You can run but you can’t hide, Hubsters. It’s Monday.
The land of Motown: One of the more interesting conversations I had at Intergrowth — has it already been two weeks? — was with Gretchen Perkins, a partner, business development, of Huron Capital Partners. We talked about private equity, of course, including Huron’s two funds. In 2017, Huron closed its latest flagship fund on $550 million, which makes control investments in lower-middle-market businesses. In April, a Huron flex fund raised $142 million that will make non-control investments. Deals this year include Direct Connect Logistix and two add-ons, Energy Management Control Corp and Proforged.
Huron, as far as I can tell, has always been located in Detroit. It hasn’t been that long since the land of Motown filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 2013. Detroit, at the time, had an estimated $18 billion to $20 billion debt. It emerged from bankruptcy in December 2014. The city, on April 30, was released from state financial oversight. My big question at Intergrowth to Perkins was this: “Is Detroit really on its way back?”
I watched as a big smile broke out on Perkins’s face. “Detroit is back in control of its own finances,” she said proudly.
“There are so many new businesses in town,” she added.
Quicken Loans moved its headquarters to Detroit earlier this year, according to press reports. Ford, focusing on autonomous vehicles, moved 220 employees to a new building in downtown Detroit. (Ford also temporarily laid off about 2000 hourly employees in the state as the factories retooled to build the Ranger pickup trucks and Bronco sport utility vehicles, Reuters reported.) GM never left the city and is part of Detroit’s renaissance, Perkins said.
“We want to be the greatest comeback story,” said Perkins, who has been with Huron for 10 years.
We discussed which PE firms are in the city. There’s not many, Hubsters, at least not right now. (Well, not compared to New York or Chicago.) In addition to Huron, Superior Capital is in Detroit as well as Peninsula Capital Partners. On the VC side, there’s Fontinalis Partners.
There’s much more PE in the Detroit suburbs. Long Point Capital has an office in Royal Oak, while Center Rock Capital has an office in Bloomfield Hills, Strength Capital is in Birmingham, Beringea is in Farmington Hills and in Pontiac, you will find Pulte Capital Partners.
This can’t be it. Tell us you’re there, Detroit private equity, and what your strategy is. Email me at [email protected] and tell us you’re there.
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