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Mergers & Acquisitions

Best of the Middle Market: Technology, Media and Telecom

By Deal Staff
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Published: July 23rd, 2020

Our next installment of the Best of the Middle Market series, we run down the nominees for our technology, media and telecom deals of the year, as well as select dealmakers and firms in the sector.

As is true in large-cap, the middle market saw the melding of the three industries, as well as the prevalence of technology in other sectors where it may not have permeated in years passed. Insurance and financial technology, social networking and infrastructure remained key themes that powered dealmaking in the middle market, with private equity and venture capital leading the way in terms of investments into new technology and weighing much of the risk in the formation of nascent industries.

Even still, industry stalwarts continued to do deals, honing portfolio’s and passing assets to willing buyers looking to make an impact on companies and names that may have gotten stale. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, tech and technology infrastructure have proved even more important, and in many ways more resilient to the tests of 2020.

For more on the awards, or to have your firm profiled as part of the series, please contact Jenney.Smith@thedeal.com or check out the shortlist for more information.

Featured dealmaker in Technology, Media and Telecommunications

Matthew_Guercio

With tech investing pioneer Insight Partners as a key client, Willkie’s Matthew Guercio has worked on deals in a range of technology fields.
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Featured firm in Technology, Media and Telecommunications

With clients off to the races in technology, media and telecommunications dealmaking, Willkie has been at the forefront of the latest tech trends.
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Featured Deals in the Middle Market 

*Technology, media and telecom deals of the year*

Colony

Colony Capital acquires fellow infrastructure investor Digital Bridge Holdings
Target: Digital Bridge Holdings LLC
Investment Adviser:
Dean Bradley Osborne Partners LLC
Outside Counsel:
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Acquirer: Colony Capital Inc.
Outside Counsel:
Clifford Chance LLP
PR Firm:
Lambert Blicksilver
Description: Reflecting an explosion of investments in data centers, fiber, wireless towers and other infrastructure, Colony Capital Inc. on July 25, 2019, said it had acquired Digital Bridge Holdings LLC for $325 million in cash and stock. Digital Bridge and Colony Capital Inc. (CLNY) launched Digital Colony Management last year. The firm initially targeted $3 billion for its inaugural Digital Colony Partners LP fund, but upsized the offering to $4.05 billion by its May close. Digital Bridge manages nearly $20 billion of telecom infrastructure investments through its own stakes and the Digital Colony partnership with Colony.
Deal Memo
Awards Information

Verisk

Verisk Analytics acquires Flexible Architecture
Target/Seller:
Flexible Architecture & Simplified Technology LLC/NexPhase Capital LLC
Investment Adviser:
William Blair & Co. LLC
Outside Counsel:
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
PR Firm:
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Acquirer: Verisk Analytics Inc.
Outside Counsel:
McCarter & English LLP
Description: Verisk Analytics Inc. on Dec. 4 agreed to acquire Flexible Architecture & Simplified Technology LLC from NexPhase Capital LLC for $193.5 million. The sale to Jersey City, N.J.-based Verisk comes four years after NexPhase invested in the company in 2015. Founded in 2010, Flexible sells SaaS products to more than 150 life insurance and annuity companies to enhance or replace their legacy policy administration, new business, and distribution management systems.
Deal Memo
Awards Information

Meredith

Meredith sells Fortune to Chatchaval Jiaravanon
Target/Seller:
Fortune brand/Meredith Corp.
Investment Adviser:
Citigroup Inc.
Outside Counsel:
Cooley LLP
Acquirer: Fortune Media Group Holdings Ltd./Chatchaval Jiaravanon
Outside Counsel:
Dechert LLP
Zhong Lun Law Firm
Adviser:
Deloitte LLP
Description: On Dec. 21, 2018, Meredith Corp. (MDP) closed the second-high profile sale since closing its purchase of Time Inc., with the $150 million sale of the Fortune Media Group Holdings Ltd. The Des Moines, Iowa-based magazine publisher announced the deal on Nov. 9. The buyer, Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, will own the brand separately from his family’s Charoen Pokphand Group. Founded in 1930, Fortune has a monthly magazine, digital news and video platform and live event series. It publishes a number of high-profile franchises such as the Fortune 500, 40 Under 40, 100 Best Companies to Work For and Most Powerful Women.
Deal Memo
Awards Information

Etsy

Etsy acquires online musical instruments retail platform Reverb.com
Target:
Reverb.com LLC
Investment Adviser:
Fortis Advisors LLC
Outside Counsel:
Winston & Strawn LLP
Acquirer:
Etsy Inc.
Outside Counsel:
Fenwick & West LLP
PR Firm:
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Description:
Etsy stepped outside its niche of craftsy and vintage wares with the $275 million purchase of used musical instrument online marketplace Reverb in July 2019. While Etsy’s prior deals have added a geographical market or technology, the Brooklyn e-commerce company is adding a music-focused platform with the purchase of Chicago-based Reverb. CEO David Kalt founded Reverb in 2013. Early investors included country music star Brad Paisley and Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, as well as Summit Partners, Elevation Partners founder Roger McNamee, and PayPay co-founder Max Levchin.
Deal Memo
Awards Information

zoosk

Canaan Partners and Bessemer sell Zoosk to Spark Networks
Target/Seller:
Zoosk Inc./Bessemer Venture Partners LP and Canaan Partners
Investment Adviser:
Piper Jaffray & Co.
Outside Counsel:
Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch PartmbB
Fenwick & West LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Acquirer: Spark Networks SE
Outside Counsel:
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Description:  On Aug. 12, AtriCure Inc. said it would significantly grow its addressable markets with a deal to buy fellow medical device company SentreHEART Inc. for up to $300 million. Terms of the deal included an upfront payment of about $40 million in cash and stock plus up to $260 million in potential milestone payments. Redwood City, Calif.-based SentreHEART, founded in 2005, has developed technology for remote delivery of suture for closure of anatomic structures including the left atrial appendage. AtriCure, based in Mason, Ohio, offers technologies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and related conditions.
Deal Memo
Awards Information

Nominees for other technology, media and telecom categories including investment bank, law firm and dealmaker can be found here.

To have your firm profiled as part of the series, please contact Jenney.Smith@thedeal.com or check out the shortlist for more information.

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