Spinout Nonantum gets Charlesbank support as it closes debut fund

  • Nonantum works out of Charlesbank offices
  • Bigger firm provided access to LP base
  • Charlesbank partners committed to smaller fund

Jon Biotti, a former Charlesbank executive, found a creative way to branch out on his own with help from his former firm.

Biotti launched Nonantum Capital Partners in January. The firm announced the final close of its debut fund this week on $385 million (including commitments from the firm’s partners and affiliates).

What’s a bit unusual is that Nonantum received support from Charlesbank as it launched, including office space, access to people and advice on best practices and even access to the Boston firm’s LP base, according to a person with knowledge of the process.

Partner commitments

Charlesbank partners also committed to the debut fund, though solely as LPs with no other economic interest in the new firm, the person said.

This level of support is not a normal part of a spinout situation, which can sometimes be rife with animosity. But another recent spinout, Gallant Capital Partners, formed by two ex-Gores Group executives, received support from their former firm as well.

In Gallant’s case, Gores Founder Alec Gores was set to commit to Gallant’s debut fund as an LP and also took an economic stake in the GP management company, sources told Buyouts at the time.

Sources were not ready to characterize these friendly spinout situations as a trend, but several sources agreed they were unusual and they were seeing more of them.

“Charlesbank has a strong culture; I could see them wanting to support the family,” said an LP with knowledge of the firm.

Nonantum hasn’t yet made an investment out of the fund, the person with knowledge said. It is targeting investments in the lower-middle market in consumer, business services and industrial sectors.

The firm looks for deals with family or founder-owned businesses, corporate carveouts and other complex situations. It targets equity investments of $25 million to $75 million per company.

Nonantum will offer co-investments to LPs, the person with knowledge of the firm said.

At Nonantum, Biotti is joined by another Charlesbank executive, David Ganitsky, and ex-Bain Capital Credit Managing Director Nicholas Nomicos.

Operational experience

Another interesting aspect of Nonantum — named for a village in Massachusetts and for a Native American word for blessing — is its operational experience.

Other executives at the firm include Neil and Ron DeFeo, brothers who led industrial and consumer companies. Ron DeFeo was chief executive of heavy-equipment maker Terex and Kennametal, which makes tools used in oil-and-gas exploration. Neil DeFeo led consumer-products companies Remington Products, Sun Products and Playtex Products.

In addition, Scott Farden, a former managing director at Abraaj Group and Providence Equity Partners, joined Nonantum as chief operating officer.

Nonantum expects to expand the investment and operational teams this year, the person said.

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Photo of Jon Biotti sourced from archived version of Charlesbank’s website