Guardian Closes at Hard Cap

Guardian Capital Partners has held an oversubscribed, hard cap, and final close of its third fund, Guardian Capital Partners Fund III LP, with $282 million in capital commitments.

Guardian Capital makes control investments in lower middle-market private companies located primarily in the United States that have annual revenues between $20 million and $100 million and EBITDA between $3 million and $9 million. Sectors of interest include consumer products, niche manufacturing, and specialty business services.

Guardian’s new fund received strong support from its existing limited partners and added several new institutional investors.

“To reach our hard cap during a global pandemic is a testament to our high-quality team at Guardian,” said Peter Haabestad, co-founder and managing partner of Guardian. “We sincerely appreciate the incredible support of our existing limited partners and welcome our new limited partners, many of whom worked hard to complete their diligence processes after lockdowns started.”

Guardian has already acquired two new platforms for Fund III with the buys of Western Shelter Systems, acquired in November 2019 from Gorge Holdings; and Flat River Group (December 2019).

Western manufactures rigid and inflatable shelters that are used to cover climate control, power generation, and water handling systems. The company is a supplier of emergency response shelters used by federal, state, county, and municipal fire, and police agencies; as well as forest service, military, hospital, and industrial organizations.

Western’s personal protective equipment division operating under the CrewBoss brand, manufactures fire-resistant personal protective equipment – compliant with National Fire Protection Association standards – use by wildland and structural firefighters. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Eugene, Oregon.

Flat River Group is a distributor of niche and mainstream consumer products as well as a provider of warehousing and fulfillment services – including product sourcing, inventory management, and direct-to-consumer drop-shipping – to a range of e-commerce retailers throughout the United States and Canada. The company, headquartered northeast of Grand Rapids in Belding, Michigan, was founded in 2011.

“This is an exciting time to be investing as companies begin to rebound and deal with new challenges, including changing consumer behavior, ESG opportunities, sourcing issues, new channel strategies, and workforce management,” said Scott Evans, a co-founder and managing partner at Guardian. “We built Guardian with the goal of delivering superior returns to our investors, and we believe that demand for Fund III reflects limited partner confidence in our ability to execute on Guardian’s successful strategy.”

Guardian is headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne, Pennsylvania. The firm is led by its four partners – Scott Evans, Peter Haabestad, Adrian Ironside, and Ryan Northington.

Guardian used Shannon Advisors as its placement agent on this fundraise and Latham & Watkins provided legal services.

Private Equity Professional | July 21, 2020

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