Tricor Pacific Capital, which for nearly two decades operated as a North American private equity investor, has returned to the market as a family office.
The new Tricor, led by Managing Partner Rod Senft, who co-founded the PE firm in 1996, was officially unveiled this week.
Its goal is to invest Senft family and partner capital in food and industrial businesses, as well as real estate projects.
The Vancouver family office comes three years after the former Tricor rebranded its fifth institutional fund, Tricor Pacific Capital Partners Fund V. The event paved the way for the PE firm’s successor, Parallel49 Equity.
Since then, Senft and other senior alumni have remained highly active. Working mostly behind the scenes, they have created new investment platforms, some of which anticipated the family office.
The platforms include Founders Group of Food Companies, which since 2015 has been an assiduous niche investor in North America’s specialty protein, gifted confections and prepared-food sectors, acquiring some 10 companies.
Founders Group, established and run by Senft alongside other PE and industry pros, is among the family office’s existing portfolio holdings.
Tricor also has interests in two PE firms, Parallel49 and Pender West Capital Partners, as well as a stake in Premium Brands, owner of range of food businesses.
Additionally, through a pair of vehicles, Tricor Pacific Lands and W.R. Dawn Realcorp, it holds real estate and land-development assets, mostly located in Vancouver’s hot property market.
The family office now plans to build on these investments by “extending our brand and strategy into diversified sectors and putting new stakes in the ground,” Senft told PE Hub Canada.
Going forward, Tricor will be “a little bit more of a generalist,” he said. It will make control acquisitions of mid-market companies in light manufacturing, business and consumer services, and specialty retail.
Target businesses, based primarily in the Western regions of Canada and the United States, will have Ebitda of $2 million to $6 million. For the most part, they will be engaged in succession, MBO or recap scenarios.
The strategy will be supported by a “trap line of opportunities and relationships that go back to the 1990s,” Senft said.
As a PE firm, Tricor and its affiliates acquired more than 80 private companies, typically in sectors relevant to the family office’s domain approach.
They include Tree Island Industries, a maker of steel wire and wire products, which was sold over 2002-2004 through an IPO and acquisition. Another is Base 10 Group, a payroll and tax services provider to the film and TV industry, sold last year to Entertainment Partners.
Senft says similar access to sector experience, along with investment and operational know-how, was key to Founders Group’s recent growth.
The family office’s strategy will be led by its diversified investments group. Overseen by Senft, it will drive origination and execution and help companies meet organic and M&A milestones.
The group’s bench strength includes Principals Mark Townsend and Chuck Cosman.
Townsend joins Tricor from Founders Group, where he was as a vice president in the investment team. Before then, he was a senior associate at Cairn Merchant Partners and an investment banking analyst at CIBC World Markets.
Cosman’s background is in retail operations, most recently in management roles at athletic apparel business Lululemon. He will play an especially important part in developing Tricor’s presence in the specialty retail space.
Senft says Tricor’s family office structure, which includes an ability to hold assets indefinitely, gives it an edge in a competitive market.
“Being a long-term investor differentiates us,” he said. “It is attractive to founders who care about their legacy and the future of their companies.”
Tricor is currently building a deal pipeline and evaluating opportunities. It expects to close an inaugural investment over the next six months.
The family office has a team of eight, a number that will likely expand over time, Senft said.
Trevor Johnstone, a co-founder of both Founders Group and the former Tricor, is a senior advisor.