Firm raising $100M fund

August 5, 2019 - Grand Rapids Business Journal

The capital management arm of a local investment banking firm is on its way to raising a $100 million fund.

Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners closed $21 million in commitments toward its target raise of $100 million for its Charter Growth Capital Fund, according to the firm today.

Anchor investors in the fund include Mercantile Bank of Michigan and a strategic institutional investor, as well as several family offices and individual investors, according to Charter.

“Our ability to secure this initial close demonstrates confidence that investors support our vision and investment thesis,” said Hector Bultynck, managing director, Charter Capital Partners.

The Charter Growth Capital Fund is designed to invest up to $5 million of mezzanine debt and/or equity capital in lower middle-market companies in the Great Lakes region to support growth, succession or recapitalizations.

The fund’s flexible capital solution is meant to fill an underserved market, providing capital in the “difficult-to-access” $1 million-$5 million range, Charter said. more

Charter Capital targets $100 million for new mezz fund

August 4, 2019 - MiBiz

GRAND RAPIDS — A new mezzanine fund based in Grand Rapids seeks to raise $100 million to invest in growing companies, MiBiz has learned.

Charter Growth Capital Fund LP wants to back lower middle-market companies in the Great Lakes region that need $1 million to $5 million in capital to grow, recapitalize the business, or make an acquisition. The fund will target profitable companies with annual revenues of $10 million to $50 million.

Executives at Charter Capital Partners, working through Growth Capital Management LLC, sought to create the new mezzanine fund after seeing a need within their own work at the investment banking and M&A firm, said Dale Grogan, a manager of the new fund.

“The market has spoken,” Grogan told MiBiz. “There is a demand in the market.”

Most established mezzanine funds have a minimum deal size of $5 million, “if not $10 million,” Bultynck said. Finding mezzanine capital of even $4 million or $5 million “is very, very difficult to do,” he said.

“I just thought this was a perfect opportunity to raise a fund to focus on doing deals close to home in a bite size where there is a lot more demand than there is supply,” Bultynck said. “There is a lot of demand for it.” more

Concept for regional fund to back Great Lakes VC investors faces key hurdles

June 23, 2019 - MiBiz

The idea sounds simple: Create a $150 million to $200 million fund supported by foundations and university endowments to back venture capital investors in the Great Lakes states.

Actually pulling off such an ambitious idea likely would prove difficult, given the complexities involved and the kind of collaboration required in starting the fund, the need for which was outlined in a recent Brookings Institution paper.

Dale Grogan, a managing director at Michigan Accelerator Fund I, took a more optimistic track.

“I love the idea,” Grogan said. “It’s long overdue.”

“But being able to find some folks that are willing to lead that charge I think is the nice next step. First you have the theory, then you have the application,” Grogan said. “If we can move this into something tangible, that’d be great.”

The fundamental question of who could actually move the concept forward poses the first barrier.

While a Great Lakes regional fund of funds “makes lots and lots of sense,” Grogan said, “there are a limited number of folks that could do that effectively.”

Grogan also sees a need for public participation in a Great Lakes fund. Venture capital professionals in Michigan often credit the state’s 21st Century Jobs Fund with helping to grow the industry by investing in funds, yet lament that Lansing has been unwilling to continue that support with another fund of funds. more

Dale Grogan shares three takeaways for startups seeking VC with the MEDC

May 20, 2019 - MEDC

Dale Grogan, managing director of Michigan Accelerator Fund I (MAF-I), knows what startups and early-stage companies are going through. As the founder and owner of numerous businesses, he’s been there himself, raising more than $30 million in funds.

Now, he’s using his background and expertise to help business owners and investors bring their own hard work to commercialization.

Supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative, MAF-I is a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage, Michigan-based companies focusing on life sciences technologies. Using its knowledge and network, MAF-I staff also help these companies find the right connections to grow even further.

Dale shares three takeaways on what investors want to hear in entrepreneurs’ presentations and how startups can benefit from better knowing their audience. more

NSC Technologies buys two Indiana-based staffing firms

May 8, 2019 - Staffing Industry Analysts

NSC Technologies, a shipyard staffing company headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, acquired Indiana-based staffing providers Staffing Resources Inc. and ULG LLC. NSC, which is a portfolio company of White Wolf Capital, also announced a recapitalization.

Staffing Resources, or SRI, provides light industrial staffing from a network of six branches in Indiana. The company was founded in 1994. Chris Gremelspacher has served as president of SRI since 2015.

Charter Capital Partners served as financial advisor to Staffing Resources, Inc. “SRI and NSC Technologies will be a powerful combination in the staffing marketplace,” remarked Mike Palm, Director, Charter Capital Partners. “We were excited to advise SRI to a great outcome and successful closing.”  more

Trice Medical Closes $18.3 Million Series C Extension

January 14, 2019 - Business Wire

Trice Medical announced today that it closed an $18.3 million Series C Extension financing round. The company will use the proceeds to expand their worldwide commercialization efforts for mi-eye 2™ and mi-ultra™ and to accelerate the development of their minimally invasive product portfolio.

This round was led by Charter Capital Partners of Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System(MERS) of Michigan. Other investors in Trice include Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE), HealthQuest Capital, BioStar Ventures and Smith & Nephew.

John Kerschen, Managing Partner of Charter Capital Partners, stated, “We have been tracking Trice’s progress for almost five years and are pleased to make this investment at this point in the Company’s growth. Trice has a unique value proposition in the market with its mi-eye 2™ platform and we see physicians from all over the country embracing the mi-eye™ as the preferred way to visualize potential orthopedic injuries in an office setting.” more

M&A/PE Roundtable: Advisers see strong M&A market ahead

January 6, 2019 - MiBiz

M&A professionals expect the dealmaking market to remain healthy in 2019. That’s one of the conclusions from a panel of executives MiBiz assembled to talk about West Michigan’s mergers and acquisitions sector. Roundtable participants expect to see greater due diligence on deals this year as economic growth eases. They’re also beginning to see more deals involving distressed companies and signs of pressure on high valuations.

Participating in the executive roundtable were:

  • Mike Brown, partner and managing director at Charter Capital Partners, a Grand Rapids-based investment banking firm

  • Jeff Helminski, managing partner at Auxo Investment Partners, a Grand Rapids-based private equity firm

  • John Pollock, managing partner at Ada-based private equity firm LV2 Equity Partners LLC

  • Peter Roth, partner at Grand Rapids-based law firm Varnum LLP, which sponsored the roundtable

  • Randy Rua, managing partner at NuVescor Group LLC in Grand Rapids and president of Rua Associates LLC in Zeeland

  • Eric Seifert, founder of Muskegon-based advisory firm Left Coast Capital Resources LLC

  • Jimmy TenBrink, director of business development at Grand Rapids-based Waseyabek Development Co. LLC, the non-gaming arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

  • Don VanDine, regional vice president at Wells Fargo Bank in Grand Rapids

Here are some highlights from the conversation.

Ablative Solutions secures $77 million in largest known VC deal in Michigan

January 3, 2019 - MiBiz

Ablative Solutions Inc. secured $77 million in financing that ranks as the largest known venture capital deal ever in Michigan.

Netherlands-based Gilde Healthcare, which has an office on Boston, led the Series D financing round in Kalamazoo-based Ablative Solutions, which developed a catheter system to treat uncontrollable hypertension by deactivating nerves in renal arteries.

Petoskey-based BioStar Ventures, Michigan Accelerator Fund 1 in Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo-based Novus Biotechnology Fund 1 co-led the VC round, which includes an unnamed strategic investor and several individual investors. The funding will take the company through late-stage clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. more