Ex-Marlin Equity execs target debut fund for tech investments

Two former executives from Marlin Equity, Steve Johnson and Jeff Carnes, have formed their own shop to target investments primarily in the software and technology sectors.

The firm, Crest Rock Partners, is targeting around $400 million for its debut fund, two sources told Buyouts. Campbell Lutyens is working as placement agent on the fundraising, according to a Form D fundraising document filed in August. The filing did not include information about the fund’s target or how much it has raised.

Crest Rock wants to write equity checks of $15 million to $60 million, with the ability to invest up to $100 million, according to the firm’s website. It targets investments in software and technology, IT and business services and industrial and manufacturing, the website said.

The firm looks for corporate divestitures, companies in transition, management buyouts and recapitalizations and growth investments, the website said.

Johnson worked at Marlin Equity from 2009 to 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to Marlin, he worked as chief financial officer at Avure Technologies from 2006 to 2007, and as COO and CFO at I/O Concepts, his profile said.

From 2002 to 2006, he worked at Gores Group. Johnson was also employed, from 1994 to 1997, as an associate national bank examiner for the Officer of the Comptroller of the Currency, his profile said.

Carnes worked at Marlin from 2009 to 2018, his profile said. He previously worked as an associate at Deloitte, his profile said.

Marlin Equity, meanwhile, closed its most recent capital pools in 2017, raising a combined $3.25 billion for Marlin Equity V, which closed on $2.5 billion, and Marlin Heritage II, which closed on $750 million.

No one from Crest Rock returned a request for comment.

Action Item: Check out Crest Rock’s Form ADV here: https://bit.ly/2nn4vtH