Juna Equity launches with $100 mln from Ardian

  • Ardian provided $100 mln to Juna’s debut fund
  • Founder Kocsi spent 17 years at GE Capital PE arm
  • Juna seeks minority stakes in lower-mid-market companies

Ardian has seeded, with $100 million, a new middle-market firm launched by the former head of GE Equity.

Juna Equity, formed by Patrick Kocsi, who ran GE Capital’s private equity unit for three years, will seek non-controlling stakes. The firm (the name references the first names of Kocsi’s two kids) will typically invest $5 million to $10 million equity per deal in companies with EBITDA of $5 million to $25 million, he said.

“I’m delighted to transition from having run a private equity arm of a large financial institution to striking out on my own with an independent PE fund,” Kocsi said.

Kocsi spent 24 years at General Electric, including 17 years at the PE arm of GE Capital. Kocsi ran GE Capital’s PE unit from 2012 to 2015.

In 2015, GE sold its PE investment group to Ardian for $500 million, Bloomberg reported. The sale represented GE’s withdrawal from the alternative-investment field, the story said. GE in 2015 also sold Antares Capital to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $12 billion.

Juna Fund I has already done four deals. In 2016, Juna invested, along with Cathay Capitalin Artisanal Brewing Ventures, which owns Victory Brewing and Southern Tier Brewing. “Everyone likes craft beer,” Kocsi said.

The firm also owns stakes in Chromatin, which develops and sells hybrid sorghum seeds; Vector Media, an out-of-home advertising provider, and Futurepay, a payments company. “We hope to do another two to four deals” this year, Kocsi said.

Juna is still managing the portfolio acquired from GE Capital. This includes Dayco, Harbin and CEI.

Ardian executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact Patrick Kocsi at patrick@junaequity.com

The GE logo is pictured on the General Electric offshore wind turbine plant in Montoir-de-Bretagne, near Saint-Nazaire, France, on Nov. 21, 2016.  Photo courtesy Reuters/Stephane Mahe