William Blair News

2022 Top Stock Recommendations

Each year, the Equity Research Group's individual sector groups—consumer; financial services and technology; global industrial infrastructure; global services; healthcare; and technology, media, and communications—provide an outlook for the year ahead.

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Lightspeed Systems Has Acquired CatchOn

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Lightspeed Systems, a portfolio company of Madison Dearborn Partners, in connection with its acquisition of CatchOn, an affiliate of ENA.

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Pharm-Olam Has Merged with CATO SMS

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Pharm-Olam in connection to its merger with CATO SMS, a portfolio company of Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners.

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Samsara Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Samsara Inc. (IOT $22.99). Samsara helps companies digitize their physical operations through its connected operations cloud, which ingests internet of things (IoT) data and provides actionable insights.

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Bionomics Limited: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Bionomics Limited (BNOX $11.52), a clinical-stage biopharma company based in Australia with U.S. operations developing small-molecule ion channel modulators to treat central nervous system disorders.

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Nkarta, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Nkarta, Inc. (NKTX $14.27), a clinical-stage company focused on the development and commercialization of genetically engineered allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK) cell therapies for the treatment of cancer.

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Cardiff Oncology, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Cardiff Oncology, Inc. (CRDF $6.43), a clinical-stage biotechnology company that leverages deep insights into synthetic lethality through PLK1 inhibition in cancers. The company is advancing three clinical programs in parallel in colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.

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P3 Health Partners Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of P3 Health Partners Inc. (PIII $6.49), a physician-led and technology-enabled advanced primary care partner, working with independent provider groups to enable their transformation to risk-based payment models.

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William Blair Acted as Lead Advisor to Convergint Technologies

William Blair acted as lead financial advisor to Convergint Technologies, a portfolio company of Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES), in connection with its equity sale from a fund managed by Ares’ Private Equity Group and other existing shareholders to Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. and funds managed by Harvest Partners, LP.

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Sweetgreen, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Sweetgreen, Inc. (SG $30.46). Sweetgreen is a rapidly growing category leader in healthy fast-casual restaurants, featuring a digitally led customer service model alongside a farm-to-table plant-forward menu.

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Braze, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Braze, Inc. (BRZE $66.95). Braze is a leading customer engagement platform that deploys a streaming data architecture to orchestrate, personalize, and deliver marketing campaigns to customers.

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Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (LIND $16.11), which provides expedition cruising and adventure travel experiences. The company’s land- and sea-based itineraries are crafted for travelers seeking premium, immersive, and up-close encounters with wildlife, nature, history, and culture.

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Weave Communications, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Weave Communications, Inc. (WEAV $16.68), which provides a unified communications and customer engagement platform augmented by industry-vertical-specific functionality designed for small and midsize businesses, or SMBs.

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NerdWallet, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of NerdWallet, Inc. (NRDS $22.59), a personal finance company with a presence in the United States and internationally. NerdWallet offers users personalized insights on a variety of finance-related topics, such as loans, credit cards, refinancing, and more.

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Portillo’s Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Portillo’s Inc. (PTLO $44.83), a growing chain of high-volume, limited-service restaurants serving a menu centered on Chicago favorites such as Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dogs and sausages.

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Empire Today Has Been Acquired by Charlesbank Capital Partners

William Blair acted as the financial advisor to Empire Today, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital (H.I.G.), in connection with its pending sale to Charlesbank Capital Partners. Management and an affiliate of H.I.G. are also making significant new investments into the business.

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KKR Has Agreed to Acquire Bettcher Industries

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to KKR in connection with its pending acquisition of Bettcher Industries, a leading designer and manufacturer of cutting tools, processing systems, and aftermarket solutions for meat processing markets.

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Re-Bath Has Been Acquired by TZP Group

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Home Brands Group Inc., the parent holding company of Re-Bath, a portfolio company of Webster Equity Partners and Sorenson Capital, in connection with its sale to TZP Group LLC.

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Gryphon Investors Has Agreed to Acquire Revision Goodier

William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to Gryphon Investors in connection with its pending acquisition of Revision Goodier, a clinically proven, highly efficacious skincare brand, and trusted development and manufacturing partner specializing in high-end cosmetic and topical skincare solutions.

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Popcornopolis Has Been Acquired by Grupo Bimbo

William Blair acted as financial advisor to Popcornopolis, LLC, a portfolio company of NexPhase Capital, LP, in connection with its sale to Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V. Popcornopolis is a leading manufacturer of premium-quality, ready-to-eat popcorn.

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Science 37 Holdings, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Science 37 Holdings, Inc. (SNCE $9.01). Founded in 2014, Science 37 pioneered the concept of decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) and has developed a unique operating system that combines its technology platform and specialized provider network to accelerate trial execution.

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BitTitan Has Been Acquired by Idera

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to BitTitan Inc., a founder owned and led business, in connection with its acquisition by Idera, a portfolio company of TA Associates and Partners Group.

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uniQure N.V.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of uniQure N.V. (QURE $29.36). Based in the Netherlands, uniQure N.V. is focused on developing and commercializing adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapies for the treatment of severe genetic disorders of the liver and CNS.

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Velo3D, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Velo3D, Inc. (VLD $8.55). Velo3D produces metal additive manufacturing systems that employ a proprietary printing process to provide engineers with unprecedented design freedom for metal parts.

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William Blair Advises Wayne Farms LLC

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Wayne Farms, Continental Grain, and Cargill in connection with the sale of its poultry production facility located in Laurel, Mississippi.

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Economics Weekly: A Top-Down View of Profit Margins

In this Economics Weekly, we examine corporate profits from a top-down perspective, looking at the recent behavior of unit labor costs, price inflation, and output growth as guides to what might happen to margins in the coming quarters.

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Sovos Brands, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Sovos Brands, Inc. (SOVO $14.18). Sovos is a growing food company that innovates and markets disruptive and differentiated brands, including Rao’s, Noosa, Birch Benders, and Michael Angelo’s. It products are premium and convenient and sold in all major classes of retail trade.

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EngageSmart, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of EngageSmart, Inc. (ESMT $32.07). EngageSmart provides modern customer engagement and integrated payment solutions for businesses in health and wellness, government/utility, financial services, and nonprofit.

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Brilliant Earth Group, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Brilliant Earth Group, Inc. (BRLT $12.95). Brilliant Earth is a fast-growing, omnichannel retailer of diamond rings and other fine jewelry offering personalized and in-house branded products, with a particular focus on sustainable and ethical sourcing.

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Hemovent Has Been Acquired by MicroPort for €123m

William Blair acted as financial advisor to Hemovent, a company backed by a consortium of institutional investors led by MIG Capital in connection with its sale to MicroPort (SEHK Ticker: 0853) for €123m in total consideration (including future milestone payments).

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ForgeRock Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of ForgeRock, Inc. (FORG $33.80), a leading provider of identity access management solutions that help enterprises manage, secure, govern, and streamline their identity infrastructure.

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Dutch Bros Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Dutch Bros Inc. (BROS $25.95), a rapidly growing owner and franchisor of drive-thru locations offering a wide variety of customizable beverages, including espresso-based beverages and its proprietary Blue Rebel energy drinks.

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Alector, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Alector, Inc. (ALEC $24.26), a clinical-stage biopharma company developing therapies that target neuro-immunology using genetic insights in chronic neurodegenerative disorders.

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Economics Weekly: The Fed, the Dots, and the Taper

In this Economics Weekly, we discuss the market’s reaction to the Fed’s announcements this week, with the view that the market would be correct to focus more on the tapering announcement and pay less attention to the increasingly irrelevant dot plot.

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Courageous Conversations Spotlight Resiliency

Creating a resilient work culture means embracing curiosity, having a broad perspective, and valuing authenticity—initiatives often led by those who defy the status quo, Harvard Professor Francesca Gino said during William Blair’s recent Courageous Conversations event.

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Economics Weekly: Wish Upon a R(ising)-Star

In this Economics Weekly, we discuss this target real equilibrium rate of interest—R* (r-star)—with the view that there are a number of reasons to believe we are near an inflection point, one where this longer-term real neutral rate could be starting to increase.

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N-able, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of N-able, Inc. (NABL $14.22). N-able sells remote monitoring and management (RMM), security and data protection, and business management solutions to managed service providers (MSPs) worldwide.

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Rover, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Rover, Inc. (ROVR $11.29), an online marketplace for people to request and receive a variety of pet care services, including pet sitting, dog boarding, and dog walking.

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MaxCyte, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of MaxCyte, Inc. (MXCT $14.34), a market-leading provider of enabling technologies for cell engineering. The company’s ExPERT platform is used to advance the discovery, development, and commercialization of next-generation cell therapies.

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MMIT Has Agreed to Merge With Evaluate

William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to MMIT, a portfolio company of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), in connection with its pending merger with Evaluate, a portfolio company of Hg Capital.

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Riskified Ltd.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Riskified Ltd. (RSKD $27.12). Riskified’s fraud-management platform helps some of the world’s largest e-commerce merchants manage their chargebacks. Riskified delivers tangible ROI for merchants by reducing costs and customer friction in addition to improving sales.

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Icosavax, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Icosavax, Inc. (ICVX $34.09). Icosavax is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses its proprietary in silico designed virus-like particle (VLP) platform to develop vaccines for viral respiratory pathogens such as RSV and hMPV. In addition, Icosavax is exploring both booster and Beta-specific COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

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Duolingo, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Duolingo, Inc. (DUOL $126.16), a subscription language-learning mobile app and website that uses a freemium model. The company also offers an online English proficiency exam and hosts advertisements on its free app and website to monetize the service in addition to the subscription offering.

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Worldwide Express and GlobalTranz have Merged

William Blair acted as a financial advisor to the consortium of CVC Capital Partners (CVC), Providence Equity (Providence), and PSG, in connection with the merger of Worldwide Express, a portfolio company of Ridgemont Equity Partners, and GlobalTranz, a portfolio company of Providence and PSG.

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Holley Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Holley Inc. (HLLY $11.75). Holley is a designer, marketer, and manufacturer of high-performance automotive aftermarket products serving a diverse range of car and truck enthusiasts.

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Stevanato Group S.p.A.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Stevanato Group S.p.A. (STVN $20.62), a leading global provider of drug containment solutions, diagnostic consumables, and drug delivery systems to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life sciences industries.

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Blend Labs, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Blend Labs, Inc. (BLND $18.45). Blend provides a cloud-based software platform designed to power end-to-end journeys for consumer banking products, including mortgages, consumer loans, and deposit accounts.

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Sera Prognostics, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Sera Prognostics, Inc. (SERA $12.85), a women’s health diagnostics company that discovers, develops, and commercializes biomarker tests using a proprietary proteomics and bioinformatics platform. The company’s initial focus is on improving pregnancy outcomes, beginning with preterm birth (PTB).

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Markforged Holding Corporation: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Markforged Holding Corporation (MKFG $10.40), a developer and manufacturer of composite and metal 3D printers, as well as software and consumables. Markforged has established a large fleet of connected 3D printers, supported by proprietary software solutions.

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Semantix Has Been Acquired by TransPerfect

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Semantix, a portfolio company of Segulah Private Equity, in connection with its sale to TransPerfect. The transaction closed on July 30th, 2021.

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Payoneer Global Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Payoneer Global Inc. (PAYO $9.44). Payoneer provides a global, cloud-based payments and commerce-enablement platform to more than 5 million small businesses and many of the world’s largest digital marketplaces.

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William Blair Advises HungerRush

William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to HungerRush, LLC, a portfolio company of The CapStreet Group, to refinance its existing indebtedness and to support future growth.

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Xometry, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Xometry, Inc. (XMTR $75.29). Xometry is a leading marketplace for on-demand manufacturing, connecting customers with manufacturing partners that offer a wide range of services, including CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding, and sheet metal fabrication.

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ServiceMax and Pathfinder Acquisition Corporation to Merge

William Blair acted as capital markets advisor to ServiceMax, a portfolio company of Silver Lake Partners (Silver Lake), in connection with its pending merger with Pathfinder Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: PFDR; Pathfinder), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

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CVRx, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of CVRx, Inc. (CVRX $20.33). CVRx is a medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of minimally invasive neuromodulation therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases.

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Torrid Holdings Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Torrid Holdings Inc. (CURV $22.73). Torrid is a fast-growing, omnichannel retailer of apparel, intimates, and accessories dedicated to plus-size women, offering mostly exclusive brands and in-house designs with a particular focus on fit.

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Assurant, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Assurant, Inc. (AIZ $153.96). Assurant is a leading global provider of mobile device solutions, extended service contracts, vehicle protection services, renters insurance, lender-placed insurance products, and other specialty products.

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Economics Weekly: Another Look at the Alternative Economic Data

In this week’s Economics Weekly, we once again showcase a number of the alternative higher-frequency economic data that have emerged over the last year, in an effort to gauge where we are with regard to the reopening economy and to what degree the markets should be concerned about a moderation in the pace of the expansion due to the COVID variants.

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Alpha Teknova, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Alpha Teknova, Inc. (TKNO $18.06). Teknova sells critical reagents for discovery, research, development, and production of biopharmaceutical products, including drug therapies, novel vaccines, and molecular diagnostics.

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William Blair Announces New President

William Blair, a premier global investment banking, investment management and wealth management firm, today announced that, effective immediately, Brent Gledhill has been elevated to the role of President.

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Doximity, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Doximity, Inc. (DOCS $52.91). Doximity is the leading digital platform for U.S. medical professionals, supporting practitioners through a variety of clinical workflow tools that help improve provider productivity.

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Sprinklr, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Sprinklr, Inc. (CXM $19.51). Sprinklr is a leading unified customer experience management (CXM) platform that enables large enterprises to engage with customers on modern channels like social media, messaging, live chat, and text, operating across more than 30 such channels.

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Economics Weekly: Rising Yields and the Stock/Bond Relationship

In this Economics Weekly, we discuss why investors are once again reexamining what an increase in longer-term yields might mean for the equity market, as well as the historical relationship between stocks and bonds and whether we might be at a major inflection point in that correlation.

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nCino, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of nCino, Inc. (NCNO $63.24). Founded in 2011, nCino provides cloud-based banking software to help streamline and digitize client onboarding, loan origination, and account opening for its financial institution clients across their various business lines.

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TaskUs, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of TaskUs, Inc. (TASK $33.24). TaskUs is a next-generation digital customer experience (CX) service provider specializing in high-growth services including digital CX, content moderation, and AI operations.

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Marqeta, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Marqeta, Inc. (MQ $28.10). Marqeta provides a cloud-based, open API card issuing and processing platform. In addition, Marqeta provides an expanding number of applications, such as program administration tools, fraud prevention services, data insights, and developer tools.

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Allegro MicroSystems, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Allegro MicroSystems, Inc. (ALGM $27.71). Allegro is a fabless semiconductor supplier of magnetic sensors, where it is the market leader, and power management integrated circuits focused on the automotive and industrial markets.

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Allocate Has Agreed to Be Acquired by RLDatix

William Blair acted as financial advisor to Allocate, a portfolio company of Hg and Vista Equity Partners (Vista), in connection with its pending sale to RLDatix, a portfolio company of Five Arrows Principal Investments and TA Associates.

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Economics Weekly: The Monetary Winds Are Shifting

In this week’s Economics Weekly, we look at further evidence that we are at an inflection point for the Fed, highlight a number of measures of excess liquidity, and examine the stock market’s reaction during this part of the cycle.

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ZipRecruiter, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of ZipRecruiter, Inc. (ZIP $20.64). ZipRecruiter is a leading online hiring platform for small and medium-size businesses that streamlines the recruiting process for employers, offering reseller programs, ATS integrations, and an email alert program.

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Restaurant365 Has Acquired Compeat

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Restaurant365, LLC, a portfolio company of ICONIQ Capital, LLC, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management, LLC, in connection with the acquisition of Compeat, a portfolio company of Serent Capital.

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Oatly Group AB: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Oatly Group AB (OTLY $26.41). Oatly is the world’s original and largest oat milk company with technical expertise in oats and oat-based dairy alternatives and a vision for a food system that is better for people and the planet.

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Infogix Has Been Acquired by Precisely

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Infogix, Inc., a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo, in connection with its sale to Precisely, a portfolio company of Clearlake Capital and TA Associates.

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The Honest Company, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of The Honest Company, Inc. (HNST $14.70), a next-generation, purpose-driven company focused on disrupting large consumer packaged goods categories by innovating clean and natural offerings that are safe, sustainable, and efficacious.

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William Blair Advises TreeHouse Foods, Inc.

William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS), in connection with the acquisition of its ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal business by Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POST).

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Vaccitech plc: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Vaccitech plc (VACC $14.58). Vaccitech is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that develops immunotherapeutics by leveraging its proprietary chimpanzee adenovirus (ChAdOx) and Modified Vaccinia Ankara T-cell-inducing platform. Areas of focus include therapeutic and prophylactic programs in the infectious disease and oncology space.

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Privia Health Group, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Privia Health Group, Inc. (PRVA $30.08), a technology-enabled care management organization. Privia works with more than 2,700 providers and helps manage more than 3 million patients under a wide variety of fee-for-service and value-based care delivery arrangements.

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Latham Group, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of Latham Group, Inc. (SWIM $32.70), the leading manufacturer of residential in-ground pools in North America. It also sells pool components and accessories in North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

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HyTest Has Agreed to Be Acquired by Mindray

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to HyTest, a portfolio company of Summa Equity in connection with its pending sale to Mindray (Shenzen Stock Exchange Ticker: 300760) for €545 million in total consideration.

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AppLovin Corp.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of AppLovin Corp. (APP $56.93). AppLovin is a global technology company that provides advanced tools for mobile app developers to grow their businesses by automating and optimizing the marketing and monetization of their apps.

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agilon health, inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

William Blair initiated research coverage of agilon health, inc. (AGL $33.49), a technology-enabled care management partner that works with independent primary care physician (PCP) groups to enable their transformation to risk-based care models.

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THINKING 2021 Navigating the Path Ahead

William Blair THINKING 2021: Navigating the Path Ahead is a firm wide thought-leadership video series offering trending market insights on what the path ahead looks like as we approach a post-pandemic world.

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