US investment bank Ewing Bemiss & Co has launched an energy-focused private equity arm with the view to building a critical mass of deals before establishing a formal fund in the coming years.
The newly-established Turning Basin Capital Partners will aim to carry out five deals in the next two years with a view to raising a $50m to $100m fund once a track-record has been established.
Through affiliate Ewing Bemiss & Co, the team has been active in the renewables space for the past 15 years with a particular focus on waste management projects, managing director of both Turning Basin and Ewing Bemiss Tom Willingham said.
“We have mainly done M&A work and provided capital services, building our name initially in the waste-to-energy sector but now active across all technologies. We look at solar, for instance, from our New York office.”
Headquartered out of Richmond, Virginia the launch of the new venture was instigated by Mark Murray, who formerly looked after corporate venturing activities at utility Dominion Energy, joining the team.
“We were evaluating what we wanted to do and thought an underserved market was the small buyout market – those companies that can’t access traditional private equity,” Willingham said.
“We had been developing a plan to pursue that strategy when Mark Murray joined us from Dominion.”
The aim now is to develop a network of investors and source deals around the South East US up to the Mid Atlantic region.
“We want to stay under the radar of the big energy infrastructure funds and attract capital from high net worth individuals and family offices,” he said.
“Our sweet spot will be investments of between $3m and $5m, with a view to back those businesses that have an established market position and are reaching profitability. We are not looking for high growth, high risk but instead businesses with a proven business model and product but need capital to reach the next level.”
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