Morgenthaler Adds Operating Partner

Morgenthaler Partners has appointed Alfred Festa as a new operating partner on the buyouts side of the firm, signaling Morgenthaler’s increased focus on corporate divestitures. Festa comes to the firm from ICG Commerce, a privately held procurement services provider, where he served as president and chief executive officer. Prior to his work at ICG, Festa also served as president of Honeywell’s e-business division.

“Corporate divestitures accounted for 40% of M&A activity in 1999, and in 2001 and 2002, grew in share to over 50%,” says Morgenthaler General Partner Peter Taft. “We think that corporate divestitures are a very important part of the M&A middle market, and as corporate America continues to go through a restructuring, we sought to add a new resource.”

Morgenthaler originally approached Festa about the position and officially hired him in December 2002. The firm cited his past experience in doing deals and specifically noted that he has completed over 15 separate transactions over his career.

Festa believes his understanding of the culture will pay immediate dividends for Morgenthaler. “I’ve seen it from both sides, as the company divesting and as the acquirer, and I can understand and connect with the management teams of both.”

Taft adds that he sees Festa as “a complete player,” who will work on deal sourcing, due diligence, transaction analyses and portfolio management across a number of industries.

Festa will work in Morgenthaler’s Cleveland office and will report to General Partners Taft and John Lutsi.

Morgenthaler Partners operates a Cleveland-based management buyout group and a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital arm. The firm’s buyout group focuses on management buyouts and leveraged recapitalizations of middle-market companies.

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