We acquired a shoe division from Kenneth Cole with its manager and formed Aerosoles. The company sells moderately priced, stylish, comfortable women’s shoes. Revenues have grown over forty (40) times under our investment by expanding US and international sales channels; it now owns and operates over 100 US retail stores.
This ‘fine dining on a bun’ restaurant company required growth capital to build new locations. The company was co-founded by two Atlanta restaurant and business operators and a nationally known chef, Richard Blais, who is a "Top Chef All Stars Winner" and the subject of numerous articles in the WSJ, NYT, etc. The restaurants offer a wide array of creative burgers and nitrogen infused milkshakes in a hip, vibrant, casual yet sophisticated setting. The company is currently building new locations and developing franchise alliances.
In 2012 we invested in this CRM software company founded in 2006, that has a unique technology platform enabling brands to have ubiquitous engagement with customers...always on, real time, bi-directional and cross channel. We lead a group of investors that acquired convertible preferred stock. The proceeds will be used to expand sales and marketing.
We have made three investments in Bloom Energy, a manufacturer of on-site power generation systems utilizing solid oxide fuel cell energy technology. Their systems leverage break through advances in material science, with roots in NASA’s Mars program, resulting in clean reliable affordable energy … practically anywhere … from a wide range of renewable energy sources or traditional fuels.
Our members are strategic advisors and active investors to Canaan Resources, an Oklahoma City-based exploration and production/private equity company focused on acquiring and developing working interests in US domestic on-shore natural gas reserves.
We invested growth capital into a firm called Planning Technologies, which was used to build up its team of over 200 professional engineers. About a year later, we assisted the company in merging with a competitor that provided off shore capabilities. The company was later acquired by Red Hat, a developer in open source solutions.
With management we acquired the analog microwave tower system from Times Mirror which management later digitized. Over the next decade management built one of the few redundant, coast-to-coast fiber optic networks and shortly thereafter the Company went public under the name IXC Communications. Three years later, IXC was acquired by Cincinnati Bell. Cincinnati Bell subsequently sold IXC to Level 3.
We invested growth capital into surfEU, a pan European internet provider based in Switzerland. With our capital, management was able to expand its operations with several large clients thereby dramatically increasing traffic and revenues. Two years after our investment, the company was sold to Tiscali, a large Italian internet and telecommunications service provider.
General Signal sold its installed base of time keeping equipment to Grumman Hill and a manager we backed at a time when its electro-mechanical product design was being challenged by competitors. After introducing highly competitive devices and regaining market share, the company was sold to a foreign competitor seeking a larger US presence.
We acquired a controlling interest from the founder in this fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, which owned and operated close to 50 stores. After recruiting a new CEO the company had grown to 157 units over four years. Shortly thereafter Wendy’s International pre-empted the Company’s IPO plans with a cash offer for the Company.
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