CIT Sells Edgeview Back to Partners

CIT Partners has quietly sold Edgeview Partners back to its employees, peHUB has learned. CIT acquired the Charlotte, N.C.-based mid-market boutique consultancy in mid-2007.

CIT’s 2009 bankruptcy left Edgeview Partners in limbo, causing three of its partners to leave the firm, we reported in October. Before leaving, Co-founders Drew Quartapella and Matt Salisbury offered to buy Edgeview back from CIT, but the lending giant was unresponsive until recently. Yesterday Edgeview’s partners closed the deal to acquire the firm.

CIT sent peHUB the following statement:

Our decision to divest Edgeview supports our ongoing efforts to streamline the cost structure of our corporate finance business. We will continue to provide financial sponsors and middle market companies a broad range of financial products and advisory services through our existing industry specific advisory resources.

As part of the deal, Partner Bill Morrissett returned to the business. Going forward, Edgeview will be led by Morrissett, David Patterson, Ted Garner and John Tye, all of whom did not found Edgeview, but the former two were original employees. The firm’s ownership includes the four partners as well as directors and officers. Managing Director John Polluck will remain with the firm as a non-investing partner for the time being. Edgeview plans to have an ongoing relationship with CIT, where the entities will refer financing and M&A opportunities to each other, a person familiar with the situation said.

It’s curious that co-founders Quartapella and Salisbury did not return to the firm as part of the deal, considering they offered to buy it back themselves. In October, Quartapella told peHUB he may be interested in returning to the firm after CIT’s bankruptcy situation was worked out. At that time he was serving as a consultant to Edgeview while investing capital from UK hedge fund J.O. Hambro.

Update: Edgeview commented on the absence of its founding partners: “They were welcomed back but decided not to take on the commitment for personal reasons,” said Managing Director Ted Garner. He added, “I’d say those guys were interested in doing other things than being part of the long term commitment that this represents.”

Previously:

CIT Mess Leaves Edgeview Partners In Limbo