Hearthside

Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group have agreed to acquire Hearthside Food Solutions from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Vestar Capital Partners. Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, Hearthside is an independent bakery and contract manufacturer for grain-based food and snacks for brands. The company produces nutrition bars, cookies and cereals made at 25 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Europe. Goldman and Vestar bought Hearthside in 2014 from Wind Point. "We see strong potential for the company to continue on its growth path as its business model is supported by global transformative trends, such as increased outsourcing, which show no signs of flagging," says Partners Group managing director Chris Russell. Americans are eating small, convenient on-the-go snacks like protein bars, more than ever before and that is driving deals among healthy snack companies. For example, Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) acquired SkinnyPop popcorn maker Amplify and Brands for $921 million, and Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) paid almost $5 billion for Snyder's-Lance, the owner of Cape Cod potato chips. Ropes & Gray, Goodwin Procter, Latham & Watkins, KPMG, PwC and Jefferies are advising the buyers. Davis Polk, Barclays and Goldman Sachs are advising Hearthside. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Private equity firms conducted three of the top 10 largest first quarter deals in the media and marketing sector, according to a report from Berkery Noyes. The largest deal announced in the sector was Blackstone Group LP's (NYSE: BX) agreeing to buy a 55 percent stake in Thomson Reuters' financial and risk division in a deal that values the business at around $20 billion. Another notable acquisition includes billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong's buying the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune from Tronc Inc. (Nasdaq: TRNC) for $500 million.

Century Golf Partners, the owner of Arnold Palmer Golf Management, acquired Tour CGX. The target is a sports marketing agency that helps private golf clubs sell their underused tee-times to businesses and individuals. "With our combined resources we look to accelerate the growth of our private club network and improve benefits for our members and affiliate club partners," says Century Golf COO Doug Howe. The two companies had a working relationship before the deal was announced. Check out our slideshow celebrating the recent Masters Tournament and featuring transactions among popular golf brands, such as Callaway and TaylorMade.

Tenura Holdings, Panorama Point Partners and title insurance executive Robert Jackson have partnered to form a new platform called Nerio Group. The company will focus on mortgage loan services including: residential purchase, refinancing, home equity, default and curative and commercial services. Nerio has already invested in Vantage Point Title, Vantage Point Escrow, Reliant Title, and AmeriFirst Insurance. Ballard Spahr advised Tenura Holdings.

KKR (NYSE: KKR)-backed Sedgwick Claims Management has completed its acquisition of claims and risk management firm Cunningham Lindsey. KKR paid $2.4 billion for Sedgwick in 2014.

CDK Global (Nasdaq: CDK) bought Progressus Media, a provider of mobile advertising services for the dealerships and the auto sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Falfurrias Capital Partners has made an investment in Tax Guard. The target provides data that is aimed to help lenders more accurately assess any potential tax-related risks from prospective borrowers. Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) and Holland & Hart advised Tax Guard.

Incocucor Corp. has acquired ATP Nutrition, a producer of plant-based nutrients. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Investment Advisor Hightower has agreed to acquire Salient Private Client, the wealth management business of Salient Partners LP. After the deal closes, the target will be rebranded as HighTower Private Client.

As Americans begin to plan road trips and other summer vacations, car deals are thriving, especially in the nascent self-driving tech sector. Intel bought Israel's Mobileye for about $15 billion. Meanwhile, in a much smaller deal, Delphi bought NuTonomy. As the industry readies for autonomous driving, there's a big wave of consolidation going on among makers of traditional car parts, with several new deals announced this week. Investcorp acquired KSI Trading Corp., a supplier of aftermarket auto body parts that services 10,000 collision repair shop customers across 25 locations in 14 states. Woodward Inc. bought diesel parts maker L'Orange from Rolls-Royce. And Canadian automotive retailer AutoCanada has acquired 15 stores from the Grossinger Auto Group. Akerman represented the seller. Other car part 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.

Chris Carmosino has joined Gordon Brothers as president, valuations. He was most recently with Citizens Business Capital where he led the asset-based lending unit.

For more new hires, promotions and other dealmaker career news, including Baird hiring Brett Skolnik as healthcare managing director and Tony Armand joining Norwest Equity Partners as an operating partner, 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.