom micron-scale circuits for the medical devices sector.

Outlook 2019
Mergers & Acquisitions asked leading dealmakers about their outlook for the middle market in 2019. View 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. Watch the full video: 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. Watch the full video: Outlook 2019: Excess capital to fuel M&A.

Rising interest rates and regulatory changes may increase volatility, cautions Mark Emrich of Murray Devine. Watch the full video: Outlook 2019: Keep an eye on rising interest rates.

People moves
Alexander Johnson was hired by law firm Latham & Watkins as a partner. Johnson was previously with Hogan Lovells, and he focuses on private equity and M&A.

Davis Walsh has joined law firm Hogan Lovells as a senior counsel. Walsh is a former vice president and assistant general counsel at IBM (NYSE: IBM), and focuses on antitrust, competition and economic regulation practice.

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back - organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein's signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. Read the full story, The Big Give.

Dealmakers share their thoughts on Giving Back in video interviews conducted by Mergers & Acquisitions at ACG Philadelphia's M&A East. Check out our video with Reed Smith's Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are. And watch our conversationw with Baker Tilly Capital's Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together.

The ongoing challenges in the retail sector continue to force some retailers to close, including the June liquidation of Toys R Us, backed by Bain Capital and KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR).Technology is driving many of the transactions. Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) recently agreed to spend $800 million to buy GreatCall, a provider of emergency response services for seniors, from Chicago private equity firm GTCR. Meanwhile, GreatCall announced a partnership on-demand transportation provider Lyft to make it easier for seniors to get car service. For more, see 5 trends driving retail M&A deals.

The Chicago Bears won nine of 10 games, and the New Orleans Saints enter the 2018 NFL playoffs with a league-best 13-3 record. Off the field, players build companies. New England 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. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

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