M&A daily wrap: Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Boeding, Iconiq, Epiq, Houston Rockets, Tilman Fertitta, RSM


Chad Boeding, a co-founder of Iconiq, a wealth management and investment firm that counts Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg among its clients, has launched a rival multi-family office called Epiq Capital Group LLC. Prior to co-founding Iconiq in 2011, Boeding served as a vice president in the private wealth management division of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) for nine years. Epiq aims to provide “select ultra-high net worth investors with strategic financial advice and family office services to manage the complexities of life that accompany significant wealth,” according to a statement. The San Francisco firm’s clients are senior executives, founders, and early employees of high-profile companies who have a net worth in excess of $100 million. The firm boasts a partner network that includes investment managers, venture capitalists, private equity firms and corporate executives. “Our clients have worked hard to build their businesses and are often surprised how complex their financial, legal, tax, and personal situations become as their wealth increases,” said Boeding in a statement. “The Epiq team manages all of those complexities on their behalf by taking responsibility for partnering – and coordinating – with attorneys, accountants, bankers, and all of the clients’ other advisors to expertly manage all aspects of their financial lives,” he said. The statement further explained: “Epiq is committed to its fiduciary role to provide unbiased, expert, advice. Epiq’s launch is directly related to Boeding’s intense commitment to avoiding conflicts of interest commonly found at major banks and large advisory firms.” The conflict-of-interest comment has been widely interpreted as a dig at Iconiq, which reportedly encourages clients to invest in its own funds. Iconiq has backed Jessica Alba’s Honest Co., Uber Technologies and India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart, which Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) recently agreed to buy a 77 percent stake in for $16 billion. In recent years, family offices, such as the the Pritzker Group, have become an important source of capital in the middle market, as they increasingly bypass private equity firms to invest directly in deals.

Axial Networks, Donnelley Financial Solutions, FD Fund Administration, Valuation Research Corp., RSM and scores of other service providers are here to help in our annual, updated Buyer’s Guide. Read the full story: From fund administrators to VDRs, dozens of firms help M&A pros compete.

Landcadia Holdings Inc., a special purpose acquisition company run by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, has agreed to buy food delivery startup Waitr Inc. for $308 million. Fertitta owns the Golden Nugget casino and steakhouse chain Landry’s. He paid $2.2 billion for the Rockets in 2017, a record price for a National Basketball Association team. Read the full story here and check out our cover story on the M&A land grab for fast delivery of food ordered online.

TPG Growth has reportedly invested $175 million in cybersecurity firm Tanium at a valuation of about $5 billion, adding to speculation that the target may soon go public.

Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR) has agreed to acquire Aventics from Triton for $621.5 million. Aventics makes technology that powers machine and factory automation systems for the food and beverage, packaging, automotive and medical sectors. Greenhill and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP are advising Emerson.

Lower middle-market private equity firm Warren Equity Partners has acquired Superior Industrial Maintenance Co. The target provides industrial services to critical assets in power plants, chemical plants, commercial aviation facilities, military bases, food and beverage processing facilities, and water treatment facilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Software testing and business assurance company QualiTest Group has agreed to buy Orasi’s Software’s testing services division. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Private equity firms, including KKR, LLR Partners, the Riverside Co., Shore Capital Partners, TA Associates, and strategic buyers, including Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH), are investing in eye doctors, dentists and veterinarians, plus revenue cycle management providers and other areas of healthcare that are ripe for consolidation, as Mergers & Acquisitions explores in our in-depth feature,Why private equity firms like veterinarians, opthamologists and dentists, and slideshow, 6 healthcare specialties driving M&A deals.

Covenant-lite loans are making a comeback, as competition in middle-market lending increases, says Ken Ken, CEO of Churchill Asset Management. Following on the heels of a record year of capital raising, debt financing provider Churchill recently closed a $300 million collateralized loan obligation fund, Churchill Middle Market CLO IV. Churchill is part of Nuveen, the asset management division of TIAA. Overall, Churchill manages more than $4.4 billion in committed capital. Read our Q&A: CLOs are huge draw for income-hungry investors, says Churchill CEO Ken Kencel.

For more on the lender front, Twin Brook Capital Partners grew significantly in 2017, including doubling deal value from the previous year, raising a second fund of $2.3 billion, and building the three-year-old firm into a major source of loans in the lower middle market, earning the firm Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Lender of the Year. The Chicago firm is the middle-market direct lending subsidiary of Angelo, Gordon & Co., a $28 billion alternative investment firm focused on credit and real estate investing. Twin Brook was founded in 2014 by seasoned middle-market lenders Trevor Clark and Christopher Williams, who had previously co-founded Madison Capital Funding. Twin Brook announced recently that Williams has stepped 8back from his role to attend to a health issue with an immediate family member. Read our Q&A: Lenders must be active partners, says Twin Brook’s Trevor Clark.

Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, wearable biometrics and precision medicine are transforming dealmaking in the healthcare sector, says Essam Abadir, the CEO of Aspire Ventures, which recently teamed with the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health network of hospitals to launch a $300 million fund to invest in personalized medical devices and practices. Read our Q&A with Abadir.

George Stamas, Mark Director, Andrew Herman, and Alexander Fine have joined Gibson Dunn & Crutcher as partners. They were most recently with Kirkland & Ellis and focus on private equity and M&A.

Ken Muller was hired by Kirkland & EllisSan Francisco office as a partner. Previously with Morrison & Foerster, Muller focuses on the formation, organization and operation of private equity real estate funds.

Paul Cuomo has joined Barket Botts as a partner and head of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Cuomo focuses on U.S. and cross-border merger reviews.

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.