Follow the Money: MacFarlan Raises $8.65M, MoneyGram Gets $20M, NTT Data Buys Austin IT Firm

In this weekly roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity involving companies in North Texas, you’ll also find news from RevTech, BARBRI Inc., McMillan Insurance Group, Liberty Trust Company, Emergent Cold, and Frito-Lay.

What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants and acquisitions, Dallas Innovates tracks what’s happening in North Texas money every Thursday. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.

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MacFarlan raises $8.65M in real estate-related funding

MacFarlan Capital Partners, a Dallas-based private equity real estate investment firm, has raised $8.65 million of a $9.93 million equity funding offering in MAC Galderma Investors LP, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to a filing submitted by managing partner and CEO Dean MacFarlan, the funding is for commercial real estate purposes.

MacFarlan serves institutional investors, family offices, wealth management advisers, and high net worth individuals, according to its website. The firm has been active for more than three decades and offers its clients debt and equity investments in the commercial real estate space and offers an alternative to REITs and individual real estate investing.

RevTech participates in Accel Robotics’ $30M Series A round

Dallas-based RevTech Ventures is one of four investors in a $30 million Series A funding round led by Softbank for Accel Robotics.

San Diego, California-based Accel Robotics makes cashier-less checkouts with 360-degree cameras aimed at improving customer experiences. The funding brings the startup’s total amount raised to $37 million.

According to The Spoon, Accel is among a group of companies seeking to create “frictionless” shopping experiences in which shoppers can enter a store, find what they want, and then exit, while automatically being charged for what they take.

Ripple completes $50M equity investment in MoneyGram

MoneyGram, a global provider of money transfer services that’s headquartered in Dallas, announced Ripple has made the final $20 million investment in MoneyGram, completing a previous $50 million equity funding commitment made earlier this year.

San Francisco-based Ripple is a provider of leading enterprise blockchain solutions for global payments.

Earlier this year, Ripple made its initial investment of $30 million in MoneyGram equity at the same time it signed a commercial agreement with MoneyGram for cross-border settlement using digital assets. According to a statement, after this most recent $20 million in funding, Ripple will own 9.95 percent of MoneyGram’s outstanding common stock and roughly 15 percent on a fully-diluted basis including non-voting warrants held by Ripple.

The funding is expected to support MoneyGram’s operations as the company continues to increase volume and use of On-Demand Liquidity, a Ripple product that leverages the digital asset XRP to send money globally, instantly, and reliably for fractions of a penny, according to a statement.

MoneyGram is currently moving roughly 10 percent of its Mexican Peso foreign exchange trading volume through On-Demand Liquidity and has started transacting in four additional cross-border corridors, including Europe, Australia, and the Philippines since the partnership with Ripple was announced in June.

Also this week, MoneyGram announced it is expanding its debit card deposit service internationally, which it launched in collaboration with Visa through Visa’s real-time push payments platform, Visa Direct. Now, the service is available to Spain and the Philippines. MoneyGram is the first company in the industry to enable cross-border transfers from the U.S. using Visa Direct. MoneyGram expects to launch the service to additional countries in the coming months.


NTT Data Services to buy fast-growing Austin IT services firm

Plano-based global technology services leader NTT Data Services has agreed to buy Flux7, a fast-growing IT services firm that has been on the Inc. 5000 list for three consecutive years.

Austin-headquartered Flux7, an Amazon Web Services Premier Consulting Partner, provides cloud implementation and migration, automation, and DevOps consulting services for enterprises. The company has experience in the financial services, pharmaceuticals, software, manufacturing, and retail industries. No financial details of the acquisition were released.

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“The acquisition of Flux7 will enhance the value we can deliver in AWS, DevOps, and Agile development capabilities, while aligning with our focus to drive digital services for our clients,” Bob Pryor, CEO of NTT Data Services, said in a statement. “With an excellent brand, industry recognition and impressive client base, as well as a strong record of growth, Flux7 is a strategic fit for our business and part of our ongoing strategy of growth through acquisition.”

NTT Data Services is a division of NTT Data Corp., a Japan-based top 10 global business and IT services provider with more than 120,000 professionals in more than 50 countries, and NTT, a partner to more than 85 percent of the Fortune 100. 

NTT Data Services previously announced its acquisitions of Sierra Systems Group Inc. and Cognosante Consulting LLC.

With the Flux7 acquisition, the Plano company plans to add a team of highly specialized experts, as well as scalable, proprietary DevOps intellectual property from Flux7. DevOps is a type of relationship between development and IT operations that’s aimed at changing and improving the relationship between the two business units.

Frito-Lay parent PepsiCo buys PopCorners maker

PepsiCo, the parent company of Plano-based Frito-Lay Inc., has acquired BFY Brands, the maker of air-popped snack brands PopCorners, Flex Protein Chips, and Flourish Veggie Crisps. PepsiCo plans to place the healthy snack maker under the Frito-Lay banner.

The company was bought from private equity firm Permira for an undisclosed amount.

Once the deal closes, BFY’s chief executive officer Paul Nardone and president and chief commercial officer Dan Morgan will continue to lead the business.

“Their production capabilities will support the growth of our existing, more nutritious snack brands,” PepsiCo Foods North America CEO Steven Williams said in a statement.

BARBRI acquires U.K.-based legal education and training firm

Dallas-based BARBRI Inc. has acquired Kaplan Altior, a provider of classroom-based, online and in-house skills training and assessments to the legal and professional services sectors across the United Kingdom. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Via the acquisition, BARBRI, a Leeds Equity Partners LLC portfolio company, will receive legal training courses such as Solicitors Regulation Authority approved Professional Skills Course, Trainee Litigation Programme, and Higher Rights of Audience, along with other continuing professional development courses for current and aspiring legal professionals in the U.K., according to a statement. Altior serves more than 750 law firm clients, including more than a quarter of the top 100 U.K. law firms. 

BARBRI, a provider of practical legal education in the U.S. and international markets, said that Altior represents its eighth acquisition since Leeds Equity’s original investment. 

Michigan company buys Emergent Cold for a reported $900M

Michigan-based Lineage Logistics has agreed to buy Emergent Cold, a Dallas-headquartered refrigerated logistics company, for $900 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Freightwaves reported that the acquisition is expected to close in 2020.

Before the acquisition, Lineage Logistics already ranked as the largest refrigerated warehouse company in the world by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses.

Lineage Logistics expects to add 46 facilities in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka via the acquisition and will have more than 1.7 billion cubic feet of cold storage space at 260 facilities in 10 countries.

Illinois firm acquires assets of Liberty Trust Co.

Illinois-headquartered Millennium Trust Co. LLC, a provider of retirement and institutional services, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Dallas-based Liberty Trust Co.

Founded in 2005, Liberty Trust is a provider of custody and administration services for specialized individual retirement accounts.

Liberty Trust client accounts represent roughly 10,000 IRAs and $800 million of retirement assets under custody, including self-directed IRAs holding privately held or alternative assets, as well as automatic rollover IRA accounts originating from corporate retirement plan sponsors, according to a statement.

The deal represents Millennium Trust’s sixth acquisition over the past three years.

World Insurance Associates acquires McMillan

World Insurance Associates LLC has acquired McMillan Insurance Group of Fort Worth.

No terms of the deal were released, reports the Fort Worth Business Press.

World Insurance Associates is headquartered in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, and is a nationally ranked, full-service brokerage that was founded in 2012.

McMillan was founded in 2011, and it provides customized commercial trucking insurance for trucking enterprises of all sizes.

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