CenterOak Partners launches

Former Brazos execs come together on a new private equity firm

Dallas-based CenterOak Partners is the latest entrant into middle market private equity. The firm is being led by a handful of former Brazos executives – Randall Fojtasek, former co-Founder and co-chief executive officer of Brazos Private Equity Partners; Michael Salim; Lucas Cutler; Jason Sutherland and William Henry.

In addition to CenterOak’s investment and portfolio management team, three operating partners will support the firm’s sector-specific investment activities. The operating partners had existing relationships with the investment management team.

“The deal teams at CenterOak will be large and diverse,” Fojtasek told Private Equity International. The firm will be focused on middle market investments in the $20-$70 million range. Fojtasek explains that the team will look for deals in the industrial growth, consumer and business services sectors.

The firm will seek to invest in buyouts and recapitalizations of middle market companies. “We’re going to be looking at platform deals to start, our prior experience has been in buy and build companies and we’ll continue to look for those.”

Brazos announced in March that they were not raising another fund and would wind down the remaining portfolio. The investment period for the firm’s third fund which closed on $715 million in 2008, ended in July.