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LLR Partners made a $30 million growth equity investment in software provider Midigator. The target's technology is designed to prevent, analyze and manage payment card chargebacks, while also lowering merchant costs and increasing revenue. “Merchants, small and large, are struggling to keep pace with the rapid growth of fraud and payment card chargebacks," says Midigator CEO Corey Baggett. Atlas Technology Group advised Midigator. Philadelphia-based LLR Partners was one of the most active private equity firms in the middle market, racking up 28 transactions in 2017, including 4 new platform investments, 18 add-on acquisitions and 6 exits. The firm won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Private Equity Firm of the Year. LLR Partners recently formed a new eye care practices platform.

Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. (NYSE: BR) acquired digital technology company ActivePath. ActivePath helps businesses and billing providers take customer statements found on websites and converts them into personalized e-mails. "Despite consumers' interest for all-things digital, many brands struggle to create a compelling digital experience and convert their customers from print communications," says Dough DeSchutter, president of Broadridge's customer communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Morgan Stanley Energy Partners, the energy-focused private equity arm of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, acquired Specialized Desanders Inc,, a de-sanding services provider to the oil and and gas sector. Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc. is the seller. KeyBanc Capital Markets (NYSE: KEY) and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP are advising the target.

Lower middle-market private equity firm Lineage Capital made an investment in Diamond Mowers, which will use the capital to fund acquisitions. Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Diamond Mowers manufactures landscaping equipment such as rotary mowers. Lineage, located in Boston, invests in businesses that have up to $250 million in revenue. Abacus Finance Group provided financing.

JLL Spark, a division of JLL (NYSE: JLL), purchased real estate software provider Stessa, which helps investors track and manage their real state portfolios. "Optimizing a real estate portfolio can involve tedious manual effort, which is why many investors see suboptimal returns," says JLL co-CEO Mihir Shah.

Aerospace parts maker Kelly Aerospace acquired AeroKool Aviation. The target makes and repairs control systems, heat transfers and fuel pumps for aircrafts. Cronus Partners advised the buyer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) bought cross-border logistics company P2P Mailing Ltd. for about $130 million. P2P provides last-mile and other cross-border transporation services. Read the full story here.

The business services sector can often seem like a “catch-all” category within private equity for deals that don’t fit as easily into other, more obvious buckets, says Constitution Capital's Vicente Miguel Ramos. Read the full story here.

Mark Voccola was hired by Ardian as co-head of the firm's U.S. infrastructure group in New York. He was previously with Ares EIF, which was part of Ares Private Equity.

George Rupp was hired by JCR Capital as a managing director, where he will oversee the firm's fundraising efforts. Rupp was most recently with Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. Denver-based JCR is a real estate-focused alternative investment firm.

Dealmakers love March Madness, and many middle-market firms have roots in the same communities as the teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four. Check out our slideshow, which features the Final Four teams-Loyola-Chicago, Michigan, Villanova and Kansas, and the middle-market firms that share the teams’ home towns.


Read full coverage of the 11th annual M&A Mid-Market Award winners: Campbell Soup, Huron Capital, Idera CEO Randy Jacops, LLR Partners, McGuireWoods, Stryker, Twin Brook and William Blair.

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market deamaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.