Paul Lattanzio has been named president of Star Avenue Capital, a consumer growth equity vehicle recently formed by Irving Place Capital and Creative Artists Agency. Lattanzio is the former head of Bear Growth Capital Partners.
Star Avenue Capital, LLC, a Los Angeles and New York based consumer growth equity vehicle recently formed in partnership with private equity firm Irving Place Capital and entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), announced today that private equity veteran Paul Lattanzio has joined Star as President.
Leveraging the resources, relationships and expertise of its partners, IPC and CAA, Star was created to be a differentiated private equity group, providing capital and strategic counsel to growth companies in the branded consumer, retail, apparel and fashion industries. Star most recently announced its first transaction, a majority investment in premium denim company J Brand Jeans, partnering with J Brand’s existing owners and management team to provide strategic resources to support and accelerate the company’s growth.
Mr. Lattanzio most recently served as a Senior Managing Director and the head of Bear Growth Capital Partners (BGCP) from July 2003 until January 2009. BGCP was a middle-market private equity group formed by, and closely affiliated with, Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, the predecessor of Irving Place Capital. A graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Lattanzio has more than 23 years of experience working for, founding and/or managing private equity funds at institutions including Bear Stearns, TD Bank, NationsBanc Montgomery Securities and Bankers Trust.
Mr. Lattanzio commented: “Having been in the private equity business for decades and successfully applying a traditional private equity model to help high-growth companies reach their full potential, it is a thrill to be part of such a differentiated and innovative offering that Star is pioneering. From licensing, marketing, lifestyle and research expertise, to CAA’s influence in and centrality to popular culture, the opportunities are limitless for the ways in which Star can help our portfolio companies. Additionally, I am extremely excited to be back in partnership with the individuals at Irving Place Capital. We have a successful history of working together, and I look forward to replicating that success at Star Avenue Capital.”
“It’s tremendous to have someone with Paul’s experience, reputation, and insight leading Star,” said Michael Yanover, CAA’s Head of Business Development. “He provides the essential knowledge and experience to help entrepreneurs make the most of opportunities, from strategic business decisions to media activation and beyond.”
Joining Mr. Lattanzio in his move is Drew Baird, also formerly of BGCP, who will serve as Vice President of Star. Mr. Baird’s career spans more than a decade in finance and private equity that includes time with both Merrill Lynch and Wachovia Capital Partners, in addition to his time with BGCP.
John Howard, Irving Place Capital, CEO, said: “We are very excited to have Paul and Drew back in the extended Irving Place family. We look forward to working with them to successfully grow another investment business together.”
Mssrs. Lattanzio and Baird will be based out of Star’s New York offices.
About Star Avenue Capital
Star Avenue Capital is a differentiated private equity group focused on partnering with the owners of emerging consumer brands to help them capitalize on consumer trends, increase relevancy in popular culture, and achieve growth. Combining the resources of its partners, Irving Place Capital and Creative Artists Agency, Star delivers a unique value proposition to the managers, founders, entrepreneurs and investors with whom it partners. More information about Star Avenue Capital is available at www.staravenuecapital.com.
About Irving Place Capital
Irving Place Capital invests private equity capital in compelling buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital opportunities alongside superior management teams. Irving Place Capital focuses on making control or entrepreneur-driven investments. Since its formation in 1997, Irving Place Capital has been an investor in 68 portfolio companies, and manages over $4 billion of equity capital, including its current $2.7 billion institutional fund. The firm’s notable retail and apparel investments have included, Aéropostale, New York & Company, Seven for All Mankind, Stuart Weitzman and The Vitamin Shoppe. More information about Irving Place Capital is available at www.irvingplacecapital.com.
About Creative Artists Agency
Creative Artists Agency is the world’s leading talent agency, representing many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, video games, theatre, and the Internet, and provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients. CAA is also a leader in sports, representing more than 500 of the world’s top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and golf, and works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, licensing, and sports properties for sales/sponsorship opportunities. In addition, The Intelligence Group, a market research and trend forecasting company, is a division of CAA.