Charterhouse Group Inc.

THE SCOOP

Charting a course to success

Charterhouse Group was started in 1973 as an offshoot of U.K.-based Charterhouse Bank, but this buyout and build-up firm quickly charted its own path to success.  Under the leadership of Merril M. Halpern, who remains the chair of the company today, Charterhouse Group forged out on its own in the mid-1980s.  By 1989, the firm had raised its own dedicated fund, Charterhouse Equity Partners.  Over the years, Charterhouse Group has invested more than $2 billion in at least 100 companies and completed some 400 acquisitions.  Currently, the firm's source of capital is its fourth dedicated fund, Charterhouse Equity Partners IV.

Charterhouse is known for being a middle-market investor with a focus on three distinct sectors: business services, health care services, and consumer products and services.  The company’s portfolio includes companies such as American Disposal Services (waste management), Charter Communications (cable television), Insignia Financial Group (real estate asset management), Cross Country Health Care (health care staffing), Del Monte Foods and Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream.

The “sweet spotâ€

The companies which Charterhouse Group usually invests in have enterprise values between $75 million and $300 million.  However, in certain situations, the firm will also invest in companies with enterprise values less than $75 million as part of a “build-up†strategy where Charterhouse will pursue a plan of rapid growth for the company.  Charterhouse seeks to invest at least $30 million into each portfolio company into purchases.  However, on the company website, the firm admits that recent investments have been slightly larger, stating that “our ‘sweet spot’ equity range and average investment has recently been between $40 to $60 million.† For 2009, the company is looking to invest in minority preferred stock in entrepreneur-owned, closely held and sponsor-controlled deals, as well as public entities.  It plans to invest at least $20 million in what it calls “high-quality†companies that are unable to tap the strained financial markets.

The latest additions to the family

Charterhouse's portfolio companies had a successful first half of 2008, beefing up their business with strategic buys that strengthened their market position.  The first acquisition took place in February, when Towne Holdings bought Tucson-based Synergy Cargo Logistics, a regional provider of airport delivery transportation services.  Towne Holdings is a currently held portfolio company of Charterhouse, and its acquisition of Synergy will help to shore up its business in the Southwest.  In April, another of Charterhouse's portfolio companies, Camelot Schools, expanded with the purchase of three behavioral and alternative education companies; Tekoa, a Virginia-based residential group home company, and Riverside Academy and King's Achievement Center, residential programs serving teenagers with behavioral problems.

Charterhouse Group also added a new member to its portfolio.  In June, the company bought Chamberlin Edmonds & Associates, a provider of eligibility services to hospitals.  Chamberlin Edmonds is headquartered in Atlanta George and services customers in 27 states.  The firm has six regional offices in the United States and approximately 650 employees.

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Charterhouse Group Inc.


535 Madison Avenue
28th Floor
New York, NY 10022-4299
Phone: (212) 584-3200
Fax: (212) 750-9704
www.charterhousegroup.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman Emeritus: Merril M. Halpern
  • 2006 Employees: 20

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