Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National firms increasing private equity competition in North Carolina

With more capital available than there are good deals to fund, large private equity firms are increasingly competing for middle-market business in North Carolina, says Joel Lanik, partner at Charlotte-based Frontier Capital.

They're looking for companies with growth potential in a fragmented economic recovery. That's taking them into territory once dominated by regional firms like the ones headquartered in Charlotte.

"We're competing now with more national footprinted people," he told an Association for Corporate Growth meeting Wednesday morning at the Duke Mansion.

State Treasurer Janet Cowell headlined the event, speaking about the state's N.C. Innovation Fund that makes private equity investments in North Carolina companies. The fund, managed by Credit Suisse, has been around since 2010 with $232 million in capital.

Frontier Capital has received some of the money to manage. Lanik was joined at the Duke Mansion by representatives of two other firms that have received capital from the fund: Charles Grigg of Carousel Capital and Ed McMahan of Falfurrias Capital Partners.

Cowell spoke with the Observer this afternoon. Stay tuned for more from that conversation.