The five founding partners, most with private equity backgrounds, are Carter Bales, 71, the full-time chairman, who co-founded media buyout shop
Lou Schick, 42, is a founding principal of firm. He previously made private equity investments in clean energy companies as a managing director at
The firm plans to invest about 60% of its capital taking minority and occasional majority stakes in fast-growing, well-managed North American companies generating $8 million to $15 million in EBITDA. Look for the firm to commit $20 million to $60 million of equity in each of 10 to 12 platforms, which could take the form of regional roll-ups in such markets as energy services. The firm plans to be hands-on in helping its companies grow.
At the time of exit, three or more years down the line, NewWorld Capital expects its charges to be generating $30 million to $40 million in EBITDA. The idea is to create companies big enough to catch the eye of a public company, say, or a buyout-backed company that needs to bulk up to become an IPO candidate.
The competitive dynamics in clean energy, environmental services and related markets lend themselves nicely to growth capital, according to Carter. The markets, large and growing rapidly, have yet to be overrun with competitors. That means companies can “grow without bumping heads,” Carter said, and grab market share without necessarily having to lower prices. Tailwinds should pick up in coming years as federal regulators set goals for generating power and energy from clean sources.
Meantime, competition from other private equity firms remains depressed. Venture firms just don’t have deep enough pockets to sustain companies in money-hungry markets like clean energy, said Carter. Mega-firms, by contrast, are too big to make going after these deals worthwhile for them. Carter estimates that firms such as
Along with growth-capital, NewWorld Capital expects to invest about 30% of its capital in six to 10 infrastructure projects, including ones that produce wind and solar power. The firm sees such deals, though leverageable, as providing a conservative anchor to its portfolio, given that they often involve multi-year contracts. The firm plans to devote another 10% of its capital to special situations.
NewWorld Capital had been in the works for about 14 months before getting off the ground on Oct. 1. The firm has enough startup capital to finance its early deals, which would then set the stage for the launch of a limited partnership with a target of $500 million perhaps a year down the road, said Carter.
Backers of NewWorld Capital include European private equity shop
David Toll previously worked for several years at Wicks Business Information, a company owned by The Wicks Group of Companies.