Equicapita redefines the small-to-medium-business landscape
By 24 October 2023 3 min read
Equicapita’s unique journey with ATB Financial began with a serendipitous cold call in 2014.
Ryan Wales, Senior Director at ATB Financial, received an unexpected outreach from Equicapita, a private equity firm he wasn’t familiar with. Equicapita introduced itself as a novel fund aligned with shared business interests. This conversation marked the genesis of a longstanding partnership between two organizations sharing a common vision. “ATB is known to bring international expertise to local business,” says Stephen Johnston, a Partner at Equicapita. “They were a logical call.”
Serving an underserved niche
Equicapita’s rise in the financial landscape stems from its distinct focus on the small-to-medium-enterprise market. Johnston emphasizes its specialization in companies demonstrating compelling value propositions, where the acquisition of cash flow is notably cost-effective. Since its establishment in 2013, Equicapita has disbursed approximately $117 million to its investors.
Equicapita also distinguishes itself by targeting well-established businesses—often spanning several decades—that are primarily family-run with no succession plans in place. “Equicapita assumes the role of a succession partner, extending beyond financial transactions to foster meaningful relationships with these enterprises,” says Matt Barr, another Partner. The firm respects and preserves the unique cultures these companies have created over their extensive histories. “Cultivating relationships with the new management teams right from the outset has always been a fundamental focus for us,” says Kerri Furlong, another Partner.
Equicapita’s approach attracted admiration from partners such as ATB Financial, which was impressed by the firm’s well-defined strategy and rigorous due diligence in identifying suitable acquisitions. “They had a good idea, and the businesses they’d acquired to date were solid,” says Wales. ATB Financial not only provided financing but, as Equicapita expanded its acquisition strategy, also evolved into a trusted advisor.
A strategic evolution
As Equicapita’s portfolio diversified, the firm realized the need to segment its investments and specialize further.
In mid-2023, it unveiled funds catering to three distinct verticals: Healthcare (Corpus Partners), Royalties (Averine Partners) and Light Industrial (Preceptos Partners). This strategic disaggregation of the portfolio enhances asset trading flexibility and entices targeted investments from investors with specific vertical interests.
Facilitating this growth is Equicapita’s integrated operational approach, which streamlines reporting and data management across its entire portfolio. The consolidation of 43 applications into a unified “command centre” empowers companies with real-time data and insights, enabling them to make informed decisions swiftly. “Our early development phase yielded a system that was considerably more intricate and expansive than required to oversee our initial four companies,” says Barr, “but our foresight was grounded in the expectation of achieving success and continual growth.”
The firm’s companies are enthusiastic about the substantial financial gains that can be achieved through this data-driven approach. As Furlong states, “The data speaks for itself.” This integrated approach also facilitates swift onboarding—in as little as one week.
An exceptional partnership
When you’re managing such an innovative strategy, it helps to have a like-minded partner in your corner. The Equicapita team credits ATB Financial’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment with playing a pivotal role in the firm’s achievements, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that encourages creative problem-solving.
“ATB engaged in meaningful dialogue with us,” Furlong comments. “We consistently felt that they understood our objectives.” It’s a dedication and mindset she’s seen from the start in her frequent interactions as Equicapita’s finance lead with ATB team members.
As Equicapita sets the stage for further expansion with its new fund structure, the firm anticipates accelerated growth in the coming years. Its vision includes increasing capital in the three funds, pursuing acquisitions and bundling assets for sale.
Both Equicapita and ATB Financial are optimistic about the future, continuing to work together on ventures that align with their well-defined strategy and capital accessibility. “There are numerous exciting opportunities on the horizon for our funds and for ATB as we continue our collaborative efforts,” says Johnston.
Wales echoes that sentiment: “There’s a lot of opportunity out there for them. They’ve got a well-defined strategy and good access to capital. We’re excited to be the key bank to support Equicapita in their next stage of growth.”