M&A wrap: Sentinel, Pet Supplies Plus, Silver Lake, Vector, Clearlake, Mondelēz

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Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired pet supply store chain Pet Supplies Plus. In addition to selling pet supplies and food, PSP also offers services such as dog grooming, bathing and flea treatment. The target operates 448 stores across 33 states. “The pet industry is very attractive due to its stability, growth, and passionate consumer base,” says Sentinel Principal Marc Buan. “PSP has a strong position in the pet retail segment and a very loyal customer base.” The pet sector is attractive to buyers because people treat pets as part of their families. Arbor Investments is buying the Pedigree, Iams, Greenies brands from Mars Inc. and Waud Capital Partners has created pet care services platform Heart + Paw. Sentinel is a lower middle-market private equity firm that invests in businesses that have up to $65 million in Ebitda across the business services, consumer, industrials and restaurant sectors. In 2018, the PE firm raised around $2.5 billion across two funds, and acquired auto parts maker Holley Performance Products from Lincolnshire Management.

Deal news
Banking software company Temenos is strengthening its digital front office product with the acquisition of front office banking technology provider Avoka for $245 million. Avoka is a software-as-a-service company that helps bank’s customers open accounts and apply for loans. Read the full story: Temenos buys front office tech provider for $245M.

Silver Lake is buying a majority stake of ServiceMax from GE Digital. The target offers cloud-based software productivity tools for field service technicians. Morgan Stanley and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom are advising Silver Lake.

Vector Capital is acquiring Host Analytics, a provider of cloud-based enterprise performance management services.

Clearlake Capital-backed Janus International has acquired smart-lock maker Nokē Inc. and self-storage systems producer Active Supply and Design.

Incline Equity Partners has bought Charter Industries Extrusions, a supplier of edgebanding products. Quarton International advised Charter.

Arla Foods is buying Kraft-branded cheese businesses in the Middle East and Africa from Mondelēz International Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ).

Sequel Holdings-backed Lakeview Farms has acquired Tribe Mediterranean Foods, a manufacturer of hummus products.

People Moves
Darren Battistoni has joined Charlesbank Capital Partners as a managing director. He is the founding partner of Pamplona TMT.

Kelly McPhilliamy was hired by Harris Williams as a managing director. She was previously the head of consumer investment banking at Wells Fargo.

John Nives was hired by Gridiron Capital as an operating partner, where he is helping the firm’s portfolio companies with digital marketing and data analytics. He was previously with IBM (NYSE: IBM).

Featured content
Private equity firms are giving back – organizing groceries at food pantries, mentoring students in schools, running races for cancer cures and pitching in at animal shelters. In time for the holidays, Mergers & Acquisitions highlights the philanthropic and volunteering initiatives of 5 PE firms: the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), Frontier Capital, Huron Capital, the Riverside Co. and Star Mountain Capital. At Carlyle, charity starts at the top, with CEO David Rubenstein’s signing of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Community involvement is more important than ever to today’s work force. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996 by the Pew Research Center, are “for sustainability, diversity, inclusion and giving back to the community,” says Carlyle managing director Christopher Ullman. “We are finding this more and more. Yes, we are here to make money, secure retirement for pensioners, but the firm wants to support people’s efforts to make the world a better place.” Frontier Capital supports several causes, including The Miracle League, a baseball organization for people who are mentally and physically challenged. “There’s more to life than work and material things, and our people understand that,” says Frontier managing partner Andrew Lindner. At Detroit-based Huron Capital, the firm’s philanthropic efforts are focused on local groups. “We want to leave our footprint in this community where we live and work while being as helpful as possible,” says partner Gretchen Perkins. “The charitable activities we do as a group, the ability for each employee to influence where Huron’s donations go, and the ability to perform community service during work hours, or receive matching funds for an employee’s personal non-profit passion, all contribute to a portion of an employee’s sense of purpose and contributing to the greater good.” Read the full story, The Big Give.

We asked dealmakers at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East to share their thoughts on Giving Back. Check out our video interview with Baker Tilly Capital’s Judit Nagy-Eichelber: Volunteer work brings teams together. Also watch our conversation with Reed Smith’s Jonathan Moyer: For millennial dealmakers, giving back is part of who they are.

In this busy shopping season, retailers are increasingly turning to tech M&A to help them compete with online purveyors, especially Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). China’s largest retailer JD.com and Intel have launched a joint lab that will to explore retail applications for the Internet of Things (IoT). The Digitized Retail Joint Lab will develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising solutions, and technologies to be used in the stores of the future, based on Intel architecture. The ongoing challenges in the sector continue to force some retailers to close, including the June liquidation of Toys R Us, backed by Bain Capital and KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR). Technology is driving many of the transactions. See our list, 5 trends driving retail M&A deals.

The success of the Blackstone-led consortium’s bid for Thomson Reuters Corp, along with the ongoing joint Arconic bid, have gotten people talking about a potential return to the pre-crisis era of club deals and collaborations. Read the full guest article by Augnetius’ Hugh Stacey: Are private equity club deals making a comeback?

The Los Angeles Chargers take on the division leading Kansas City Chiefs to kick off NFL Week 15 on Thursday night. Off the field, many players build companies. Off the field, many football players invest in companies. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthersand the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. View our slideshow, NFL stars Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, Steve Young go PE.

ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit brings together women in the middle-market dealmaking community for a day focused on networking and knowledge sharing on Jan. 17 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Alexa Von Tobel, chief innovation officer of Northwestern Mutual, keynotes.

Exponent Women kicks off the new year with an evening of networking on Jan. 24 at The Campbell, at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Jazz Age financier John W. Campbellconverted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923, and it has recently been restored by design firm Ingrao Inc.

ACG Boston, ACG Connecticut, ACG New Jersey, ACG New York & ACG Philadelphia host ACG Northeast Dealmaking at the Mountain at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont Jan. 27-29. The event provides a chance for middle-market M&A professionals from across the northeast to come together for two days of close knit networking, shared conversations and valuable time spent to deepen your relationships within the deal community.

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 dealmaking, 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.