As Trivest executes a record number of transactions this year, managing partner Troy Templeton tells Private Equity International about how the firm invests in ownership transitions for founder and family-owned businesses in the lower middle market.
Q. What is your approach to private equity?
A. We strive to eliminate the “pain points” that founders often face when selling their companies, and ensure that their businesses are well-positioned for continued success following the transition. This means using conservative leverage in our deals, providing management with the flexibility to operate, enabling equity ownership for employees and working to keep the culture of each business intact.
Q. What kind of owners are you targeting?
A. We have achieved strong appeal from the baby-boomer generation, specifically those trying to navigate retirement and determine how best to leave their businesses in good hands.
There are now more than 10,000 people retiring every day in the United States, many of them small-business owners, and we see every day cases where there isn’t a logical successor within the family to take over the day-to-day operations.
What Trivest does very well is help founders think through how they want their script to be written, then working to achieve that goal. Whether it means helping a founder source and promote the next chief executive officer from inside the company or recruiting key management talent from outside the organisation while keeping the culture intact, Trivest has become adept at facilitating transitions of all shapes and sizes.
Q. What is your deal flow like?
A. We also believe that the overall aging demographic has escalated our growth and deal activity. In 2015 alone, Trivest has already closed 15 transactions, a record for our 35-year-old firm. We expect this trend to continue for Trivest as well as other private equity firms in our industry playing in the lower middle market.
Trivest is headquartered in Florida and was founded in 1981 making it the oldest in the southeastern United States. It manages $1 billion in assets, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.