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Ex-Goldman exec’s deal-by-deal shop GHK Capital brings debut fund to market

GHK, led by Gilbert Klemann, launched the fund just as the pandemic kicked off, and has been attracting capital by fundraising remotely.

GHK Capital, launched by a former Goldman Sachs executive, is in market with its debut fund targeting $350 million, a source told Buyouts.

GHK is one of several first-time funds in the pandemic-stricken market, when limited partners are mostly focusing on re-upping with existing managers. Other first-timers fundraising include Sky Island Capital; Brownstone Equity Partners and Charger Investment Partners.

The fund held a first close recently on about $150 million. GHK, led by Gilbert Klemann, launched the fund just as the pandemic kicked off, and has been attracting capital by fundraising remotely, the source said.

What’s helped GHK attract capital is two pre-fund deals it completed on a deal-by-deal basis. Last year, GHK completed an investment in Brown & Settle, a developer of large-scale parcel sites, and in Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

Then, this year, the firm acquired Hasa Inc., which makes chemicals to treat pools. The deal required about $100 million, $40 million to $45 million of which GHK moved into the fund as the first investment in Fund I. The balance of the deal was taken up by co-investing limited partners who also committed to Fund I, the source said.

“It all worked hand-in-hand,” the source said about the deal and the fundraising.

GHK targets investments in lower-middle-market industrial companies with about $15 million to $40 million of EBITDA. Klemann formed GHK in 2018 after leaving Goldman Sachs, which he joined in 2001. Klemann worked in the merchant banking division in industrials and had a role in investing West Street Capital Partners VII, which closed on $7 billion in 2017.

Klemann works with Benjamin Stolbach, who joined the firm this year as a partner. Stolbach worked for three years at Goldman Sachs focusing on private equity transactions in industrials and services. Prior to Goldman, Stolbach worked at Insight Equity.

Klemann did not return a request for comment.

Update: This story was updated with more recent Ebitda target numbers.