Blue Wolf takes on Clinton vet

Joshua Gotbaum will join the upstart New York-based firm as an operating partner and will also become its chief restructuring officer.

Blue Wolf Capital Management, a private equity firm based in New York, has hired Joshua Gotbaum, who was the Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Economic Policy and Assistant Secretary in the Department of Defense under President Clinton, to join the firm as an operating partner, Blue Wolf said in a statement.

The 55-year-old Gotbaum will also become the chairman and chief restructuring officer of Platform Learning, Inc., a Blue Wolf portfolio company that provides supplemental educational services, the statement said. “Platform Learning provides comprehensive supplemental educational services…to students attending public schools that are ‘in need of improvement’,” according to Platform’s website.

Gotbaum’s recent experience includes successfully leading the restructuring and reorganization of Hawaiian Airlines as that company’s court-appointed Chapter 11 Trustee.

“Platform has been operating in bankruptcy since June, and in November, Blue Wolf agreed to provide debtor-in-possession financing to the company,” the statement said. “Under an agreement negotiated with creditors and other interested parties,  Blue Wolf expects to own approximately 85 percent of post-bankruptcy Platform.”

Before his time working with Hawaiian Airlines, Gotbaum was the chief executive officer of The September 11th Fund, a charity run by The New York Community Trust and United Way of New York City to help victims and communities affected by the September 11 attacks. While an investment banker at New York-based Lazard Freres & Co., he worked on a number of restructuring deals, including the leveraged sale of RJR Nabisco in the 1980s, the statement said.

Blue Wolf, founded in 2005 by Adam Blumenthal and Josh Wolf-Powers, invests in middle-market companies with ties to governments, labor unions and similar constituencies, the statement said. Blue Wolf Energy Holdings, an affiliate of the Blue Wolf Capital Management, made the firm’s first investment when it agreed to buy Montauk Energy Capital, a landfill gas developer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from DQE Financial Group, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based electric utility company Duquesne Light Holdings for approximately $110 million in November.

Blue Wolf received a commitment of approximately $43.5 million from Johnnic Holdings, a publicly traded South African investment company in September. Johnnic is controlled by Hosken Consolidated Investments, a $1 billion South African industrial holding company.