CM Equity exits data company

The Carl Marks & Co affiliate, which specialises in government-related companies, has exited its 2004 investment in data services company 3001 International to defense and technology company Northrop Grumman.

New York-based private equity firm CM Equity Partners has exited geospacial data company, 3001 International, in a sale to defense and technology company Northrop Grumman.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008. CM Equity, an affiliate of family-owned merchant bank Carl Marks & Co, first invested in 3001 four years ago.

3001 provides data and analysis including airborne imaging, surveying and mapping. The company has contracts with the US federal government as well as state and local governments.

CM Equity founder Peter Schulte told PEO it helped 3001 establish a headquarters and hire professional managers, including a chief executive officer and a chief financial officer. CM Equity invested in infrastructure and then “stood back and got out of their way,” said Schulte.

Schulte said CM Equity was in talks with Northrop for “quite a period of time” before agreeing a deal. “We were not looking to exit this company…it was really getting going very successfully,” said Schulte.

CM Equity focuses on mid-market investments in companies which service the federal government. Founded in 1992, affiliate Carl Marks & Co is an investor in CM Equity, with the two firms sharing offices.

CM Equity has “several hundred million” in committed capital and invests between $10 million and $50 million of equity in each transaction, Schulte added.

The firm has raised two funds to date. After Fund II became fully invested, the CM Equity raised capital to complete several transactions outside of its funds.