Always a prolific seller, the Riverside Co. excelled in 2018 when it came to the total number of exits and the increase in value they represented, earning the firm Mergers & Acquisitions' 2018 M&A Mid-Market Award for Private Equity Seller of the Year. The firm, based in Cleveland and New York, completed 16 exits, including three of the top five exits in its history, in terms of proceeds for investors.
30 years and counting
Marking its 30th anniversary, the firm enjoyed growth in other areas as well, making 60 investments, compared with 44 the previous year, and delivering a record fundraising year, raising more than $2.1 billion. Riverside’s Micro-Cap Fund V hit its hard cap of $1.2 billion in capital commitments in less than four months, with demand exceeding the hard cap by more than 50 percent. Riverside co-CEO's Stewart Kohl and Béla Szigethy won Mergers & Acquisitions' M&A Mid-Market Award for Dealmakers of the Year in 2013.
Nurtured portfolio companies
With more than $8 billion in assets under management, Riverside closes investments efficiently, then partners with management to drive sales and earnings growth. After making almost 600 investments, Riverside provides portfolio companies with deep experience and talent in seven industry specializations: specialty manufacturing and distribution; business services; consumer brands; education and training; franchisors; healthcare; and software and information technology.
Riverside nurtures its portfolio companies at the yearly Riverside Leadership Summit. The event connects key portfolio company executives with Riverside leaders and advisors from around the world at a private gathering designed to inspire and accelerate growth. The RLS aims to deliver: “unparalleled networking opportunities; dynamic, thought-provoking keynotes; and engaging workshops with immediate takeaways,” according to the firm.
Advocated for private equity
Riverside takes pride in its role as an advocate for the good it says private equity delivers to the economy, companies, customers and their employees. The firm takes part in visits to Capitol Hill, delivers columns, editorials and speeches touting the effectiveness of private equity, and has many team members serving in advocacy roles at industry organizations.
Contributing to the community has been a hallmark of Riverside since the firm’s inception. Two years ago, the firm formally launched its Global Volunteer Program, which Mergers & Acquisitions featured in our story, The Big Give, back in December. Riverside selects specific charities to support, based on employee recommendations while taking environmental, social and governance, or ESG, issues into account.
· Sold Dwyer to Harvest Partners, increasing Dwyer’s Ebitda more than 125 percent during Riverside’s hold, according to the firm.
· Sold Tate’s to Mondelez Global LLC (Nasdaq: MDLZ) for approximately $500 million; Tate’s saw sales and earnings increase 4x during the last five years.
· Sold Alchemy to Intertek ITRK (LON: ITRK). Grew revenue from less than $15 million to $60 million during hold period and Ebitda from $2 million to over $19 million.