Trilantic Close To First Deal Under New Banner – Exclusive

Target: MicroStar Logistics

Sponsor: Trilantic Capital Partners

Seller: Macquarie Group Ltd.

Trilantic Capital Partners is close to inking its first platform acquisition since spinning out of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking.

Executives at the New York-based shop expect to buy MicroStar Logistics, a company that helps breweries manage their kegs, from Macquarie Group Ltd., according to a regulatory filing and two sources with knowledge of the deal.

The firm should close the deal by the end of the week, our sources said. Equity for the investment will come from Trilantic Capital Partners IV LP, according to the filing. The firm closed the $3.3 billion fund in June 2007; about $1.7 billion of the pool was still available at the time Trilantic Capital spun out of Lehman Brothers.

Greenwood Village, Colo.-based MicroStar provides a management system that delivers full kegs and picks up the empties, tracks their delivery, repairs and maintains kegs, and manages the inventory for client breweries. The idea is to save the brewer time and money that could be spent on brewing beer. The company works with more than 1,600 beer wholesalers in all 50 states and in Europe, according to its Web site. Macquarie bought the company in February 2008.

The deal would mark the first platform acquisition for Trilantic Capital since the firm’s management along with Reinet Investments SCA, a Luxembourg-based investment firm, acquired the buyout shop in April 2009.

Trilantic Capital is managed by Charles Ayres, the former managing director and head of global merchant banking for Lehman Brothers, along with four founding partners: E. Daniel James, Joseph Cohen, Vittorio Pignatti-Morano and Javier Banon. The firm employs 21 investment professionals in all, with 11 devoted to North America, nine devoted to Europe, and Ayres working as global chairman.

The firm’s last significant deal was in October 2008, when it bought a 40 percent stake in SRAM Corp., a Chicago based designer and maker of bicycle components, according to Capital IQ.

The Trilantic Capital team has typically invested in North American and Western European companies in a wide variety of sectors, including business services, consumer, energy, and financial services. In the U.S., the firm typically invests between $50 million and $180 million in companies with enterprise values of between $100 million and $1 billion.

Jon Mattson, a partner at Trilantic Capital, Alex Doughty, a spokesman for Macquarie, and Lauri Honea, president of MicroStar, declined to comment.