May River Capital was formed in 2012 by Chip Grace, Dan Barlow and Steve Griesemer. Prior to forming the firm, Chip and Dan each spent over a decade with operationally focused PE firms, Wynnchurch and Valor Equity respectively. Stephen was a Partner at Baker & McKenzie where he focused on executing M&A transactions as well as serving as outside general counsel to clients.
May River began as a fundless sponsor, having closed 6 investments in four platform companies between 2012 and 2016. In March 2017, the firm closed on its first institutional committed fund, a $170M investment vehicle.
- Industrial focus: May River stays focused exclusively on the industrial sector, with a particular emphasis on high-value manufacturers, providers of engineered products, as well as industrial service and distribution companies.
- Small deal focus: May River has no aspirations to seek acquisitions above $10M EBITDA. The firm’s focus on the low end of the lower middle market enables it to deliver maximum value to its shareholders and the business owners it partners with
- Partnering with Executives: May River has cultivated relationships with Executives with a proven track record in relevant industrial end-market segments. These Executives prefer to get involved in situations where one person can make a significant impact and where decision making is not politicized.
- Creative approach with Sellers: May River is very creative and flexible in its collaboration with private companies seeking a liquidity event where there is no sell side advisor involved. For example, May River has steered the Seller to a list of qualified M&A attorneys and paid a portion the Seller’s legal fees. May River approaches this process as a partnership to help package the company for sale, so it can obtain commercial norms and market terms on the transaction package
May River was introduced to Hunt Valve Company by an intermediary. The owner of the company did not have a #2 executive in place and wanted to exit immediately upon closing. May River introduced Brad Sterner to the equation, a seasoned Executive with financial and operational experience at Colfax, Danaher and Emerson along with specific expertise in the flow control industry. Having an actionable executive identified as a solution to the intended leadership transition was instrumental in getting the business owner on board with the transaction which was completed in November 2015. Since completing the acquisition, May River has worked closely with management on organic growth and performance improvement initiatives, increasing EBITDA by over 30% in the first year of the investment. The margin profile continues to improve with an expanded product portfolio through the February 2017 add on acquisition of Precision Technology, a manufacturer of severe duty linear actuators.