Ashland Capital is a Chicago-based private investment firm devoted to investing in and growing companies in the lower-middle market. Ashland acquires controlling interests in companies with values ranging from $10 million to $50 million and strengthens these businesses with targeted, strategic guidance. We invest for the long term, partnering with in-place visionary management teams to create lasting business value.

Ashland is a partnership of family and individual investors which, as opposed to a traditional fund model, is advantageous for both us and the companies with whom we partner. Our investments are not bound by the predefined exit horizons with traditional fixed-fund models, thus allowing our investment partnerships to evolve unhindered by the external requirements of institutional capital. Further, Ashland regards each of its portfolio companies as a long-term ally and will stand behind our portfolio companies and their management teams as they endure short term challenges.

Our Investment Strategy

Our strategy is to partner alongside legacy management teams and owners to build a diverse portfolio of lower-middle market companies. We are dedicated to scaling businesses and refining key strengths through strategic management, operational guidance and prudent capital structures.

Ashland’s partnership includes former executives and expert investors across industries who collectively offer considerable insight into operating and growing healthy businesses. When it’s time for our portfolio companies to take the next step, whether via organic growth or through follow-on acquisition, Ashland is there to help management teams harness and navigate key opportunities.

Senior Leadership

John C. Lorentzen

John has nearly 30 years of investing and board level experience in private companies and is a co-founder of Ashland Capital and co-chairs Ashland’s investment committee. He has been an integral part of executing and monitoring each of Ashland’s portfolio companies since Ashland’s inception in 2004. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the following portfolio companies: Golden Aluminum, Mayco Industries, Texas Die Casting, and Three Rivers Energy.

John started his career as a lawyer for Winston & Strawn representing clients in connection with tax benefited financing transactions using lease, partnership and consolidated return structures. He left law to join The Deerpath Group, Inc., a boutique investment bank specializing in tax oriented financings. John progressed to Managing Director and was responsible for all tax oriented financings before departing Deerpath to return to the practice of law. While at Deerpath, John began investing in highly complex private transactions with a group of co-investors who are still in deals together from that era and who regularly source and cross invest in deals yet today.

John received a B.A. and B.S.B.A in Political Science, Economics and Management from Drake University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

 jlorentzen@ashlandcap.com

Jim Lynch

Jim Lynch is a co-founder of Ashland Capital and co-chairs Ashland’s investment committee. He has been an integral part of executing and monitoring each of Ashland’s portfolio companies since Ashland’s inception in 2004. In addition to being both a debt and equity investor, Jim has taken an active role in both developing and implementing key business strategies, built management teams and has served in an advisory capacity and on the boards of several of the private equity investments he has made. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the following portfolio companies: GMI Group, KBK Industries, Mayco Industries, Mid-Columbia Lumber, NAPCO Precast, SYNEO, Texas Die Casting.

After graduating law school, Jim began his career with the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service. He then joined Arthur Andersen & Co. where he ultimately was admitted as a partner. After leaving Arthur Anderson, he spent time as a partner at Altheimer and Gray and Jenner & Block. Currently, he is a partner in the law firm of Winston & Strawn, serving as Chair of his firm’s Finance Committee.

 jlynch@ashlandcap.com

Investment Team

Steven Sigfusson

Director

Steve assists in the overall management of the firm and is responsible for development of investment theses, origination of new investment opportunities, due diligence, deal structuring, negotiations, transaction execution and portfolio management. Prior to joining Ashland Capital Partners, Steve was with P&M Corporate Finance (PMCF), a middle market investment banking firm. Prior to joining PMCF, Steve worked in the Global Banking and Markets division of HSBC Securities (USA). He received an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a B.S. in Finance from William Jewell College.

 ssigfusson@ashlandcap.com

Michael Foster

Director

Michael assists in the overall management of the firm and is responsible for origination of new investment opportunities, due diligence, deal structuring, transaction execution and portfolio management. Prior to joining Ashland, Michael was an Associate with Reppert Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on leveraged recapitalizations in the Lower Middle Market. Prior to joining Reppert Capital, Michael worked in both Corporate Finance and Corporate Development functions at the Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG). Michael started his career at Alvarez and Marsal where he worked in their transaction advisory practice. He received a B.B.A. from Emory University and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

 mfoster@ashlandcap.com

Industries of Interest

Industrial Manufacturing & Services
Distribution & Logistics
Business Services

Investment Criteria

Investment Characteristics

    • Minimum annual revenue of $10 Million
    • Minimum annual cash flow of $3 Million
    • Headquartered in the United States
    • Recurring revenues and strong margins
    • Scalable business model
    • Attractive competitive dynamics

Preferred Situations

    • Management team seeking to acquire the business from its current owner
    • Business owner seeking retirement or reduced managerial role
    • Owner needing partners to help institutionalize and grow the business
    • Family business with no successor

Ashland Capital Partners
100 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 268-6135

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