Patriot Capital Supports CenterGate’s Acquisition of Teeny Foods

logo of Teeny Foods

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, is pleased to announce a new subordinated debt and equity co-investment alongside CenterGate Capital in support of CenterGate’s acquisition of Teeny Foods.

Teeny Foods is a developer and contract manufacturer of frozen, filled baked snacks and handheld meals—sticks, bites, pull-aparts, and calzones—in a variety of dough flavors, product shapes, fillings (including cheese and fruit), and topicals. The company’s products, sold by branded food manufacturers through foodservice and retail grocery channels, are available in individual oven/microwave safe wrappers, multipacks, resealable pouches, and bulk packaging formats.

Teeny Foods was founded by the Teeny family in 1964 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Teeny represents Patriot’s fourth investment in the food supply chain in the past four years, alongside current portfolio companies, FreshEdge, MSI Express, and Eddy Foods.

“Patriot brings prior food-deal experience and we believe they will be a great partner for us and Teeny Foods as we support the company through its next stage of growth,” commented Jeff Kovick, Managing Director at CenterGate.

For more information on this transaction, please contact Charles Adams, Jonathon Cope or Aaron Katzman.

Patriot Capital Supports the Illinois Venture Capital Association Scholar Program

Summer is prime internship season and Patriot Capital also took part in welcoming numerous interns through our firm. Quam Oluewu, a third-year student at the University of Chicago Illinois, joined us in our Chicago office as part of the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) Scholar Program.

The IVCA provides access, information, and a voice for the professional venture capital/private equity investor and its Scholar Program helps foster diversity and inclusion by providing students exposure to a possible career in the venture capital/private equity industry. To qualify, students must attend a university in Illinois or be a permanent Illinois resident; possess strong communication and analytical skills, having completed some finance and accounting work; and be a person of color or a woman.

“I heard about the IVCA Scholar Program through my school and was very excited when I was chosen,” said Quam Oluewu. “My internship at Patriot Capital has been a very valuable experience. Tom and Kyle both taught me a great deal about the industry and checked in with me throughout the whole process. I didn’t know anything about the private equity industry before I started and having this door open has inspired me to understand what the field entails and provided me with critical networking opportunities to consider a career in the industry. I’m thankful to the Patriot Capital team for their participation in the IVCA Scholar Program.”

photo of Kyle Griffith, Quam Oluewu, Tom Kurtz

(from left to right) Kyle Griffith, Quam Oluewu, Tom Kurtz

IVCA Scholars work at a venture capital or private equity firm and participate in informational and training sessions. Quam worked on how to source and analyze deals, completed a financial modeling course, and participated in networking events that helped him learn more about the industry.

“Quam is an insightful young man who has responded well to the challenges of learning about a new industry. He was exposed to the new deals that we see daily as a firm and worked to analyze and understand these potential deals (based on industry, risk, size, etc.). He expressed interest in learning more about the investment banking industry, so we were able to have some introductory calls with other firms to help him make some meaningful connections,” said Tom Kurtz, Managing Director – Midwest.

“At Patriot Capital, we aspire to support companies that are an active member of the communities in which they operate and seek to be representative of that community within its workforce,” said Charles McCusker, Managing Director. “We’re proud to support the IVCA Scholar Program in their efforts to create an inclusive industry with more gender, racial, and ethnic diversity.”

Patriot Capital Supports PlayMonster and Audax Private Equity’s Acquisition of Ann Williams Group

PlayMonster Ann Williams Group

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, is pleased to announce an add-on subordinated debt and equity co-investment alongside Audax Private Equity’s portfolio company, PlayMonster LLC. Patriot’s investment supported PlayMonster’s acquisition of Ann Williams Group, a leading manufacturer of award-winning, innovative craft and activity kits for all ages. With wide distribution across key mass retailers, including Target, Nordstrom, Michaels, plus specialty and independent retail channels, Ann Williams has sold millions of kits to generations of inspired makers worldwide.

The addition of Michigan-based Ann Williams Group further scales PlayMonster’s footprint in the growing craft and activity toy industry category, complementing current activity brands including Spirograph, Colorforms, Latchkits, Face Paintoos, and more. Brands that will join the PlayMonster lineup as part of the acquisition include Craft-tastic®, Loopdedoo®, Craft Crush®, Loopdeloom®, and Sticker & Chill™.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, PlayMonster is a leading international toy and game company. The company’s diversified portfolio of games and toys for all ages features brands such as Yeti in My Spaghetti, 5 Second Rule, My Fairy Garden, and Relative Insanity. PlayMonster products are distributed through mass, e-commerce, and specialty retailer channels across the U.S. and U.K. Patriot Capital originally invested in PlayMonster in December 2019 in support of its acquisition of Kahootz, Inc.

For more information on this transaction, please contact Stacey Wittelsberger, Charles Bryan or Aaron Katzman.

Patriot Capital Promotes Sean Bilbrough to Vice President

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, announced the promotion of Sean Bilbrough to Vice President, effective immediately. Mr. Bilbrough joined Patriot Capital in June 2018 as a Senior Associate.

“A large degree of our success to date is attributable to hardworking and focused individuals like Sean,” said Managing Partner Tom Holland. “He is more than ready to take on a greater role at the firm and we all look forward to his continued success.”

As Vice President, Mr. Bilbrough evaluates new investment opportunities and is responsible for due diligence, underwriting/execution, and portfolio management. Prior to joining Patriot Capital in 2018, he worked as a Senior Associate at Bengur Bryan, responsible for mergers and acquisitions, and private placements, as well as providing other financial advisory services to middle market companies. Mr. Bilbrough began his career at RSM US, LLP, a national assurance, tax, and consulting firm focused on the middle market, where he primarily concentrated on audits of financial services clients. He passed all four sections of the uniform CPA examination and is a registered representative holding an active Series 79 license. Mr. Bilbrough graduated from the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University, with a BS in Accounting (cum laude).


Patriot Capital Supports Rotunda Capital Partners’ Formation of American Equipment Holdings

American Equipment Holdings logos

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, is pleased to announce a new debt and equity co-investment alongside Rotunda Capital Partners in the formation of American Equipment Holdings (“American Equipment” or the “Company”). The Company represents the formation of the premier overhead crane and hoist solutions platform in the Western U.S. through the combination of American Equipment, Pacific Crane & Hoist, and Allied Crane.

The consolidated entity is one of the largest independently owned overhead crane and hoist solutions providers in the country, serving over 2,000 customers across 14 strategic locations throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Together, American Equipment Holdings provides comprehensive solutions for everything related to customers’ overhead crane and hoist needs, including new and replacement equipment, ISO certified fabrication, automated systems, system modernizations, parts, inspections (including OHSA and Cal-OSHA), preventative maintenance and repair services and training.

Rotunda’s acquisition of American Equipment Holdings was completed in partnership with Adam Zimmerman, American Equipment’s president and CEO, and Michael Perera, founder of Pacific Crane & Hoist. Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Perera will maintain ownership interest in the Company and continue to hold leadership positions in the Company.

For more information on this transaction, please contact Jonathon Cope or Aaron Katzman.

Patriot Capital Announces Successful Exit of D&S Community Services

D&S Community Services logo

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, is pleased to announce the sale of its portfolio company, D&S Community Services, to The MENTOR Network, a premier provider of home and community-based health care and support services.

D&S Community Services, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a leading provider of residential and community-based services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). With locations in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and New Jersey, D&S Community Services offers a broad range of services—from residential and in-home support to day habilitation programs, and specialty therapy and nursing services. The combined company will offer a comprehensive array of supports and services nationwide to individuals with I/DD, enabling delivery of high-quality services to clients and families with a fully built-out infrastructure across multiple care settings.

Patriot Capital Group originally invested in D&S Community Services in 2005 through Patriot Capital I and again in 2015 through Patriot Capital III, by providing debt and equity financing to support Comvest Partner’s acquisition of D&S. During the two investment periods, D&S Community Services grew from largely a single state $29 million/$2.8 million EBITDA provider of I/DD services with approximately 108 occupied homes and 560 clients to a multi-state and services provider with 330 managed homes and over 2,200 clients.

“We are pleased with the outcome of seeing D&S join The MENTOR Network to expand services that support the health and wellbeing of the special needs community,” said Charles McCusker, managing partner at Patriot Capital. “Our investment in D&S exemplifies both our implicit commitment to responsible investing that we’ve been using for the past 20 years and our formalized Responsible Investing strategy which we announced this quarter. We’ll continue to use our Responsible Investing framework to invest in and support portfolio companies that advance this cause. We have enjoyed our partnership with Mickey and the D&S team in creating growth and look forward to seeing their continued success.”

“Patriot Capital has been a steadfast partner for D&S, providing strategic counsel and supporting our growth strategy as we expanded into new markets and enhanced our service offerings,” said D&S Community Services Chief Executive Officer Mickey Atkins. “We look forward to joining The MENTOR Network and continuing our work of promoting independence and quality of life for individuals with special needs.”

For more information on this transaction, please contact Charles McCusker or Jonathon Cope.

Patriot Capital Joins United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment as Signatory

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, announced today that the firm has become a signatory to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Implemented by the United Nations Secretary-General, the PRI were developed by an international group of institutional investors reflecting the increasing relevance of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues to investment practices.

“We’re proud to become a signatory to the PRI. While ESG investing has recently grown in popularity, Patriot has been operating with an implicit responsible investing lens for over 20 years,” said Charles McCusker, managing partner at Patriot Capital.

“The pandemic and the related events of the past year compelled us to take formal action and become advocates for change in the investment industry. As a firm, we’re approaching $1 billion of invested capital and we know that we can be active change agents and advocates in the investment industry,” said Jon Cope, principal at Patriot Capital.

As part of Patriot Capital’s commitment to the PRI, the firm will adhere to its stringent principles and commit to:

  • Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes;
  • Be an active owner and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices;
  • Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest;
  • Promote acceptance and implementation of the PRI principles within the investment industry;
  • Work with the PRI Secretariat and other signatories to enhance their effectiveness in implementing the principles; and
  • Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the PRI principles.

“Our Responsible Investing framework guides our entire investment lifecycle – from initial deal sourcing and screening, through due diligence, and during the life of a portfolio company investment,” added Stacey Wittelsberger, principal at Patriot Capital. “Our framework centers around three pillars of Culture, Compliance, and Community, and we have already started to dialogue with our portfolio companies on how we can have a lasting impact on these important issues.”

Patriot Capital Group and First Capital Partners Announce Successful Exit of Advantage Engineers

Advantage Engineers logo

Patriot Capital, a multi-strategy middle market investment firm, and First Capital Partners, a junior capital investment firm, are pleased to announce the sale of their portfolio company, Advantage Engineers, LLC, to Network Connex, a provider of mission critical network deployment solutions in fiber optics, data centers, and wireless and video networks.

Headquartered in Columbia, MD, Advantage Engineers is a nationwide engineering and design firm bringing innovative solutions to telecommunications infrastructure projects. Advantage Engineers offers specialized solutions, including site acquisition, planning and surveying, civil, structural and electrical engineering, zoning and permitting, construction management, and inspection and verification for both wireless and fiber deployments. Advantage Engineers will operate under the Network Connex umbrella, forming the backbone of its Engineering & Professional Service Line and complementing Network Connex’s existing Fiber, Data Center, and Wireless and Construction Service Lines.

First Capital Partners and Patriot Capital invested in Advantage Engineers in 2016 in a recapitalization transaction to support existing management/owners to develop and pursue its growth strategy culminating in the sale to Network Connex. During the investment period, Advantage Engineers completed the divesture of its geotechnical engineering division to a strategic acquirer, significantly expanded its geographic footprint by acquiring a West Coast telecommunications site acquisition and engineering firm, as well as opening new offices.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this investment for our respective funds and believe that Advantage Engineers is well positioned to continue to grow its business as part of the Network Connex platform, particularly as the 5G telecommunications network infrastructure roll out continues to accelerate,” commented Young Park, managing director at First Capital Partners and former board member of Advantage Engineers.

“Advantage Engineers experienced rapid growth and our hats are off to the management team who led us through the investment period whereby Advantage Engineers’ core telecommunications revenues grew by over 300% and EBITDA grew by over 600% in the last five years,” said Charles McCusker, managing partner at Patriot Capital and former board member of Advantage Engineers.

“We are excited about the platform we are joining at Network Connex, and we want to thank our management team and our former capital partners at First Capital and Patriot Capital who provided strategic guidance for the last five years and helped to position Advantage Engineers for its next growth phase,” commented John McGrath, chief executive officer of Advantage Engineers.

For more information on this transaction, please contact Charles McCusker or Stacey Wittelsberger.

Patriot Capital Group Hires Charles Adams as Associate Managing Director for Southwest Region

Charles M. Adams

Patriot Capital Group, a multi-strategy middle market investment manager and advisory services platform, announced today it has hired Charles Adams as Associate Managing Director for the Southwest region.

Mr. Adams will be responsible for origination, underwriting/execution, and portfolio management. He brings over $3 billion of credit transaction experience and nearly a decade of partnering with middle market private equity sponsors and management teams, having worked at Texas Capital Bank and GE Capital Markets. Mr. Adams is a registered representative holding active Series 7, 63, and 79 securities licenses.

Charles McCusker, Managing Partner of Patriot Capital Group, said, “We are delighted to have Charles join the Patriot Capital team to further expand our presence in the Southwest. As we continue to grow our 20-year alternative asset management business, Charles’s experience in developing long-term relationships with various origination partners will help propel our firm’s next stage of growth.”

“I was drawn to Patriot Capital’s hands on, relationship-driven focus on deal sourcing and portfolio management,” said Mr. Adams. “I am excited to join the Patriot Capital Group and contribute to the firm’s continued success in helping companies meet their objectives and deliver results.”

2020 Year in Review

2020 was a year unlike any other. We have all had to embrace the new normal. The Patriot Capital team navigated a tough environment and added real value to our portfolio companies, offering needed strategic advice, creative capital, government assistance, and other solutions to help them through the pandemic. As the saying goes, “Change is the only constant in life” and the Patriot Capital team leaned into the uncertain environment to meet these challenges head on. We have added more people and perspectives to our team to keep driving Patriot Capital forward.

Despite the challenges we faced in 2020, Patriot Capital and our portfolio companies persevered to end the year with several achievements. We invested in five new platform companies in the last 12 months, reaching 16 platform investments and over $220 million of invested capital in Patriot Capital IV. We also supported our existing platform investments through a number of “add-on” investments. In total, six Patriot portfolio companies made add-on investments in 2020. The Funds also benefited from five portfolio company exits across the platform.

We are thankful for our employees, our portfolio management teams, our advisory board, our investors, and our partners for their hard work, grit, resilience, and advice. We value your relationship and hope 2021 brings you fresh optimism and renewed success.

new platform investments

add-on investments

recent exits