Align Capital hiring after four-month fundraise

  • Riverside Co spinoff’s $325 mln debut fund oversubscribed
  • Cleveland and Dallas firm nearing first acquisition
  • Align Capital to add at least one vice president, associates

Align Capital expects to hire at least one vice president, “a few” associates and an operating partner after the firm, founded by Riverside Co veterans, drew in $325 million of commitments in about four months for its debut fund.

Focused on teaming with entrepreneurs who retain stakes in their businesses, Align Co-Founders Steve Dyke and Rob Langley told Buyouts they’re nearing their first acquisition as an independent firm after the team worked on 80 investments representing $5 billion in enterprise value since 2000.

“We’ve had a good pipeline and expect we’ll have a deal done before” year’s end, Dyke said. Align, with offices in Dallas and Cleveland, is shopping for North American companies in manufacturing, distribution and business services with as much as $10 million of EBITDA.

Dyke, Langley and co-founder Chris Jones worked on Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund prior to founding Align earlier this year, Buyouts reported in August. See related story.

“The LP world is looking for first-time funds because of a lot of the motivational factors — because they’re hungry, but they’re not looking to back first-time investors,” Langley said.

Asked what advice he’d offer other first-time funds, Dyke said the firm emphasized the working chemistry of the firm’s founders while at Riverside Co.

“Being able to articulate your investment strategy and how that ties to what you’ve done in the past, and teaming up with people that you know extremely well and who you’ve been in the trenches with — [limited partners] like that,” Dyke said. “They like to see longevity and consistency in approach. Those things benefited us.”

Capstone Partners was placement agent on the fund, which exceeded its initial target of $250 million by $75 million, or 30 percent. Kirkland & Ellis was the fund’s law firm.

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