RISING STARS DEADLINE TODAY: Who represents the future of private equity? Nominations are due today for Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. Last year, we named 11 PE investors to the list, including Ethan Liebermann (pictured: top row, third from left), who was recently promoted from principal to director of TA Associates, and Jennifer Roach Pacini (bottom row, far left), a vice president of Yellow Wood Partners. We look for individuals who are full-time private equity investors and whose best days are yet to come. These are the folks you predict will one day play a key leadership role at your PE firm – or will head up their own. Send us your candidates by midnight Thurs, May 23. CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A RISING STAR OF PRIVATE EQUITY

Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos SA agreed to buy rival Avon Products Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at about $2 billion, positioning it as a growing force in the booming global cosmetics and skincare industry. Read the full story: Natura buys rival Avon strengthening its position in booming cosmetics industry.

AE Industrial Partners-backed Belcan has made a minority investment in Robot Morning, which offers aerospace supply chain software and automation services. “The aerospace industry is under pressure to improve efficiency across the supply chain, creating strong demand for Robot Morning’s software,” says Belcan CEO Lance Kwasniewski. Kirkland & Ellis advised Belcan and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP advised Robot Morning.

Investcorp has invested in institutional capital raising and investment advisory firm Mercury Capital Advisors. The target was advised by Clifford Chance US LLP. The legal advisor to Investcorp is Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Partners Group has acquired a minority stake in HGGC and TA Associates-backed B2B software developer Idera. Advisors to Idera include: Jefferies, Credit Suisse and Kirkland & Ellis. The legal advisor to Partners is Ropes & Gray.

Logistics company C.H. Robinson (Nasdaq: CHRW) has acquired Italian road transportation provider Dema Service SpA.

Microelectronics and semiconductor testing company Technoprobe is acquiring microscale additive manufacturer Microfabrica. Morrison & Foerster is advising the target.

Technology is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and fueling an explosion of transactions. Some of the most promising areas of innovation are: big data, medical devices, revenue cycle management, Software-as-a-Service and payment processing. “Healthcare IT is the largest cottage industry in the world,” says Sam Hendler, who leads healthcare IT deals at Harris Williams. “Healthcare IT is a highly fragmented, multi-billion-dollar market with thousands of companies focused on different $250 million to $500 million sub-markets. Savvy investors see there is an opportunity to aggregate assets and build platforms of scale. It’s an incredibly exciting time in healthcare IT.” For an in-depth look at five technologies driving M&A in healthcare, see Healthcare’s must-have technologies. And for recent transactions that showcase the trends, see 5 private equity-backed healthcare IT deals.

For more on how technology is driving M&A and private equity investments see:
Smart cities, IoT, AI, robots, edge computing will fuel next wave of tech M&A.
Why private equity firms still love technology
10 private equity firms share strategies for tech M&A.

Genstar Capital, Audax and HarbourVest ranked as the top U.S. private equity firms of 2018, based on volume of completed deals, according to PitchBook. Check out Mergers & Acquisitions’ profiles of 21 firms that led the league tables. Top private equity firms: Genstar, Audax, HarbourVest.

Also see: Top investment banks in PE-backed deals: KPMG, Houlihan, GS, William Blair.

At least two-thirds of U.S. homes have at least one pet, and people are spending more money on their pets than ever, driving M&A across the entire pet care sector. Read the full story: Demand for animal health products and services rises, driving deals.

One of the most significant opportunities to impact the success of due diligence is understanding how to leverage data. In today’s market, the ability to tap into the volume and variety of big data can provide private equity stakeholders with the competitive edge in operational due diligence. Read the full guest article by Maine Pointe’s Mark McTigue and Nathanael Powrie: How data can help PE accelerate value at due diligence.

Visa’s recent green light from U.K. regulators to complete its Earthport acquisition was more than just the clearing of a regulatory hurdle — it was a revealing look at how important it has become for the card networks to diversify. Read the full story: Small cross-border deals play a big role for Visa, Mastercard.

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.

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.

ACG New York, ACG Boston and ACG Philadelphia are holding the Industrial Conference with Value Creation at the Infor in New York on June 6. The event is part of the Northeast Industry Tour.

ACG Minnesota hosts the the Upper Midwest ACG Capital Connection at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, June 10-11.

ACG Boston brings together 700-plus dealmakers for DealFest Northeast and DealSource Select 2019 at the Cyclorama and the State Room, June 12-13.

Exponent Women hosts the Annual Exchange, which brings a trusted network of women dealmakers together for a focused day of robust content and networking, at Second in New York, on July 11. The Exchange provides attendees with opportunities to establish new connections, reinforce existing ones and absorb timely and relevant knowledge from industry leaders.