M&A daily wrap: Carlyle, Huron Capital, Douglas Sutton, Bossa Nova, Siris Capital, Gores Group


The Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) has raised $6.5 billion for its fifth Asian fund, Carlyle Asia Partners V (CAP V). The fund will invest in the consumer and retail, financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, healthcare and industrials sectors. “We expect to see more and larger investment opportunities in the region driven by innovation, attractive demographics, rising consumption and corporate spin-offs,” says Carlyle Asia chairman X.D. Yang. In the last 12 months, Carlyle’s Asian PE platform has invested over $2.5 billion in the region including: iNova Pharmaceuticals, Accolade Wines, SBI Card, Visionary RCM, McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) stores in China and Hong Kong, OneSmart Education, Tuhu, JD Logistics, Ant Financial, and Baidu Financial. The latter has been rebranded as Du Xiaoman Financial. Carlyle started investing in Asia in 1998 and has since invested more than $18.5 billion across 160 companies.

Huron Capital’s new Flex Equity Fund resonates with companies that “need a partner to help them grow, or to provide some liquidity, but don’t want to give up a controlling interest,” says partner Douglas Sutton in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Watch the full video: Huron’s Flex Equity resonates with owners who don’t want to give up control. For more on the strategy, see our Q&A with managing partner Brian Demkowicz: Huron Capital’s Flex Fund courts owners who want growth but also control. The Detroit firm won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Seller of the Year.

Cota Capital has led a $29 million Series B round in robotics company Bossa Nova Robotics. The target is going to use the funding towards hiring, research and development and growing globally. China Walden Ventures and LG Electronics also participated in the round. Bossa Nova makes robots that scan shelves for data on out-of-stock, misplaced and mislabeled products and check for incorrect pricing. The robots are currently being tested in 50 Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) stores. “Today’s retail powerhouses require accurate, real-time product information to create a seamless omnichannel shopping experience expected by all customers,” says Bossa Nova CEO Bruce McWilliams. Robots, once the stuff of science fiction, have become big business and are creating attractive investment opportunities for middle-market dealmakers. Read our Q&A: Robotics developers are ripe for investment, says Innovation Works CEO Rich Lunak. Bossa Nova is also backed by Innovation Works.

Deal news
Siris Capital Group has agreed to buy Web.com (Nasdaq: WEB), an Internet marketing services firm, for $2 billion. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), RBC Capital Markets, Macquarie Capital, Sidley Austin and Kirkland & Ellis are advising Siris. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Cooley are advising Web.com. Morgan Stanley, RBC and Macquarie are providing financing.

Gores Holdings II Inc., a special purpose acquisition company backed by the Gores Group, has agreed to acquire smart technology maker Verra Mobility from Platinum Equity. The deal gives Verra, which serves commercial fleets and rental car companies, an enterprise value of around $2.4 billion. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC), and Weil Gotshal & Manges are advising Gores Holdngs. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is representing Platinum and Verra.

Milestone Capital Advisors has acquired Native Foods Cafe, a plant-based fast-casual restaurant chain. Native Foods operates 13 restaurants in California, Colorado, Oregon and Illinois and has a made from scratch menu that features Pad Thai and Bulgogi Kimchi Tacos.

Clearlake-Capital-backed Gravity Oilfield Services has bought McKenzie Energy Partners. The target is a water management services provider for the oil and gas sector.

Match Group Inc. (Nasdaq: MTCH) has acquired a 51 percent stake in mobile dating app Hinge. Match initially invested in Hinge in September 2017 and has the rights to buy the remaining stake in the target within the next year.

BVGrowth, a direct-to-consumer brand launch platform, has bought candle line Homesick.com from Buzzfeed. BVGrowth will focus on expanding the Homesick’s core product offering and developing new strategic initiatives.

Featured content
“Clamoring to be the loudest person in the room” is not the way to bring more women into the middle market, says Suzie Doran of SingerLewak, in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Doran serves as president of ACG Los Angeles, which recently took the Women of ACG Los Angeles on a private viewing of the 100th Anniversary Exhibition of King Tut at the California Science Center. “We’re about making connections and being able to take those connections to the next level.” Watch the full video: No “clamoring to be the loudest person in the room” at women dealmaker events.

More than 2,000 dealmakers from 1,100 companies, representing 16 countries, headed to sunny San Diego for three days of networking at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Jeff Immelt, who served as CEO and chairman of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) from 2001 to 2017, was the keynote speaker. Check out our slideshow: InterGrowth 2018 in pictures.

Peter Van Raalte, co-founder of Corinthian Capital, and Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief of Mergers & Acquisitions, were featured speakers at the ACG NY Industrial Conference at the New York Athletic Club. The conference is part of the ACG Northeast Industry Tour, sponsored by ACG New York, ACG Boston and ACG Philadelphia. View our slideshow: Manufacturing M&A: high prices but plenty of opportunities.

From stories of star athletes Arnold Palmer, Keith Hernandez and Tiger Woods to advice from entrepreneurs Bridgewater AssociatesRay Dalio, KPCB’s John Doerr, Nike’s Phil Knight and Brava Investments’Nathalie Molina Niño, plus strategies to help business leaders in general, and female dealmakers in particular, the 15 books on Mergers & Acquisitions’ summer reading list entertain, instruct and inspire. Check out our listicle: Dealmaker’s guide to summer reading: 15 new books.

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.


Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn joined SourceMedia in 2011, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. MK oversees the brand’s content on all media platforms, including website, e-newsletters, video, slideshows, podcasts and print.