Bridge Building a First Fund

Bridge Street Capital Partners of Grand Rapids, Mich., has launched a later-stage private equity fund expected to close next March with $50 million.

To date, the firm has secured commitments of $30 million from 32 institutional and individual investors for its inaugural fund.

The firm plans to finance acquisitions, management buyouts, expansion initiatives and recapitalizations for companies whose annual revenue ranges between $5 million and $100 million. The firm will concentrate its investments on the Great Lakes region.

Bridge Street plans to put as much as $7.5 million to work in each portfolio company, says John Meilner, one of Bridge Street’s two managing directors. Namely, it will concentrate on investments in the consumer products, manufacturing, business services, transportation and distribution industries and “conservatively capitalize those companies with equity capital, Meilner says.

One deal is already in the works, and if all goes as planned, the company could see a term sheet in 60 days.

Though based in Grand Rapids, the firm also plans to open a satellite office in Chicago.

Meilner will manage the firm alongside William Kaczynski. Both are investment banking and private equity veterans. Meilner spent the last seven years with the investment banking team at McDonald & Co. Investments. Before that, he was a partner with Deloitte & Touche.

Kaczynski is a former partner with Trivest Partners, a middle market buyout shop in Miami, and twice served as the CFO for startup companies. At Bridge, Meilner and Kaczynski will also have the help of an executive advisory committee that includes Michael Jandernoa, John Kennedy and George Jackoboice.