Ex-FCC Chair Kevin Martin Launching PE Firm

Former FCC chairman Kevin Martin is launching a private equity firm alongside Brian Bailey, who recently left his position at Carousel Partners, according to a source familiar with the situation. Based in Charlotte, N.C., Carmichael Partners will make equity investments in family-owned and closely-held private businesses.

Bailey was previously a senior advisor at Carousel Capital alongside four managing partners who remain at the firm: Charles Grigg, Bill Hobbs, Jason Schmidly and Nelson Schwab. He previously had spent time at Forstmann Little & Co., The Carlyle Group and CSFB.

In an email to colleagues, Bailey explained that Carmichael Partners will invest in a small number of companies in order to actively manage them. This would be attractive to families and founders wishing for an equity partner who can help grow the company while preserving its culture, he wrote.

He offered few details as to the differences between Carmichael and Carousel, a Charlotte-based firm that invests in business services consumer products and services and healthcare services companies in the Southeast. The website for Carmichael Partners isn’t yet running (and actually has one of those little “Under Construction” men from the Internet’s Dark Ages).

I can only speculate as to whether that means Bailey and Martin will raise a fund or begin with a handful of one-off deals. Bailey didn’t respond to a call for comment by press time but I’ll update if he does.