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Paris private equity firm Ardian has raised €230 ($283 million) for its new growth equity fund, Ardian Growth Fund II. The fund was raised in four months, and it is three times bigger than Ardian's first growth fund, which was raised back in 2014. The firm has attracted institutional investors,such as the European Investment Fund (FEI) and Bpifrance. "With the substantial size of the fund, the fundraise strengthens Ardian growth’s positioning as a leading growth catalyst for ambitious entrepreneurs across Europe," says Laurent Foata, head of Ardian Growth. Ardian has backed more than 100 companies in the software and Internet sectors since 1998 including: Bricoprivé and Ivalua in France, Lastminute.com in Italy and T2O in Spain. Ardian started as AXA Private Equity under French insurer AXA and was formed by Dominique Senequier in 1996. The group was spun off in 2013 and named Ardian, and Senequier is the company’s president. The firm is actively looking to expand its U.S. presence. Ardian is partnering with Transatlantic Power Holdings to create a renewable energy platform called Skyline Renewables. In 2017, the firm acquired Revere Plastics Systems LLC, a manufacturer of plastic injection molded materials. Ardian also recently partnered with Seven Mile Capital Partners to set up a direct investment business focused on companies in the North American industrial and business service sectors.

Spring is upon us, and summer is right around the corner, which means Americans will start getting their cars ready for road trips. Auto part makers have always been in demand and provided steady stream of deals in the middle market. Woodward Inc. bought diesel parts maker L'Orange from Rolls-Royce. Hogan Lovells represented the buyer. Canadian automotive retailer AutoCanada has acquired 15 stores from the Grossinger Auto Group. Akerman represented the seller. Other buyers include CenterOakPartners, Clearlake Capital Group and Wabash National. Meanwhile, Carl Icahn is among the sellers. Check out our slideshow on the rush of activity.

Frontier Capital has agreed to make a majority growth equity investment in Agreement Express, a Software-as-a-Service company that helps with streamlining services for wealth management, payments and insurance providers. Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) and Fasken Martineau are advising the target.

Office supplies company Essendant (Nasdaq: ESND) has agreed to buy Genuine Parts Co.'s (NYSE: GPC) S.P. Richards business for abotut $347 million. Citigroup Global Markets (NYSE: C) and Skadden Arps are advising Essendant. J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Davis Polk are advising Genuine Parts.

Accel-KKR has bought Salsa Labs, a marketing software provider for nonprofits. Financial terms were not disclosed. Madison Park Group advised the target.

New Heritage Capital-backed Continental Services has acquired Metro Vending Service Inc., and 24 Hour Vending, providers of office vending and coffee services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Abry Partners has purchased web security company SiteLock. Financial terms were not disclosed.

3i-backed Smarte Carte bought Aviation Mobility, a provider of legally mandated wheelchairs for the commercial aviation sector.

David Bartleme has joined Milwaukee-based private equity firm Borgman Capital as a managing director. He previously worked in Shell Oil‘s corporate M&A group.

For more new hires, promotions and other dealmaker career news, including Alvarez & Marsal's hiring Debra Richman as healthcare managing director and Karin Kovacic's joining the origination team as a managing director at Monroe Capital, read People Moves.

Read full coverage of Mergers & Acquisitions' 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.