Carl Marks forms new investment unit

The New York-based investment firm has launched Carl Marks Merchant Partners, a new unit that will focus on underperforming private companies.

Carl Marks & Co. has launched a new investment unit that will focus on underperforming privately-held companies with an enterprise value between $10 million and $50 million. The unit, Carl Marks Merchant Banking Partners, will be led by Dennis Floam, a former vice president with Philip Morris Companies.

 

Dennis Floam, Carl Marks & Co.

“We think there’s a real opportunity in this marketplace, particularly with the skillset we have and our access to capital,” Floam said. “It gives us a real competitive advantage.”

 

Floam stressed that the new unit will be entirely separate from the activity of the rest of Carl Marks & Co. The firm currently invests in three distinct areas: traditional leveraged buyouts focused on the government and commercial services sectors, distressed debt investments and real estate investments. The new unit will focus on smaller, underperforming companies, adding a fourth area to the firm’s activities.

 

Carl Marks & Co. was established in 1925 as a foreign securities dealer, and in 1962 the company diversified into venture capital, private equity and real estate. In 1988 the firm exited the foreign securities business and since 1962 it has invested in more than 400 businesses and real estate properties.