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Five Star Announces Strategic Capital Investment from Court Square Capital Partners

Lexington, KY, March 16, 2023 – Five Star Parks & Attractions (“Five Star” or the “Company”), a leading developer and operator of large-format family entertainment centers (“FECs”), today announced a strategic capital investment from Court Square Capital Partners, a middle market-focused private equity firm with $7.4 billion in assets under management. With Court Square’s support, Five Star will be well positioned to accelerate its growth plans and optimize offerings across their portfolio of family entertainment centers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Five Star operates 20 family entertainment centers across multiple brands including The Track Family Fun Parks, Celebration Station, Xtreme, Speed Zone, LazerPort, Malibu Jack’s, and Craig’s Cruisers. Five Star’s current locations are a strategic mix of indoor-only and indoor-outdoor FECs offering a variety of attractions including go-karts, arcades, bowling, thrill rides, laser tag, mini golf, and other family-oriented entertainment.

“This partnership strongly positions Five Star to further deliver on our growth plans and continue executing on our goal of building safe and accessible family entertainment centers throughout the US,” said John Dunlap, CEO of Five Star. “The Five Star team is thrilled to partner with Court Square given their operating knowledge and extensive experience working with founder and management-owned businesses.”

The capital investment comes after a period of rapid growth for Five Star. Over the past two years, Five Star has become the largest privately-owned FEC operator in the US with locations across the Southeast and Midwest and is well-positioned to drive sustainable growth by partnering with best-in-class brands in new markets. Existing shareholders, which include Fruition Partners, Taubman Capital, and management, will remain significant minority investors in the Company.

“We are impressed by the unique platform Five Star has created and are excited to partner with John Dunlap and the management team to drive further value creation and help the Company achieve its growth potential,” said Joseph Silvestri, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Court Square. “Five Star has many of the characteristics we look for when partnering with Founders, Families, and Manager-owners.”

“We are excited to continue executing the Five Star M&A and Greenfield (new build locations) strategy while driving meaningful outcomes for the brands we partner with at Five Star. With Court Square’s help, Five Star’s position as the market leader providing the best guest experience in the FEC industry will only continue to improve,” said Jay Coughlon, Managing Partner of Fruition Partners.

About Five Star Parks & Attractions:
Five Star Parks & Attractions is a platform that partners with and invests in leading FECs, instituting positive changes aimed at creating superior entertainment experiences for families. Five Star offers the passion and expertise of leaders who have spent their careers in the amusement and hospitality industries, and the financial backing necessary to create improved guest experiences and long-term success. As part of its ongoing growth strategy, Five Star is interested in hearing from existing FECs that may be interested in joining the team and learning about the group’s future plans. For more information, please visit

About Court Square Capital Partners:
Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with over 40 years’ experience in the industry. Since 1979, Court Square has completed over 245 platform investments, helping Founders, Families, and Manager-owners to develop their companies into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential in the industrial, business services, healthcare, and tech and telecom sectors. Court Square has $7.4 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y. For more information on Court Square, please visit

About Fruition Partners:
Fruition is a Denver-based lower middle market private equity firm focused on partnering with entrepreneurs to execute consolidation strategies in fragmented industries. Bringing together teams, strategy, capital, and the most important element, execution, is our passion and building exceptional companies and lasting relationships is Fruition’s mission. For more information on Fruition, please visit


Media Inquiries
Max Rayden
Vice President, Edelman Smithfield

Source: Court Square

H.I.G. Capital Completes Acquisition of Celerion

MIAMI – November 3, 2022 – H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global investment firm with $52 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that one of its affiliates has completed the acquisition of Celerion Holdings, Inc. (“Celerion” or the “Company”), a leading full-service provider of outsourced clinical research services to the pharmaceutical industry.

Headquartered in Lincoln, NE, Celerion is a leading global clinical research organization focused on providing end-to-end early stage clinical trial and bioanalytical services to a diverse group of customers. The Company’s offering includes clinical trial design, patient recruitment, clinical site management, bioanalytical testing, and data management. Celerion has locations in the United States, Canada, Austria, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Susan Thornton, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Celerion commented, “We are excited to enter into this new chapter of growth with H.I.G. Celerion is one of the most experienced and successful CROs globally, with expertise in early stage drug development solutions that has resulted in strong growth since the Company’s inception. We look forward to partnering with H.I.G., who brings significant experience and resources in the pharmaceutical sector, and continuing to provide industry leading customer service”.

Mike Gallagher, Managing Director at H.I.G., added, “We are excited to partner with Susan and her exceptional management team. We identified Celerion as a best-in-class provider of early stage clinical research services globally, playing a critical role in helping sponsors bring life-saving medications to market as quickly and as safely as possible. We believe Celerion is well-positioned for continued growth, given its dedication to the most rigorous quality and performance standards.”

H.I.G.’s investment in Celerion adds to its active pharma services portfolio, which comprises a broad spectrum across clinical research, contract manufacturing and development organizations and specialty pharmaceutical companies. Other recent H.I.G. pharma services investments include Aspire Pharma, BioVectra, Leiters, Navitas Life Sciences, Rising Pharmaceuticals and Taconic BioSciences.

Rothschild & Co. Inc. acted as financial advisor and McDermott Will & Emery LLP served as legal counsel to H.I.G. Lazard and Harris Williams acted as financial advisors and Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to Celerion.

About Celerion
Celerion is a clinical research organization that provides comprehensive clinical trial solutions to pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients conducting early clinical research throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. The Company serves its clients through a global network of facilities and provides first-in-human to proof-of-concept studies as well as bioanalytical laboratory services, data management and biometrics, and drug development services. For more information, visit

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global alternative assets investment firm with $52 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.
  4. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.

Source: H.I.G. Capital

Court Square Capital Partners Announces New Long-term Leadership Transition Plan

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Court Square Capital Partners (Court Square), a middle market-focused private equity firm, today announced the details of a succession plan designed to lead the firm for the foreseeable future. As part of the leadership transition, Managing Partner Chris Bloise was appointed President of the firm, while Managing Partner, Joe Silvestri, was appointed Chairman of the Investment Committee.

In addition, the firm promoted David Nguyen to join John Weber as Co-Heads of the Healthcare Sector and Jeff Vogel as Head of the Technology Sector. Kevin White was also promoted to Managing Partner and will join Mike Delaney as Co-Heads of the Business Services Sector. Mike Delaney and Dave Thomas will continue to support the firm in their new role as Senior Partners while continuing to serve as members of the Investment Committee.

The leadership transition is part of Court Square’s long-term leadership plan designed to ensure the continued stability and success of the firm. The veteran leadership team has invested together on average for over twenty-five years and successfully led the firm through multiple business cycles and economic disruptions.

“I look forward to assuming the role of President and continuing to work with a very talented and experienced group of Managing Partners as we drive the firm forward to continued success,” said Chris Bloise, President at Court Square.

Court Square was co-founded by Mike Delaney, Dave Thomas, and Joe Silvestri in 2006 when they led the spinoff of the team from Citigroup. “We are very proud of how the firm has prospered and the team’s successful track record and look forward to our continued role at Court Square going forward,” said Mike Delaney and Dave Thomas, Senior Partners at Court Square.

“These changes are a natural evolution in the leadership of the firm and are reflective of the transitions that have largely been underway for several years,” said Joe Silvestri, Managing Partner at Court Square.

Court Square has a proven track-record of backing and investing in founder-owned companies in the U.S. middle market. Across its last two funds, 75% of the firm’s investments were founder, family, or management-owned companies at the time of investment.

Over the past year, Court Square has been an active market participant. In July, the firm acquired West Coast Dental, a founder-owned dental practice management company. In March, Court Square completed the acquisition of Power Digital, a leading founder-led digital performance marketing agency. Furthermore, in December 2021, the firm acquired a majority stake from the founder of GoEngineer, a provider of 3D design and additive manufacturing software.

About Court Square

Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with one of the most experienced investment teams in the industry. Since 1979, Court Square has completed over 245 platform investments, helping managers, families, and founder-owners to develop their companies into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential in the business services, industrial, healthcare and tech and telecom sectors. Court Square has $7.6 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y.

Media Inquiries
Max Rayden
Vice President, Financial Services, Edelman Smithfield

Source: Court Square

Audax Private Equity Announces Acquisition of DISA Global Solutions

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Audax Private Equity (“Audax”) announced the acquisition of DISA Global Solutions, Inc. (“DISA” or the “Company”), a leading tech-enabled provider of employee screening, compliance, and workplace health & safety solutions, from Court Square Capital Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas with operations across the U.S., DISA specializes in providing a comprehensive suite of employee testing, screening, and compliance management solutions to a diverse set of end markets. The Company differentiates itself through its proprietary consortium model, speed and quality of its full suite of testing and screening services, direct-lab network, and leading proprietary technology database & customer platforms. DISA remains focused on growing organically and through acquisition, and is seeking add-on acquisitions that help to expand its geographical footprint, enter into new end-markets, and strengthen its core existing service portfolio.

John Peterson, CEO of DISA, commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Audax as we enter an exciting new chapter in our history. This investment will help DISA accelerate growth and expand its employee screening, compliance, and workplace health & safety solutions offerings to customers. Partnering with Audax will enhance our ability to continue doing what we do best – providing trusted solutions to our clients.”

“We are excited to work with John and the management team at DISA. Under their leadership, the Company has differentiated itself in a large and highly fragmented market by establishing a broad portfolio of comprehensive and best in class solutions. These solutions are critical in helping DISA’s customers deliver a safer workplace for both their employees and the environment,” said Young Lee, Managing Director at Audax Private Equity. “We look forward to leveraging our prior experience and working with John and the rest of the management team’s leadership to drive growth both organically and through strategic M&A.”

Beau Thomas, Managing Director at Audax Private Equity, added, “DISA is a distinguished leader in the employee screening, compliance, and workplace health & safety solutions space. We look forward to supporting the Company through investments in technology, innovation, and talent to help accelerate the platform’s growth in both existing and new verticals and to continue to provide best in class solutions for its customers.”

Harris Williams served as financial advisor to Audax and Piper Sandler and Stifel served as financial advisors to the Company. Ropes & Gray served as legal counsel to Audax and Dechert served as legal counsel to the Company.

About DISA Global Solutions

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Houston, TX, DISA Global Solutions (“DISA” or the “Company”) is a leading tech-enabled provider of employee testing, screening, compliance management, and workplace health and safety solutions to a diverse set of end markets. The Company’s solutions are designed for employers that need help navigating increasingly complex employee screening laws or safety-sensitive requirements. DISA differentiates itself through its proprietary consortium model, speed and quality of its full suite of testing and screening services, direct-lab network, and leading proprietary technology database & customer platforms. Learn more:

About Audax Private Equity

Audax Group is a leading alternative investment manager with offices in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Since its founding in 1999, the firm has raised over $30 billion in capital across its Private Equity and Private Debt businesses. Audax Private Equity has invested over $9 billion in 150 platforms and over 1,100 add-on companies. Through its disciplined Buy & Build approach, Audax Private Equity seeks to help platform companies execute add-on acquisitions that fuel revenue growth, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value. With more than 300 employees, Audax is a leading capital partner for North American middle market companies. For more information, visit the Audax Private Equity website: or follow us on LinkedIn.

For Audax:
Julie Rudnick / Zachary Tramonti / Catherine Livingston
FGS Global

Source: Business Wire

Court Square’s GoEngineer Doubles Size with CATI Purchase

By Chris Nolter
Published: August 25, 2022

With the purchase of 3D design software and printing hardware vendor Computer Aided Technology Inc. announced Thursday, Aug. 25, GoEngineer Inc. is doubling its revenue about nine months after raising capital from Court Square Capital Partners LP.

“It’s atypical for us to double the size of a business within less than a year,” Court Square managing partner Jeff Vogel told The Deal about GoEngineer’s purchase of CIVC Partners LP portfolio company CATI.

The logic behind the deal is partly geographic. GoEngineer of Salt Lake City is the largest computer-aided design, or CAD, software and 3D printing hardware vendor and services provider in North America, largely focused west of the Mississippi. CATI is “sort of the carbon copy of GoEngineer, but in the Eastern North American region.” Vogel said.

The deal was also about scale. GoEngineer founder and CEO Ken Coburn has greater ability to invest in sales and engineering resources to work with clients and important suppliers such as Dassault Systèmes SE and Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS). Meanwhile, the company can continue to make tuck-in acquisitions as 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, grows. So far, Vogel said GoEngineer is following the playbook of Court Square’s successful investment in former portfolio company Ahead Inc.

Additive M&A

When Court Square recapitalized GoEngineer in December 2021, the sponsor and portfolio company already had CATI on their radar. “We knew that this was a possibility,” Vogel said. The sponsor did not know the deal would materialize so quickly, however. Vogel said the timing so soon after the recap gives Court Square and GoEngineer several years to digest the acquisition and continue to invest in the business before the private equity firm’s prospective exit.

CATI dates to 1992 and raised capital from CIVC in 2019. The middle-market Chicago sponsor typically makes initial equity investments of $20 million to $100 million in companies with $5 million to $25 million in Ebitda.

The deal resulted from direct talks rather than an auction. “GoEngineer had a relationship with the CATI management team for years,” Vogel said. “Even before we owned GoEngineer, we had a relationship with CIVC.” Lazard Ltd. and Dechert LLP advised GoEngineer, while CATI retained Lincoln International LLC.

Vogel compared GoEngineer with cloud consulting and services company Ahead. Court Square backed the Chicago company in November 2015 and merged the business with fellow portfolio company Data Blue LLC in 2019, before selling it to Centerbridge Partners LP and Berkshire Partners LLC in October 2020.

“The Ahead and Data Blue business model is the exact same model as GoEngineer’s, but instead of being focused on CAD and 3D printing, they’re focused on storage, compute and networking solutions and cloud solutions into the data center for large enterprises,” Vogel said.

In both cases, Court Square combined two large, founder-run companies. “With Ahead, we did that over a five-year period,” he said. “With GoEngineer, it’s been within the first 12 months.”

CAD Consolidation

Acquisitions will still be part of the story, though GoEngineer’s next deals will likely be smaller, tactical tuck-ins. “At this point we’re pretty excited about the organic growth opportunities,” Vogel said.

Targets could include regional operators that have developed relationships with GoEngineer’s team, customers or vendors such as Dassault or Stratasys. GoEngineer also could look to expand into technological specialties such as electrical, mechanical, manufacturing or design-oriented shops. With its scale, GoEngineer could bring on small teams of experts through deals. As GoEngineer expands, it could seek international consolidation opportunities.

The market for CAD software and 3D printing resellers is fragmented, with PE firms and acquisitive private companies. Middle-market sponsor Sentinel Capital Partners LLC purchased a controlling stake in Richmond, Va.-based TriMech Solutions LLC in March. Hawk Ridge Systems LLC of Mountain View, Calif., has raised equity and debt from Main Street Capital Corp. (MAIN) to roll up peers. MLC CAD Systems Inc. of Austin, Texas, is also acquisitive.

“The beauty of the 3D printing market is that, even though it’s been around for quite some time, it still feels so nascent in all the various growth opportunities.” Vogel said.

As 3D printing technology moves from product design to short-run manufacturing and greater-scale manufacturing, Vogel suggested adoption will proliferate across industrial, healthcare and other applications.

“You’re going to start to see different winners emerge,” Vogel said. “Once you have winners at scale, then ultimately they are going to start to be the consolidators.”

Source: The Deal

Court Square Capital Partners-Backed GoEngineer Announces Acquisition of Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Court Square Capital Partners, a middle market-focused private equity firm, announced today that its portfolio company GoEngineer, a leading provider of 3D design and additive manufacturing solutions, has acquired Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (“CATI”), a product development solutions provider specializing in 3D software and 3D printing hardware.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Chicago, CATI is a leader in the CAD and additive manufacturing solutions space, with over 30 years of experience in product development solutions designed to deliver unique services and innovative technologies to customers.

The acquisition, which is GoEngineer’s eleventh add-on acquisition since 2013 and follows the most recent acquisition of Proto3000 in October 2021, represents the next strategic step in the company’s goal of building a national CAD and additive manufacturing platform. In addition, GoEngineer will be able to increase its footprint in the Midwest and Eastern U.S. through CATI’s existing customer network in the region.

“We have been impressed by CATI’s commitment to quality and innovation and believe their strong product development presence in the CAD and additive manufacturing solutions space complements our existing capabilities,” said Ken Coburn, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of GoEngineer. “Through the integration of CATI, we hope to expand our product offering, drive greater value for our existing customers and key technology partners, and enhance our ability to reach more customers in different regions across the U.S.”

With over 35 years’ experience, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions to customers in the high tech, medical, machine design, and energy industries. These services are carefully selected for their ease-of-use, manageability, and ability to integrate with third-party platforms that help to unlock innovation and deliver better products faster. GoEngineer was acquired by Court Square Capital Partners in December 2021.

“The acquisition of CATI represents the continued execution of our goal to make GoEngineer the premier provider of 3D design and additive manufacturing solutions in the U.S,” said Jeff Vogel, Managing Partner at Court Square. “Our investment in GoEngineer, together with its subsequent add-on acquisitions, is a testament to our 40-year track-record of successfully partnering with founders and manager-owners to help drive significant value creation, while remaining dedicated to their core values in excellence and quality.”

Lazard served as financial advisor and Dechert as legal counsel to GoEngineer. Lincoln International served as financial advisor to CATI.

About Court Square

Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with one of the most experienced investment teams in the industry. Since 1979, Court Square has completed over 245 platform investments, helping managers, families and founder-owners to develop their companies into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential in the business services, industrial, healthcare, and tech and telecom sectors. Court Square has $7.6 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y. For more information on Court Square, please visit

About GoEngineer

GoEngineer delivers software, technology, and expertise that enable companies to unlock innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 35 years of experience and tens of thousands of customers in high-tech, medical, machine design, energy, and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS, Stratasys, CAMWorks, Creaform, and Oracle’s Agile PLM. For more information on GoEngineer, please visit

About Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

Computer Aided Technology (CATI) is a product development solutions provider empowering the innovators solving America’s engineering and manufacturing challenges. Since 1992, CATI has been helping clients succeed through innovation. Led by industry experts and with the help of their portfolio of software, 3D printing, 3D scanning and metrology, PDM and PLM, design automation, and implementation solutions, CATI helps customers reinvent their businesses and stay ahead of the competition. For more information on Computer Aided Technology, Inc., please visit

Media Inquiries
Max Rayden
Vice President, Financial Services, Edelman Smithfield

Source: Court Square

Court Square puts 40-year history of healthcare investing to work

By Aaron Weitzman
14 July 2022

There are many private equity firms investing in healthcare these days, as PE Hub readers know well. That’s one of the reasons we launched this series profiling healthcare investors earlier this year. What makes Court Square Capital Partners stand out is sector expertise developed over 40 years, said Managing Partner David Nguyen.

“Healthcare has gotten very crowded, but we do feel like we’ve differentiated ourselves really nicely to management teams and founders we seek out as strong potential partners,” he said. With eight investment professionals working full-time on healthcare deals, Court Square goes head to head with healthcare-specific firms, according to Nguyen.

The firm focuses on investments in pharma value chain, durable medical equipment (DME) and distribution.

The firm’s focus on the mid-market is also a differentiator. “If you look at a lot of the other private equity firms out there, they have growth strategies, large cap, small cap, credit, etc., but all we work on at Court Square are middle market transactions,” he said.

Pull, not push

Court Square prides itself on its collaborative approach. “What we are trying to do when we look at investing with founders is turning a sale process about price into an interview about partnership,” Nguyen explained. The firm also embraces a “pull-not-push philosophy.”

“We’re not going to come in and tell the founders and the management teams what to do,” Nguyen said. “We’re going to respectfully talk about what the right growth strategy is, and how to execute upon it. We make decisions as a group, we are in it together, and we do not point fingers if things do not go as planned.”

The firm is often the first institutional capital invested in a company, “which is rare for a fund of our size,” according to Nguyen.

“In healthcare, four of our most recent investments were founder-owned businesses where we’re the first outside capital,” he said. “Our focus on founder-owned companies boils down to two interrelated reasons. One is there’s outsized growth potential because they are earlier on in their lifecycle and oftentimes less than 10 years old. Additionally, these businesses typically could use help and building out processes, technology and infrastructure to allow them to scale.”

Common threads

“Typical investments of ours have EBITDA between $15 million to $75 million, ” said Nguyen. “The common threads, other than size, are that we look for growth-minded entrepreneurial management teams, market leaders in their niches, and companies that lower the cost of healthcare and/or improve patient experience. These market leaders and these growth-oriented management teams, they have to be in sectors that we think long-term, over 10 plus years, have real wind behind their backs and will be significantly larger in the future than they are today.”

All about the tech

“As much as technology adoption has increased, and the focus on the consumer rightfully has increased, there is still a long way to go, ” he said.

To that end, Court Square invested in a company called Advanced Diabetes Supply in 2020, which provides continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for diabetic patients.

“The old technology used to be finger pricking and blood glucose monitoring, ” he said. “CGM, which is an improved technology, helps lower the overall cost of the healthcare system and improves patient outcomes and experience. There is more real-time data for the patient, less hospitalizations, fewer comorbidities.”

Another tech-focused example is the firm’s investment in Health Union. The company owns and operates 40-plus condition-specific social communities.

“If you think of, or multiple, these are domains that Health Union manages, where there are daily, highly curated content updates, and comprise of communities where over 85 percent of visitors actually have the condition, ” he said. “It is very different from a WebMD, where people are going to try to figure out what they have, with billions of views each year.”

Health Union’s domains feature more focused communities that help people navigate a disease or a condition. The company is “technologically driven, because it is online, it’s digital, and it’s mobile – not to mention about exciting growth initiatives like a privacy-compliant data strategy.”

“The great news about healthcare is that, as you look down the road, given the aging population, the increase in comorbidities and polychronic diseases, and the lack of infrastructure and technology, the future looks very bright for PE investing, ” said Nguyen. “In addition to growing healthcare expenditures, the continued focus on the consumer and the innovation that’s disrupting traditional models also bodes well and signals healthy growth for a lot of different sectors in healthcare.”

Exit strategy

“On exits, we don’t have any prescribed timeframe, nor strategy around exit, whether to a sponsor, or to a strategic, or to the public market, ” he said. “This goes back to our DNA, our partnership approach with our management teams. It really starts with what we and the management team want to do together to create value. If a management team never wants to become a public company, we are not going to force them to become a public company.”

He noted that the average hold time is four to five years.

“There’s really no rule as to whether it’s three years, or five years, other than sometimes the management team and we feel like if we are in a good market, and there is still a lot of upside left for the next buyer, whether they’re a sponsor or a strategic buyer, we may agree that it’s time to test the market.”

One example of a quicker exit was with a business called Medical Knowledge Group, which the firm backed initially in 2019 and sold to Novo Holding earlier this year.

“It was a very well-run company, and it had been private equity owned before, yet it was still run by the founder who started the company 20 years prior, ” he said. “We helped the management team double the business in two years. We drove more investments in analytics/technology. We augmented the BD function. And we helped develop and execute on a comprehensive M&A strategy. As the business had more than doubled in two years, there was a lot of inbound interest, so we decided to test the market and we ended up finding a really good partner for the management team. Although it was an investment for just over two years, we made a return for our investors of 3.4x MOCI and over 75 percent IRR.”

Firm Facts

Founded in 1979 and based in New York, Court Square Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout transactions in the US mid-market. Court Square was originally a captive merchant banking firm within Citigroup known as Citigroup Venture Capital. The firm invested off of Citi’s balance sheet for the first 20 years of its existence, then raised its first fund with outside capital in 2000. Court Square is currently investing Fund IV, which closed in January 2020.

Recent investments

As noted above, Court Square invested in Health Union and Advanced Diabetes Supply in 2020.

Recent exits

As mentioned above, Court Square exited Medical Knowledge Group in 2022 after an initial investment in 2019, as it was sold to sponsor Novo Holding.

Court Square exited NDC in 2021 after an initial investment in 2016, as it was sold to sponsor Platinum Equity.

Court Square exited NSM in 2019 after an initial investment in 2016, as it was sold to sponsor Cinven.

Court Square’s healthcare portfolio highlights

(Dates refer to initial investments)

Advanced Diabetes Supply: A national distributor of durable medical equipment, specializing in the home delivery of diabetes products including continuous glucose monitoring and other testing supplies. ADS provides diabetic products directly to patients and assists with payor authorization and approval. (December 2020)

Celerion: A global provider of outsourced pharmaceutical clinical research services focused on early-stage trials. (November 2017)

Golden State Medical Supply: A provider of generic pharmaceuticals to the US Department of Veterans Affairs and US Department of Defense. GSMS sources products directly from manufacturers in bulk, packages them per government requirements, and ships the products to the government’s prime vendors. (June 2019)

Health Union: A developer and operator of digital patient communities focused on specific conditions that are monetized primarily through pharmaceutical digital advertising. (December 2020)

Integrated Prescription Management: A pharmacy benefit manager serving self funded employers and third-party administrators. The company manages the pharmacy benefit for self-insured clients, which consists of managing and adjudicating prescription claims as well as negotiating with pharmacies. (August 2018)

Knipper Health: A provider of pharmaceutical sample and marketing solutions to drug manufacturers in the U.S. (October 2019)

Source: PE Hub

West Coast Dental Announces Strategic Capital Investment from Court Square Capital Partners

Partnership Will Accelerate West Coast Dental’s Rapid Growth Plans

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–West Coast Dental (“WCD”), a leading provider of high quality multi-specialty dental and orthodontic care in California, today announced that Court Square Capital Partners (“Court Square”), a middle market-focused private equity firm with $7.6 billion in assets under management, has made a major investment in WCD’s support organization. With Court Square’s support, WCD will be best positioned to accelerate on its plans to provide greater access to high quality family dental and orthodontic care throughout the communities that it serves.

WCD currently has 40 multi-specialty dental and orthodontic offices across California, including West Coast Dental and Magicland branded offices, and employs over 130 highly skilled general and specialist dentists providing care in more than 425,000 patient visits each year. In 2021, WCD celebrated the 30th anniversary of its founding in 1991.

“As dentists, our patients will always be at the core of our mission to provide comprehensive high quality dental care through a combination of high-standards in care, expertise of our general and specialist dentists and orthodontists, and use of state-of-the-art technology,” said Dr. Payam Sohrab, CEO & President of West Coast Dental. “We are excited to be partnering with Court Square due to their deep industry knowledge and successful track-record in working with founder and management-owned businesses.”

The capital investment comes after a period of significant growth for WCD. Since its founding, WCD has invested heavily in its infrastructure and people to address the growing need in the Californian dental care market and to sustainably support its plans for significant expansion and consolidation in the sector. WCD is well positioned for the next stage of its growth strategy through its partnership with Court Square.

“We have been impressed by the strong platform that the West Coast Dental team has created and are excited to partner with Dr. Sohrab and the WCD team to help achieve the next phase of the company’s growth plans. This investment is a testament to our 40-year track-record of successfully partnering with founders, families, and manager-owners to help drive significant value creation, while remaining dedicated to their core values in excellence and quality,” said Jeff Abramoff, Partner at Court Square. “WCD has all of the hallmarks of a ‘Court Square Deal’ and we are confident in its ability to execute on its exciting strategic vision for the future.”

Following the completion of the capital investment, WCD founders, Dr. Farid Pakravan, Dr. Soleyman Cohen Sedgh and Dr. Farhad Manavi, will remain investors alongside Court Square, and Dr. Payam Sohrab will remain CEO & President of the company.

SVB Securities served as exclusive financial advisor to West Coast Dental and Harris Williams as financial advisor to Court Square.

About West Coast Dental
Founded in 1991 by a group of dedicated dental professionals, West Coast Dental is a leading provider of multi-specialty dental and orthodontic care primarily servicing the Southern Californian market. Through its 40 state-of-the-art dental care practices across the state of California, West Coast Dental provides the highest standard of care to over 425,000 patient visits each year using the latest technologies with a team of talented general dentists and specialists. For more information, visit

About Court Square
Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with one of the most experienced investment teams in the industry. Since 1979, Court Square has completed over 245 platform investments, helping managers, families and founder-owners to develop their companies into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential in the business services, industrial, healthcare, and tech and telecom sectors. Court Square has $7.6 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y. For more information on Court Square, please visit

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Source: Court Square

Behind the Buyouts: How Court Square Befriends Founders

Court Square Managing Partner Jeffrey Vogel discusses the firm’s approach to investing with founders, the spinout from Citi and changes in the tech market.

By Chris Nolter
Published: June 15, 2022

In this edition of The Deal’s Behind the Buyouts podcast, Court Square Capital Partners LP Managing Partner Jeffrey Vogel takes us through the firm’s middle-market playbook — in which founders and management-owned companies play a large role.

Court Square was once part of Citigroup Inc. (C), and its roots go back to the early days of leveraged buyouts. Vogel discussed the evolution of the portfolio, from semiconductors and telecom infrastructure to IT services and software.

“We’ve found if we’re looking at a deal and it’s us against an infrastructure fund, one of us is in the wrong spot,” Vogel said of the need to change with the market.

He explained why the firm’s investment in data center technology and services company Ahead Inc. was the “quintessential case study of a Court Square deal” and helped the firm make a subsequent deal with 3D printing company GoEngineer Inc.

Amid inflation, stock market volatility, geopolitical instability and questions about interest rates, the 18-year Court Square veteran said he takes assurance form the enduring growth in cloud, bandwidth, devices and security. While the tech talent squeeze has been a challenge to Court Square portfolio companies, Vogel said, it also presents an investment opportunity.

Listen to the Podcast: The Deal

Court Square Brings Founder-Friendly Model to CAD, 3D Printing

Managing Partner Jeff Vogel discusses the firm’s investment in GoEngineer and Court Square’s approach to working with founders and management-owned companies.

By Chris Nolter
February 11, 2022 12:03 PM

Court Square Capital Partners LP is deploying its middle-market playbook in computer-aided design and 3D printing with an investment in GoEngineer Inc.

“GoEngineer was a perfect down-the-middle-of-the-fairway investment for us,” Jeff Vogel, a managing partner at Court Square, told The Deal of the deal announced in January.

The Salt Lake City company sells computer-aided design, or CAD, software and 3D printing hardware and advises large enterprises on how to best use the technology, and it fits a number of Court Square’s criteria, Vogel noted. The firm is keen on profitable, middle-market growth companies in tech, industrials, healthcare and business services that are predominantly owned by founders or management. Relationships with founders and management-owners is a core part of the strategy, and GoEngineer CEO Ken Coburn stayed with the company and remains an investor.

GoEngineer works with large enterprises such as Boeing Co. (BA), Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Chevron Corp.(CVX) that need to design and print airplane parts, video game consoles or other products and components.

“With any of these companies, they need somebody to hold their hand through that process, to help them understand how to use this software or which software to choose and, ultimately, if they need help over time, training them how to use it and help them to be better at their job,” Vogel said.

“It has more than $200 million of revenue, it’s growing double digits, and the majority is recurring revenue,” Vogel said. Court Square’s future plans for GoEngineer includes cross-selling 3D printing to its CAD software customers.

CAD software is a $10 billion market growing at approximately 10%, he said. While 3D printing is a roughly similar-sized market, it is growing at more than 20%, an opportunity that Vogel described in financial markets terms.

“We’ve got a call option on GoEngineer because 85% of the business is CAD software today, but hopefully five years from now a lot of the growth will be driven from just the cross-selling of 3D technology to our 10,000 customers,” Vogel said. The company expects more growth as 3D printing shifts from design and developing prototypes to manufacturing products at scale.

GoEngineer’s profile is reminiscent of former Court Square portfolio company Ahead LLC. Court Square backed the Chicago cloud consulting and services company in November 2015 and sold it in October 2020 to Centerbridge Partners LP and Berkshire Partners LLC for an undisclosed amount.

Ahead helps customers deploy tech and services from companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO); Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL) and its EMC Corp. unit; Inc.’s (AMZN) Amazon Web Services; and Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Azure.

“Ahead doesn’t actually make that technology,” Vogel said. “They go to these customers and guide them through their next five-year cloud and data center strategy.”

Ahead was also a founder-based business. “They were doing $20 million and $200 million of Ebitda and revenue, and we increased that eightfold by the time we exited,” Vogel said.

GoEngineer and Ahead are typical of Court Square’s portfolio.

Approximately 70% of Court Square’s investments are with founder-owners and management-owned companies. “They have the power to decide who their partners are. It isn’t just, ‘I’m going to sell my company for the highest amount of money I could possibly get,’” Vogel said. “This is their baby, and they want to stay engaged. They’re looking for the safe pair of hands and the right partner to align with on that next stage of growth.”

Management makes an average six times their investment alongside Court Square’s investment, he added.

The company’s approach to founder- and management-owned companies may provide an advantage when negotiating with potential portfolio companies. “They’re talking to other founders or current managers of our portfolio companies and that sells, because they know we’ve got a demonstrated track record and are going to make them a substantial amount of money,” Vogel said. “It’s just never about the price. It’s actually about that next bite of the apple.”

Source: The Deal