Gray Eagle Capital Partners has been launched in New York to make control equity investments in lower middle-market businesses.
Gray Eagle was co-founded by its managing partners Allam Taj and Christoph Ganz, who together have more than 25 years of investing, legal, consulting, and operations experience.
Gray Eagle will target equity investments of up to $30 million per transaction in profitable, family-owned businesses headquartered in North America that have at least $1 million of EBITDA. Sectors of interest include business services, value-added distribution, and healthcare services. Capital for the firm’s investment activities is funded by high net worth individuals, family offices, and institutions.
“We are pleased by the reception we have received from our investors and are humbled by their support,” said Mr. Taj. “The lower middle market presents an exciting opportunity given the number of quality businesses in need of additional support to supercharge growth and of business owners nearing the age of retirement.”
Before forming Gray Eagle, Mr. Taj was a senior mergers and acquisitions legal advisor at Citigroup from 2011 to 2019 where he counseled senior management on acquisitions, divestitures and partnerships. Earlier in his career, he spent two years as a corporate lawyer at Skadden Arps and two years as an investment analyst at Legg Mason. Mr. Taj has his undergraduate degree in finance from Temple University and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Ganz, prior to forming Gray Eagle, was at Boston Consulting Group from 2012 to 2018 where he was a project leader focused on private equity, corporate development and transformations. In this role, he advised on acquisitions of private companies across a wide range of industries including manufacturing, telecommunication, insurance and banking. Mr. Ganz began his career in sales at Lindt & Spruengli, a Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company. He has an undergraduate degree in business administration and entrepreneurship from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and an MBA from INSEAD Business School in Singapore and France.
“We are excited at the prospect of partnering with family-owned businesses to help unlock their full potential while preserving the traits that made these firms successful in the first place,” said Mr. Ganz.
To create value in its portfolio companies, Gray Eagle will invest in operational improvements and add-on acquisitions and provide its portfolio companies with access to its operating partners and advisors. The firm’s senior advisors include Uwe Janssen, the chairman of Rauch International, an advisory and management company based in Las Vegas; Joseph Tedeschi, an experienced general counsel and advisor on transactions, partnerships, and cross-border mergers and acquisitions; and Matthew Rall, an entrepreneur with experience in operating businesses and building them through add-on acquisitions.
In addition, Gray Eagle is aligned with a group of subject-matter experts and experienced operators that advise the firm on sales, partnerships, talent management, technology and operations. These operating partners facilitate introductions, support due diligence of companies, and take on operating roles following an acquisition.
“We look forward to helping owners achieve their goals as we build leading lower middle-market businesses and create long-term value for all stakeholders involved,” added Mr. Taj.
Gray Eagle Capital Partners is headquartered in New York City.
© 2020 Private Equity Professional | January 23, 2020