BET Founder Robert L. Johnson Launches Investment Bank


RLJ Cos. has partnered with Roth Capital Partners to launch an investment bank called RLJ Capital Markets. RLJ Cos., which is led by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson, owns a majority stake in RLJ Capital Markets.

RLJ Capital Markets focuses on raising equity, debt and growth capital for businesses. The firm will also take advantage of Roth’s research and trading services. RLJ Capital Markets concentrates on the business services, consumer, health care, industrials and technology sectors.

“It is RLJ Capital Markets’ objective to help clients achieve their growth goals as they seek a diverse solution for debt and equity securities offerings, sales and trading and corporate access with an experienced minority firm that has deep expertise and capabilities,” says Johnson, who previously outlined the RLJ Rule-a strategy that is designed to increase hiring opportunities for minorities. The RLJ Rule is modeled after the National Football League's Rooney Rule.

Johnson owns middle-market private equity firm RLJ Equity Partners. The PE firm has previously invested in aerospace parts maker LAI International Inc., industrial cleaning company EnviroVac and transportation provider J&J transport. RLJ Equity invests up to $30 million in businesses.

Bethesda, Maryland-based RLJ Cos. is an investment firm that looks for deals in hotels, private equity, financial services and entertainment. In 2014, the firm’s real estate arm bought the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort in Key West, Florida.

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