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Huron Capital becomes local private equity top dog with $500M fund

Huron Capital Partners has closed on a $500 million investment fund, allowing the downtown Detroit-based private-equity firm to hire six people over the last year.

The 20-person firm now takes up most of the 27th floor of the Guardian Building. It's new hires are mostly investment professionals. A large quantity of them earned their MBAs locally.

"The University of Michigan is educating more of our team than any other school," says Michael Beauregard, senior partner at Huron Capital Partners.

Huron Capital Partners
(Michigan's largest private-equity firm) invests $20-$50 million in companies with high growth ceilings in need of fresh capital, such as corporate spinoffs and family business succession. It got its start in 1999 with a $72 million fund. Since then it has raised two more funds that have been deployed worth $185 million and $385 million.

It now has a controlling stake in 61 companies. Three quarters of those are in the U.S. The remainder are Canadian-based. Three of those 61 companies were locally based, including Quest Specailty Chemicals, Matrix System Automotive Solutions and Michigan Orthopedic Services. Huron Capital Partners exited all three firms. Huron Capital Partners was named Private Equity Firm of the Year for 2010 by Mergers & Acquisitions, the pre-eminent magazine for private equity, for its Ross Education deal, which produced 18.7 times its original investment and a 76-percent internal rate of return.

That deal/award helped set the stage for Huron Capital Partners' fourth fund. The recently closed investment vehicle is worth $500 and received some significant investments from institutional investors, including $15 million from the University of Michigan's Endowment Fund. Beauregard, a member of the investment committee at Huron Capital Partners, expects this latest fund to invest in about a dozen platforms which will trickle down into 20-25 companies.

"I expect there will be a handful of companies based in the area that we will invest in and help them grow their base here," Beauregard says.

Source: Michael Beauregard, senior partner and member of the investment committee for Huron Capital Partners
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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