FO L2Capital, independent sponsor Lakewood partner to buy recruiter

  • Why this is important: Independent sponsors seek FO partners that bring more than capital to the relationship

L2Capital Partners, Bob Levine’s family office, in partnership with independent sponsor Lakewood Capital bought Orion ICS and its subsidiary Novotus on Monday.

Previously Orion Talent, the executive-search firm connects businesses with military candidates for recruitment needs. Clients include engineering companies like Siemens, construction, medical, paper and food industries, among others.

Orion acquired recruiting-process outsourcer Novotus in 2016 to expand its capabilities. The Orion team is led by Chief Executive Michael Starich.

“We got to know Orion and their quality of business over a decade,” said Roger Knight, founder and managing partner at Lakewood. “When the opportunity arose early 2018, we were confident of investing in them.”

L2Capital and Lakewood have a longstanding professional relationship, Knight said.

In 2008 the two invested together in Eliason Corp. At the time Levine was with Milestone Partners, a middle-market-focused PE firm he founded in 1995.

Apart from his long-term capital, Levine is well-versed in private equity and direct investments, making him a great co-sponsor, Knight said.

Lakewood prefers to work with family offices on lower-middle-market deals, Knight said.

Lakewood teamed with GMH Ventures, the investment arm of the Holloway family, to acquire Dynamic Healthcare Services in 2011.

For larger deals Lakewood invests with AAA+ institutional investors with greater resources to fully fund any future opportunities, Knight said.

Lakewood portfolio companies include Vacuum Global, HB&G, Atrium, ABS/Protein Genetics and Bomar.

Levine started L2Capital in 2011. The FO makes minority and majority investments in business services, consumer products and manufacturing companies with enterprise values up to $65 million.

This is the second investment for L2Capital in 2018. The family office invested in Worldwide Camping Holdings in March.

Other investments include Rugs Direct, Medical Physics Holdings and LSC Environmental Products.

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