Riverside’s private equity
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Riverside Looks Back On Another Robust Year January 27, 2012

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Riverside Looks Back On Another Robust Year

Firm Sets International Acquisition Mark with 29 transactions for the year. The Riverside Company was named North America’s most acquisitive firm in 2011 by Thomson Reuters, as it put more than half a billion dollars to work while investing in 29 companies around the world. Additional 2011 highlights included increasing valuations in 80% of active funds, distributing $400 million to investors via seven realizations, closing a fund 37% above target, and opening a London office, its 20th globally.

Riverside Co-CEOs Béla Szigethy and Stewart Kohl shared their thoughts on a difficult but very successful 2011.

“What a year,” said Kohl. “Amid volatile public markets, dysfunctional governments, and impending doom, we kept doing what we do best. We set records for investing, built out more specializations, refined our processes, and handled almost a billion dollars in transactions. All while increasing the valuations in 80% of our funds and maintaining top-quartile performance in seven out of ten.”

Szigethy called 2011 a remarkable year that saw Riverside successfully adapt to a changing private equity landscape.

“In many ways, last year was our best ever,” said Szigethy. “We’re really excited about the companies we invested in. We bought some beautiful high-growth businesses, and the early signs are all justifying our efforts. We’ve never put more money to work, and we’re thrilled with the promise of our portfolio. It wasn’t easy, but our team got the job done in all the most important areas – fundraising, value creation, and outstanding returns.”

The strong closing of Riverside Micro-Cap Fund II in 2011 came in large part thanks to the continuing strong performance of its top-decile predecessor fund. The closing came despite an extremely challenging fundraising environment. In a first for Riverside, the fund is connected to the U.S. government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) fund, providing access to low-interest rate debt from the SBA, that will allow the fund to invest as much as $287 million. The fund already has five platforms that are performing very well.

“Given the strength and experience of the RMCF team, we expect great things from this fund,” said Kohl. “We’ve built an operating-intensive model that proved itself in the crucible of the Great Recession, when RMCF I’s portfolio actually increased revenues and EBITDA.” The new London office typifies Riverside’s increasingly integrated global team. The firm now has professionals in 14 nations on four continents, and 2011 saw a focused effort to harness the knowledge, contacts and experience of those professionals.

Riverside also expanded its industry specializations, formalizing a fourth in the software/recurring-revenue technology space. The firm’s additional specializations include healthcare, education & training, and franchising. Well over half of 2011 investments fell into one of these buckets, where Riverside has developed experienced teams and has one or more senior advisor. The firm plans to continue building its specializations, which have proven to help evaluate and close deals more quickly while allowing for accelerated growth upon investment.

Riverside has an exciting 2012 ahead of it. The firm plans to remain among the most active buyers and sellers in the private equity world, and looks forward to another excellent year, and is planning to tell people about it.

“Our industry does a lot of great things, and we should not hide our light under a bushel,” said Szigethy. “We have much to be proud of and we need to tell our stories.”

The Riverside Company

The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $200 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 275 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 75 companies, and it has $3.2 billion/€2.5 billion in assets under management.

Media Contacts

North America and Asia Pacific
Graham Hearns
Director of Marketing and Communications
The Riverside Company
+1 216 535 2221

Europe

Sarah FlahertyMarketing and Public Relations Manager
The Riverside Company
+322 626 21 21

Media Contact

Stephanie Fraser
Marketing Consultant
The Riverside Company
Cleveland: +1 216 344 1267
London: +44 20 3077 1923