The companies and individuals honored by Mergers & Acquisitions’ 10th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards met the challenges of 2016 with aplomb, outpacing the competition and expanding their businesses, despite a lull in overall activity that occurred during the uncertainty of an election year. The winners also embody the themes that are continuing to drive deals in 2017, such as the role technology plays in making companies more efficient and more secure. We bestow M&A Mid-Market Awards in the following eight categories:
*Deal of the Year: ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD), for the $800 million purchase of Brightree, a developer of cloud-based software to improve clinical and business performance for post-acute-care (PAC) providers, in a deal that embodied many of the underlying trends in the healthcare sector.
*Dealmaker of the year: Gregory Sandfort, CEO of Tractor Supply Co. (Nasdaq: TSCO), for the $116 million acquisition of Petsense LLC, which allowed the largest operator of rural lifestyle stores in the U.S. to expand rapidly in the lucrative pet retail market.
*Private Equity Firm of the Year: Francisco Partners, for a stellar 2016, including the complex $2.4 billion purchase of Dell Inc.’s software group and the subsequent carve-outs of Quest Software and SonicWall.
*Investment Bank of the Year: Harris Wiliams & Co., for growth in all areas, including deal volume and value, combined with successful leadership transition in the bank’s 25th year in business.
*Seller of the Year: the Halifax Group, for three significant and profitable exits, including the $331.4 million sale of Envision Pharma Group to Ardian, HGO Capital and Envision management.
*Strategic Buyer of the Year: Dover Corp. (NYSE: DOV), for spending $1.6 billion to acquire six companies, including the $780 million purchase of Wayne Fueling Systems Ltd., which leverages the upgrade to chip-reading payment systems at retailers, including gas stations, throughout the world.
*Law Firm of the Year: Kirkland & Ellis, for advising on a high volume of completed mid-market transactions and working on many technology-focused private equity fund formations, including the $7.6 billion Thoma Bravo Fund XII, the $1.84 billion HGGC Fund III and ParkerGale’s debut $240 million fund.
*Lender: Golub Capital, for growth in all areas, including significant staff expansion, increasing buy and hold capacity, and closing the biggest deal in the firm’s history, with a $605 million loan to support Roark Capital’s purchase of Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket.