Browse Tag

private equity

2 mins read

IMB Partners Announces $130 Million Payout for Investors in Military Food Supplier

IMB Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm targeting companies that provide business services to electric and gas utilities and government agencies, recently facilitated a successful $130 million dividend recapitalization for Pro Food Solutions.

Pro Food Solutions is their holding group for three leading military food suppliers: Alder Foods, Elite Brands, and Richmond Wholesale.

This financial maneuver involved securing $153 million in debt financing. IMB will use $130 million to pay off existing debt and distribute the remaining amount to IMB Partners and its investors, marking a significant return on investment for the firm.

IMB’s commitment to partnership is evident throughout its involvement with Pro Food Solutions. They began building the group in 2016 with the acquisition of Alder Foods. Tarrus Richardson, Founder & CEO of IMB Partners, emphasizes this approach in a recent press release: “As part of IMB Partners’ mission, we bring our relationships and networks to each investment partnership so we can help build out management teams, grow sales, and develop more diverse workforces and supply chains.”

Tarrus Richardson further highlighted the impressive growth achieved through collaboration via a recent LinkedIn post: “Over the last eight years, we have acquired three leading military food suppliers, and together we have grown our revenue to over $300 million.” This achievement speaks volumes about the combined strength of the companies under the Pro Food Solutions umbrella and the effectiveness of IMB’s partnership strategy.

The success of the recapitalization underscores the strength of Pro Food Solutions’ position within the growing military food supply market. IMB Partners’ ability to identify and cultivate promising companies in this sector, while fostering strong partnerships, has yielded a substantial return for their investors.

by Tony O. Lawson

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3 mins read

East Chop Capital Closes Second Fund at $11 Million for Luxury Vacation Rentals

East Chop Capital, a leading Black-owned private equity firm in the vacation rental space, has successfully closed its second fund at $11 million. This new capital infusion will allow the company to expand its portfolio and target the luxury vacation rental market in the United States.

east chop capital
Pictured left to right: Zerik Scales, Managing Partner; Calvin L. Butts, Jr., General Partner; Carrington M. Carter, General Partner; Photographer: Yirmeyah Leonard.

“The market is certainly much more competitive than when we first started nearly 10 years ago,” said Carrington M. Carter, Co-founder and General Partner at East Chop Capital. “This capital infusion provides us with the opportunity to scale further and move higher up into the luxury spectrum, with some custom built homes that will create amazing guest experiences.”

The company, known for its focus on building wealth within the Black community, expressed gratitude for the diverse group of investors who participated in the fund. “We are tremendously grateful for our investors who believed in us,” Carter added. “It’s extremely humbling to have support from Hamptonians, who make up 11% of our individual investors, other HBCU alum, countless fraternity brothers (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – Carrington; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. – Calvin), and others in our community. Teamwork truly does make the dream work, and we must focus more on working together.”

East Chop Capital’s focus extends beyond the luxury vacation rental market. Co-founder Calvin L. Butts, Jr. highlighted the company’s commitment to real estate development and fostering entrepreneurship. “Real estate development will continue to be a focus for East Chop Capital, and we’ll break ground on additional projects later this year,” Butts stated. “We are equally excited about our angel investing vertical that we piloted over the last two years with our base of 200 investors. We see both of these verticals as key components to building wealth, and empowering the next generation of startups and other businesses.”

With a growing presence in the private equity landscape, East Chop Capital is well-positioned to make a significant impact in the luxury vacation rental sector while fostering financial empowerment within the Black community through various investment strategies.

by Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Fairview Capital Secures Investment from New York Life

New York Life, the nation’s largest mutual life insurer, announced today that it has acquired a minority stake in Fairview Capital, one of the largest minority-owned investment management firms in the U.S.

Fairview is a leader in venture capital and private equity investing, with over $10 billion under management since its inception 30 years ago. The firm invests on behalf of institutional investors, including public and private pension plans, foundations, and endowments.

Fairview’s leadership team will retain majority ownership of the firm following this investment. This team includes Co-founders JoAnn Price and Larry Morse, alongside Managing Partners Kola Olofinboba, Alan Mattamana and Aakar Vachhani, and Partner Kwesi Quaye.

This partnership promises mutual benefits. “New York Life’s investment will create exciting opportunities for Fairview’s growth,” stated Larry Morse, Fairview’s Co-Founder. “We’ll be able to accelerate our expansion and collaborate with the industry’s top venture capital firms and leading diverse and emerging fund managers,” he elaborated.

Fairview Co-Founder JoAnn Price underscored the firm’s unwavering commitment to transforming the venture capital and private equity landscape. “We remain dedicated to fostering positive change within the industry while maximizing value for our investors,” Price remarked.

This move bolsters New York Life’s $1 billion impact investment initiative, launched in 2021 to tackle the racial wealth gap. The company has already committed $200 million to Fairview, which has subsequently invested in numerous diverse and emerging fund managers, impacting hundreds of businesses in total.

by Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

Revitalizing Urban Landscapes: The Asland Capital Partners Approach

Established in 2019 by James H. Simmons III, Asland Capital Partners is a New York City-based real estate investment firm focused on urban renewal and workforce housing.

Over the past ten years, Asland has committed more than $700 million in equity to projects that involve adaptive reuse, workforce housing, and affordable multifamily residences.

In this interview, James offers his insights on current market trends, investment strategies, and valuable advice for aspiring real estate professionals.

Asland Capital Partners
Asland Capital Partners founder and CEO, Jim Simmons

What inspired the formation of Asland Capital Partners?

Asland was formed after I spent 17 years at Apollo Global and Ares Management, managing a series of institutional real estate private equity funds and separate accounts.

As both firms grew and matured, they were no longer the small firms that resembled start-up alternative investment companies. Asland was formed to replicate the success of those accomplished investment managers. 

It was also created to establish a firm that reflects an entrepreneurial and nimble vision and values, with the aim of benefiting the team that embarked with me on this journey to launch the enterprise five years ago.

It’s our goal to make Asland the preeminent fiduciary of our client’s capital and to provide our residents with a world-class living experience.       

What key market insights and trends are you observing, particularly in the affordable housing sector, and how do you anticipate these trends shaping future investment strategies?

There has been a longstanding supply and demand imbalance within the affordable housing sector.  Nearly every large city and small town alike is struggling to provide adequate housing opportunities for its teachers, police, nurses, and service workers. 

To help solve the problem, municipalities have emphasized implementing programs and policies to retain and create affordable housing alternatives including middle-income/workforce housing through very low-income housing for the most vulnerable. 

Despite the concerted effort of elected officials and housing agencies, the cost of construction materials, labor, and the lack of availability of developable land limit the production of additional housing units.

Furthermore, the long lead time and predevelopment expense of building any real estate development in high-cost domiciles further complicates the situation.

What advice would you give to aspiring professionals looking to make a positive impact in the real estate industry?

Be the best that you can be at whatever you endeavor to do. Opportunity finds those who match talent with dedication, desire, and determination. Real estate is one asset class that touches all of our lives daily including where we live, work, and play. 

It is also a career that can be rewarding in many ways including providing much needed shelter and affordable housing, positively changing neighborhoods for the better, and giving professionals a path to wealth creation for themselves and the communities that they invest in.

by Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

Diverse Private Equity Firms Outshine Benchmarks, Raising Questions About Underinvestment

A recent report by the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC) has reignited the conversation surrounding diverse-owned private equity firms and their consistent outperformance of industry benchmarks.

Titled “Examining the Returns 2023: Further Evidence of Diverse-Owned Private Equity Firm Outperformance,” the report paints a compelling picture of the expertise and potential within this often-overlooked segment of the investment world.

The report arrives against a backdrop of evolving demographics in the United States. While recent news cycles may paint a picture of heightened public discourse around diversity, the actual landscape is far more nuanced. Based on the 2020 Census, the U.S. population is diversifying rapidly, particularly among younger generations.

The Brookings Institute, analyzing early Census data, found that while 40% of the total population is now considered diverse (up from 30% two decades ago), this figure rises to near parity among those under 16. Similarly, the Census Bureau’s Diversity Index, indicating the probability of two random individuals belonging to different racial or ethnic groups, jumped to 61.1% in 2020, a significant increase from 2010.

This demographic shift underscores the increasing relevance of diverse perspectives in various sectors, including private equity. The NAIC report highlights the superior performance of diverse-owned PE firms:

Superior Returns

From 1998 to September 2022, diverse PE funds (represented by the NAIC Private Equity Index) generated a net Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 17.23%, a net Total Value to Paid-In (TVPI) of 1.68x, and a Distribution to Paid-In Capital (DPI) of 0.66x. These figures significantly surpass the industry benchmarks established by The BURGISS Group.

Outperforming the Median

The NAIC Private Equity Index consistently outperformed the median BURGISS fund across various metrics. For instance, when comparing IRR by vintage year, diverse PE funds outperformed the BURGISS Median Quartile in 66% of the years studied.

Top Quartile Performance

Notably, the NAIC Private Equity Index performed in the top two quartiles (first or second) 72.2% of the time, with 31% of the funds even achieving top quartile net IRRs during the entire period.

These findings challenge the long-held notion that investing in diverse-owned firms comes at the cost of sacrificing returns. In fact, the data suggests the opposite. By allocating capital to diverse PE firms, institutional investors have the potential to not only enhance their returns but also fulfill their fiduciary duty by considering a wider range of investment opportunities.

Despite the clear evidence, the report also highlights a concerning reality: diverse managers manage less than 2% of the industry’s total assets. This underinvestment persists despite the consistent track record of superior performance documented in the NAIC report and previous studies.

As the financial services industry evolves, the call for inclusivity extends beyond moral considerations. The evidence presented in the NAIC report suggests that embracing diversity is not just the right thing to do, but also a strategic and financially sound decision.

By recognizing the talent and potential within diverse-owned firms, investors can unlock significant value for themselves and contribute to a more equitable and prosperous investment landscape.

by Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

Business Buying: A Potential Path to Early Retirement

As the Baby Boomer generation prepares for retirement, a vast, untapped potential emerges: established, profitable businesses seeking new ownership. This presents a unique opportunity for discerning investors, not just corporate giants, to acquire thriving businesses and chart a course toward financial independence.

No longer the sole domain of private equity firms, business buying is becoming accessible to individual investors with foresight and ambition. Imagine owning a beloved local bakery, a bustling community bookstore, or a well-established gym – businesses with proven track records, loyal customers, and the potential to fuel your dreams.

In this article, we’ll provide a high level overview of the key steps in the business acquisition process.

Step 1: Identify the Perfect Match

The first crucial step in purchasing a business is finding the right fit for you. Consider factors such as location, industry, and size. Assess whether you prefer a hands-on approach or a business with an existing manager. Initiate your search online, leveraging various platforms to compile a list and carefully evaluating each potential deal. If you possess expertise in a specific industry or skill, starting there can minimize knowledge gaps and expedite your success.

Step 2: Extend an Offer

Once you’ve identified the ideal business, it’s time to make an offer. Formalize offers using a Letter of Intent (LOI), outlining the price structure and terms. Accurately determining the actual value is crucial, as sellers may overvalue their businesses. Consider hiring an advisor for precision, with many CPA firms offering a service known as “quality of earnings.”

Step 3: Conduct Due Diligence

The third step, due diligence, involves a thorough examination of the business’s financials, operations, and other critical aspects. While this step may seem formidable, avoid going through it alone. Engage a diligence firm or a CPA to streamline the process and ensure a clear understanding of the business’s true profit.

Step 4: Secure Funds and Finalize the Deal

Securing the necessary funds is pivotal. Explore options such as small business administration (SBA) loans, allowing you to invest as little as $50,000 in a million-dollar business. Negotiating the purchase agreement is critical, and collaboration with the seller and their attorneys will facilitate the finalization of the ownership transfer.

Step 5: Grow the business

Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a revenue-generating enterprise! The final step is to concentrate on growing the business. Boost revenue through marketing and sales efforts, and trim costs by optimizing vendor fees and eliminating unnecessary expenses. Enhance the business’s effectiveness and efficiency to pave the way for financial success and early retirement.

For those who prefer a more hands-off approach, consider negotiating with the current owner to stay involved or hire a capable manager. This ensures a smooth transition and allows you to leverage their expertise, providing you the flexibility to steer the business toward financial success and early retirement without being directly involved in day-to-day operations.


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3 mins read

Adebayo Ogunlesi’s Infrastructure Fund Acquired by BlackRock for $12.5 Billion

In a groundbreaking move poised to redefine the global infrastructure landscape, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has entered into a monumental deal to acquire Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for a staggering $12.5 billion.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is a leading infrastructure investor that specializes in investing in, owning, and operating some of the largest and most complex assets across the energy, transport, digital infrastructure, and water and waste management sectors.

The agreement, expected to be finalized in Q3 2024, involves a payment of $3 billion in cash and approximately 12 million shares, valued at around $9.5 billion based on January 11 closing prices.

At the forefront of this strategic merger is Adebayo Ogunlesi, the Chairman and CEO of Global Infrastructure Partners. Ogunlesi, along with four founding partners, leads the GIP management team, playing a pivotal role in guiding the combined infrastructure platform. As the Chairman and CEO of GIP, Ogunlesi is strategically positioned to navigate the integration of GIP and BlackRock operations, expanding his influence beyond the boardroom to orchestrate a consolidation that maximizes synergies while minimizing disruption.

The significance of this deal is underscored by its timing, making it BlackRock’s largest transaction since the acquisition of Barclays Global Investors in 2009. This strategic move reflects BlackRock’s ambition to solidify its position in the rapidly expanding market for private and alternative assets.

The GIP management team, under Ogunlesi’s leadership, is not only instrumental in the merger but also represents a continuation of GIP’s legacy in infrastructure funds management. GIP currently oversees a portfolio valued at about $100 billion, with companies within its equity portfolio collectively generating an impressive annual revenue of $80 billion. Notable assets in GIP’s portfolio include Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Port of Brisbane, Port of Melbourne, Sydney Airport, and the Ruby Pipeline, a 680-mile gas pipeline in the US.

This strategic partnership between BlackRock and GIP is more than a mere acquisition; it’s a calculated alliance leveraging the strengths of both entities. BlackRock gains immediate access to GIP’s proven expertise and established portfolio, while Adebayo Ogunlesi secures his legacy by assuming a crucial role in the newly formed entity.

The $12.5 billion BlackRock-GIP merger is set against the backdrop of a growing trend in the alternatives market. Infrastructure has emerged as a lucrative investment opportunity as investors seek to profit from addressing a projected $15 trillion spending gap in global infrastructure by the end of the decade, as projected by McKinsey consultants.

This strategic partnership holds the promise of driving innovation, democratizing access to investments, and prioritizing sustainability in the global infrastructure landscape. With Adebayo Ogunlesi’s visionary leadership and the backing of the GIP management team, the BlackRock-GIP alliance sets the stage for a future built on vision, expertise, and a commitment to shaping a more connected and sustainable world.

by Tony O. Lawson

➡️Interested in investing in Black founders? Please complete this brief form.

2 mins read

FVLCRUM Closes $302 Million Fund to Address Racial Wealth Gap

FVLCRUM Partners, a prominent lower middle market buyout firm dedicated to tackling the U.S. racial wealth gap, proudly announces the successful final closing of FVLCRUM Fund LP, alongside its affiliated sister fund entities.

The Fund has not only surpassed its initial target but has also garnered significant attention, raising over $302 million in aggregate commitments, well beyond the anticipated $250 million. The accomplishment reflects the firm’s unwavering commitment to bridging the wealth gap and fostering positive societal change.

Comprising a diverse range of investors, including institutions like banks, consultants, endowments, insurance firms, fund of funds, public pension plans, and high-net-worth individuals, the Fund’s broad investor base underscores the widespread recognition of the critical need to address the racial wealth gap in the United States.

Chijioke Asomugha, Partner at FVLCRUM, remarks, “The market’s response to FVLCRUM underscores the potential of aligning impact and alpha in driving remarkable outcomes. We take great satisfaction in the success of our fundraising campaign and remain committed to maintaining the same level of dedication as we move forward with our investment and impact-oriented strategy.” Ben Carson Jr., Partner at FVLCRUM, echoes this sentiment, stating, “Our achievement in securing funds reinforces our resolve to concentrate our efforts on executing our investment and impact strategy.”

Yves M. Mombeleur, Chief Operations Officer for Clearinghouse CDFI and Managing Director of Impact for FVLCRUM, adds, “The innovative structure and meaningful impact of FVLCRUM are genuinely exciting. By aligning impact and investments, we aspire to reshape the landscape of private equity.”

The Fund’s primary focus will be on acquiring control equity in diverse, scalable companies that demonstrate substantial growth potential and sustainable competitive advantages. The sectors targeted by the fund include government contracting, healthcare, and technology-enabled business services, all of which are areas in which the FVLCRUM team boasts extensive investment expertise.

by Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Pioneering Inclusive Institutional Investing: A Conversation with JoAnn Price of Fairview Capital Partners

JoAnn Price is the co-founder and managing partner of Fairview Capital Partners, one of the largest minority-owned investment companies in the United States. Since its establishment, the company has amassed a remarkable aggregate fund capitalization exceeding $10 billion.

Fairview Capital Partners invests on behalf of institutional investors, including the world’s leading foundations, endowments, pension plans, and family offices.

Drawing from her extensive 30-year background in finance and investment, JoAnn Price has played an essential role in reshaping the landscape of diverse and emerging manager investing. Her visionary leadership has contributed significantly to Fairview Capital Partners’ ascent and its transformative impact on the industry.

In this conversation, we delve into JoAnn’s journey, from her early experiences that shaped her perspective to the pivotal moments that led to the inception of Fairview Capital Partners.

Her insights into the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the investment sector offer a unique vantage point on how to foster meaningful change in an ever-evolving financial landscape.

by Tony O. Lawson

Interested in investing in Black founders? If so, please complete this brief form.

6 mins read

HarbourView Equity Partners: The Entertainment Asset Investing Firm to Watch

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of private equity firms and other investors acquiring music rights. This is driven by a number of factors, including the increasing value of music assets, and the growing demand for music streaming services.

According to reports, the global music streaming market size is expected to reach $103.07 billion by 2030. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 14.7% from 2022 to 2030.

This growing interest can be seen as a positive trend for the music industry. It signifies a heightened demand for music and acknowledges the importance of compensating artists and songwriters for their creative endeavors. Additionally, this trend creates new opportunities for investors to participate in and contribute to the music industry.

HarbourView Equity Partners is a global investment firm focused on investment opportunities in the entertainment and media space. The firm was founded in 2021 by Sherrese Clarke Soares, a veteran investment banker with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment and media industry.

HarbourView Equity Partners
Sherrese Clarke Soares

HarbourView Equity Partners’ investment strategy is to acquire music rights from artists and labels, and then leverage those rights in a variety of ways. This includes licensing the music for use in films, television shows, and commercials; creating new derivative works from the music; and distributing the music through digital platforms.

Since launching in 2021, the firm has acquired a diverse portfolio featuring thousands of titles spanning numerous genres, eras, and artists, and comprising over 20,000 songs across both master recordings and publishing income streams.

This month alone, HarbourView Equity Partners has made at least two high-profile acquisitions of music assets. Yesterday, the firm announced the acquisition of a royalty income stream of select recorded music assets from  Grammy-winning rapper, Nelly. The deal included some of Nelly’s most popular tracks, such as “Hot in Herre” and “Dilemma.”


In a press release, Clarke Soares said, “This catalog has made an incredible impact on generations of fans. Works such as, ‘Hot in Herre’ and ‘Shake Ya Tailfeather’ defined an era of music of a unique blend of hip-hop, R&B, and country music that is undeniable. We are thrilled to add these influential pieces to our repertoire and work with the team to continue supporting the artistry within our ecosystem.”

That same day, the firm also announced that it had reached an agreement with Wiz Khalifa, for a portion of his catalog. The deal includes “See You Again,” “Black and Yellow,” and “The Thrill,” and spans “the rapper’s prolific career across dozens of albums, mixtapes, and collaborations with some of the biggest names in entertainment.” The financials of this exchange have yet to be revealed.

Wiz Khalifa

Clarke Soares spoke on the acquisition. “Wiz Khalifa has already made a profound impact on culture as a musician, executive, media visionary, and creative force,” she said. “We celebrate his talent and creativity and are thrilled to welcome him and his team to the HarbourView family today.”

Wiz Khalifa himself added, “Sherrese and HarbourView truly understand the value of music and artistry. We are excited to partner with them as they continue to build a dynamic media company that is in line with the values and goals we all have here.”

In addition to music assets, HarbourView Equity Partners also invests in other types of entertainment assets. In March, the firm made its first major investment in the film and TV space, announcing its investment in MACRO, the multi-platform media company, founded by Charles D. King.

This deal brings together two respected Black-owned businesses in the entertainment world. Both Soares and King share a common vision of promoting diversity and authenticity in content creation.

Harbourview’s investment is part of a new $90+ million investment in MACRO. The investment capital will be used to scale and expand operations across MACRO’s existing business verticals, and diversify its revenue streams.

The entertainment industry is constantly changing, but one thing that remains constant is the demand for music. As new technologies emerge and new ways of consuming music are developed, the value of music rights is only likely to increase.

by Tony O. Lawson

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