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  Private Equity Plays Critical Role in Strengthening America's Economy
Excerpt from Thomson Reuters article:

September 13, 2012 - Stamford, CT

Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners, a Stamford, Connecticut-based buyout shop, closed a $75 million pool back in 2002, combining $25 million in capital raised from private investors with $50 million in funding through the SBIC program. Scott I. Oakford, managing partner, called seven of the nine portfolio companies “highly successful,” and earlier this year Oakford told Buyouts that the fund had achieved more than a 3x investment multiple and gross IRR of 35 percent.

The specialist in buying manufacturing, distribution and services businesses didn’t track job growth across its SBIC portfolio. But, said Oakford, “We literally saved one company in Fulton, New York, that turned into a huge success.” In 2003, Hamilton Robinson acquired Black Clawson, then a 170-employee, one factory supplier of machines that make plastic-packaging materials. At the time, Oakford said, the company had defaulted on its bank loans, couldn’t meet pension obligations and had lost the confidence of some customers.

The buyout shop set in motion a turnaround plan that saw the company, then generating earnings of $3 million on $30 million of revenue, clean up its balance sheet, provide equity stakes to managers, and introduce lean operating practices. That set the stage for add-on acquisitions. Those eventually helped the renamed Davis-Standard (after merging with a rival by that name in 2005, at which time the SBIC sold its stake) grow to generate earnings of more than $30 million on revenue north of $300 million. By the time Hamilton Robinson sold the business late last year for $198 million, multiplying a total equity investment 4.5 times, the company employed some 800 people.

“On that one investment alone, that kind of validates what the SBA was trying to do,” said Oakford. The SBA itself describes its role in a recent report as playing “a critical role in strengthening America’s economy by providing tools to help grow businesses and create jobs.”

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Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners was founded in 1984 to invest directly in small, privately held manufacturing, distribution and service businesses. The firm has maintained its singular focus on this dynamic market to become a valued resource for equity capital and growth strategies for small businesses. Based in Stamford, CT, the firm has completed over $1.2 billion in transactions supporting 36 companies. Investors include leading financial institutions, funds, family offices, and individuals in the United States and Europe.

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