Fresh Profile: GMH Ventures partners with private equity to get deals done

GMH Ventures, the family office and investment arm of Gary Holloway Sr., partners with private equity managers and independent sponsors on middle-market acquisitions in manufacturing, distribution and services.

Pennsylvania-based Holloway was an early mover in student and military housing and purchased his first student housing community in 1986. From there, he expanded it to more than 29,000 beds in 29 states. American Campus Communities, an Austin, Texas-based group, acquired the business for $1.4 billion in 2008.

“Back then, student housing … people were afraid of it and didn’t buy into it,” Gary Holloway Jr. told Multifamily Executive.

Holloway is credited with establishing new standards, now considered the norm, for student housing strategies. These include bed-by-bed leasing and comprehensive utilities.

Holloway sold his military housing business to a U.S. subsidiary of London-based Balfour Beatty for $350 million in 2008.

Holloway set up his family office in 2012 to diversify away from real estate. He has since returned to student housing after his non-compete clause with American Campus Communities expired. Holloway entered into a strategic partnership with London-based AGC Equity Partners to acquire a property in Sacramento, California in April.

GMH Ventures’s investment spectrum is wide and its portfolio includes drug and alcohol treatment, technology and residential mortgage-lending companies.

The family office does not list its investment criteria on its website, but “our rules are made to be broken for the right entrepreneurs and opportunities,” Todd Murphy, vice president, said on his LinkedIn profile.

GMH Ventures works with other investors for acquisitions and prides itself on being swift and flexible for the right opportunities, Murphy’s LinkedIn said.

The firm paired with Edison Partners, a growth equity firm, to acquire iQ Media, a TV intelligence company whose platform allows media companies to measure TV, sponsorship and PR impact.

GMH Ventures also works with independent sponsors and backed Lakewood Capital to acquire Dynamic Healthcare Services in 2011.

The family office is also backing Holloway’s new venture of high-end drug and rehabilitation centers branded Futures.

Other portfolio companies include US Auto and Home and GMH Mortgage Services.

Apart from Holloway Sr, Jr and Murphy, Mike Creighton and Bruce Pilarczyk are part of GMH Ventures.

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