M&A wrap: Watermill, Enbi, Siris, Wafra, Landmark, Wellspring, Stellex

enbi

Watermill Group has acquired Enbi, a manufacturer of precision rollers, gaskets, seals and insulation that are used in thermal insulation, from Platinum Equity. “Enbi has demonstrated an ability to anticipate and deliver on technically-rigorous customer demands in evolving markets," says Watermill partner Tracy Streckenbach. "We see rich opportunities to deepen and expand that critical capability, while maintaining the company’s high standards for safety and productivity.” Advisors to Watermill include: Grant Thornton; Phoenix; K&L Gates and Blais, Halpert, Lieberman & Greene. Advisors to Enbi include: Lincoln Financial and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles.

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: Nike, 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.

Related: Read more about Mergers & Acquisitions' three annual special reports, including the M&A Mid-Market Awards, the Rising Stars of Private Equity, and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

Deal news
Technology focused private equity firm Siris Capital Group received a minority investment from Wafra and Landmark Partners. “These investments are a testament to the value of Siris’ differentiated approach to technology investing, and our partnership with Wafra and Landmark will help us continue to capitalize on attractive opportunities in our focus areas," says Siris co-founder Frank Baker. The deal comes on the heels of Siris raising its fourth fund at $3.45 billion. For PE firms, selling minority stakes is a path to raising capital for expansion and for some general partners to gain liquidity. Dyal Capital Partners recently bought a minority stake in HGGC. In 2018, Dyal bought a minority stake in American Securities LLC; the same firm also acquired a minority stake in Clearlake Capital Partners and Vector Capital.

Advisors to Siris on the current deal include: Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Berkshire Global Advisors, and Kirkland & Ellis. The legal advisor to Wafra is Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

Wellspring Capital Management has purchased Paragon Films, a maker of stretch film for the consumer, food and beverage, industrials and logistics sectors. Advisors to Paragon include: Rothschild and Paragon. The buyer was advised by McDermott Will & Emery.

Stellex Capital Management-backed Grammer Industries has bought Sterling Transport Co., a transporter of hazardous and specialty chemicals and materials. Advisors to Grammer include: Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI); Finnea Group LLC; KSM Business Services Inc.; Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary PC; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and K&L Gates LLP. Advisors to the target include: Confluence Advisors LLC and Robbins, May & Rich LLP.

VSS--backed IT and cloud services company Coretelligent has acquired IT firm United Technology Group.

People moves
Brian Boucher has joined Trilantic North America-backed Planet Fitness franchisee Taymax Group Holdings as a chief operating officer. He was previously with Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA).

Featured content
Mergers & Acquisitions has produced a wealth of compelling content recently. In case you missed any of it, we've put together a short list of 5 M&A stories you don't want to miss,including the winners of the 2018 M&A Mid-Market Award winners, top investment banks and PE firms doing tech deals. Here are more details on our recent coverage: 5 M&A stories you don't want to miss

FIS’s $43 billion agreement to acquire Worldpay and Fiserv’s $22 billion deal to buy First Data are largely closing the gaps between financial technology and merchant acquiring. But these mergers are only the first of many steps. Read the full story: What's next for FIS: After $43B Worldpay deal, smaller steps begin

Michigan State beat overall No. 1 seed Duke, which means the Spartans advance to the NCAA Tournament's Final Four, along with Texas Tech. Virginia and Auburn. This year, March Madness offers fans unprecedented access to online betting, thanks to a May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. More Americans are expected to place bets on the college basketball tournament than the Super Bowl, with the American Gaming Association's predicting that about $8.5 billion in wagers will be placed on the tournament. Online betting and data companies, including sportsbooks from DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars, are drawing basketball fans and interest from investors. M&A is rampant throughout the sector. Here's a look at recent online gaming and sports data deals.

Related: March Madness: DraftKings, FanDuel, Action Network draw fans, dealmakers.

The way consumers shop continues to change. Customers want to put their own touch on products, not wait too long for them and in most cases, never step foot in a store to buy them. Apparel and sneaker retailers, such as Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), the winner of Mergers & Acquisitions' 2018 Mid-Market Award for Strategic Buyer of the Year, and Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), are embracing these challenges by snatching up companies that help provide customized products to customers. Read the full story: Sports retailers Nike, Foot Locker buy digital startups to help customize sneakers.

Technology M&A is thriving, and private equity 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.

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