Ausura and Contardi Join Navigation Capital

John Ausura and Steve Contardi have joined Navigation Capital Partners as executives-in-residence. They will focus on acquiring a contract manufacturing company for green cleaning products — a search process in which NCP is partnering with Brookwood Associates.

Navigation Capital Partners (NCP), an Atlanta-based middle market private equity firm, is looking to acquire a contract manufacturing company for green cleaning products, and has added John Ausura and Steve Contardi to its “Executive-in-Residence” program to help lead the search. Atlanta-based investment bank Brookwood Associates is also partnering with NCP on this initiative.

NCP’s “Executive-in-Residence” program is the firm’s approach of identifying experienced leadership within an industry attractive for investment, and then searching for the right company to acquire as a team. In a continuation of the firm’s proactive investment strategy, NCP identified green contract manufacturing as one of several attractive categories with potential for strong growth.

A variety of factors has ignited current demand for green cleaning products, such as the growing consumer focus on personal health and safeguarding of the environment, as well as greater availability of less expensive green products for consumers and the “greening” of conventional product line extensions. The market for household environmentally-friendly products doubled between 2007 and 2008 and is forecast to grow ten-fold by 2013, according to a report* by Mintel, a leading market research company. Long-term opportunities also exist in the commercial arena.

“We see an explosive demand for cleaning products that contribute to healthier interiors and have less impact on the planet. Significant opportunities currently exist to combine manufacturing capacity to supply accelerating private label and co-packing markets with sustainable products,” said Larry Mock, managing partner for NCP. “We’ve assembled an experienced management team with successful backgrounds in national consumer products companies, retail and manufacturing. Together, we’re creating a business plan to support a strong company for expansion and competitively position it to take advantage of rising demand in this fast-growing segment.”

NCP is targeting a company for acquisition to serve as a platform for national expansion, through both internal growth and future add-on acquisitions. The ideal acquisition candidate will have some or all of the following characteristics:

A preferred range of $50 million to $200 million in revenue;
A history of sustained revenue growth and profitability;
In-depth experience in the household and/or commercial cleaning products segments, with adequate national or regional distribution;
State-of-the-art manufacturing with uncompromising quality standards;
Innovative R&D
On-going contracts and dedicated production as a contract manufacturer, co-packer or private label producer;
Existing “green” product offerings or the capability to manufacture environmentally-friendly products;
A stable management team and workforce; and
Presence in cleaning segments such as (but not limited to) all-purpose, rug, scouring, window, hand washing, dishwasher, laundry, disinfectant, toilet, drain, wax, polish and wipes.
John Ausura and Steve Contardi will manage the platform company with the addition of seasoned veterans as required. Both executives have extensive backgrounds in consumer products, manufacturing and retail, as well as companies in transition.

Ausura has held C-level positions at Campbell Soup, Sunshine Biscuits, PNC Financial Services and Day Runner, in addition to providing critical management services to a variety of manufacturing companies. Contardi has held senior financial and operating positions at Household Merchandising, SportsTown, Performance, Inc., and Alpha Products. Additionally, he has consulted and advised numerous other companies.

Please contact John Ausura (704-360-4200 or or Steve Contardi (770-394-0401 or with ideas of companies that fit.

About Navigation Capital Partners

Navigation Capital Partners (NCP) is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that makes growth and buyout investments in middle market niche manufacturing, distribution and services businesses across the United States. The managers of NCP formerly founded and managed Mellon Ventures, the private equity investment partnership of Mellon Financial Corporation. With the backing of Goldman Sachs Vintage Funds, NCP acquired the private equity portfolio of Mellon Ventures in December 2006. NCP currently manages approximately $375 million of invested and committed capital. For more information, visit