Riverside Touts Ability to Fill Gaps During M&A 'Giant Pause'
Jeremy Holland is managing partner, origination, at private equity firm The Riverside Company.
As many M&A deals ground to a halt in the pandemic, private equity firm Riverside took an unusual step: sending an open letter saying they had capital to provide to get deals done.
"In the world of deal-making, it might feel like we hit a giant 'pause' button. At Riverside, we have a lot of tools to get things restarted," the letter said, then laid out ways Riverside can provide "non-control" capital to "bridge the gap in the capital structure if lenders have changed terms in this challenging environment."
Private equity firms are known for being silent, even secretive, about their deal-making tricks and tools. But Riverside's Managing Partner Jeremy Holland said they want to play a role in helping the economy restart.
"I think in our own little way that it's healthy for us to continue to deploy capital into the economy, helping businesses continue to grow or provide what may be much needed liquidity," Holland said in an interview.
"The challenge is trying to let folks know we're here to help, without trying to sound like we're in some way benefitting from the crisis. We're trying to pick our words carefully."
One example of flexibility is the Riverside Strategic Capital Fund, with about $425 million in non-control capital. "That's their specialty, a flexible approach," he said about that fund's managers.
"Our team prides itself on being iterative and flexible, meaning that we try to work with the entrepreneur or the partner private equity firm, to get feedback from them, and create an instrument that achieves their goals."
Riverside, with $10 billion in assets under management, has completed seven investments since the crisis began, none of them franchised, and has "several more" in the pipeline, he said. Its most prominent majority franchise investment is Best Life Brands, the parent of ComForCare, Care Patrol and Blue Moon Estate Sales.
"We do remain very eager to find add-on acquisitions, any services for senior citizens to add to our existing platform," he said, and also in other niches. "We're looking at a whole different range of companies."
We'll have more from this interview in the next Dealmakers e-newsletter, publishing May 13.