Addison Search provides specialized temporary and permanent placement of finance and accounting, information technology, and clerical personnel. The company was founded in 1999 by a team of experienced industry operators to capitalize on increased demand for knowledgeable, local providers of temporary and permanent placement staffing services.
In May 2006, Lake Capital made a strategic investment in Addison Search to enable the company to build a leading, national provider of temporary and permanent placement services in selected functional verticals through both organic and acquisition-enhanced means.
Addison Search is headquartered in Chicago and also has offices in Boston, Houston, and Schaumburg (Illinois).
Allin Communications Corporation
In partnership with a private equity firm, Terry Graunke raised nearly $10 million in 1994 to fund the growth of Allin Communications Corporation, which was positioned to take advantage of advertising and marketing opportunities using interactive television and digital imaging. The company applied its proprietary interactive communications technology to the cruise-ship industry and secured contracts with four of the industry's top cruise lines.
Terry helped take the company through an IPO in 1996 that raised $30 million, just two years after initial funding, and also helped manage the acquisition of two add-ons. Allin Communications is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Archstone Consulting LLC
Archstone Consulting LLC is a strategic and operational consulting firm focused on improving the value chain of its consumer products, manufacturing, life sciences and consumer services clients through its core service offerings, which include supply chain management, strategic sourcing and procurement and trade spend effectiveness.
Lake Capital saw a market opportunity for an independent strategic and operations consulting practice with no ties or conflicts with outsourcing services, information technology consulting services, or audit and tax consulting services, leading the firm to back a group of experienced consulting professionals to create Archstone Consulting.
Archstone is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with offices in Amsterdam, Chicago, London, New York City, San Francisco, and Toronto, and employs approximately 200 billable professionals.
Dutko Worldwide is a leading broad-based public policy management company focused on delivering access, information and impact on local, state and federal governmental, budgetary and regulatory issues for its clients through federal and state lobbying, public relations and market research services.
In September 2003, Lake Capital made a significant commitment to grow Dutko Worldwide. Dutko has been recognized by Fortune, Roll Call, The Hill, and other magazines as one of the 10 leading lobbying firms in the United States.
Dutko is headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in Boston, Denver, Las Vegas, Tallahassee, Miami, Prague, and Vienna.
In November 2000, Lake Capital, Frontenac Company, and other investors committed $125 million to DVC Worldwide to acquire the DVC Group and build it through organic growth and acquisition into a leading international marketing services firm. DVC was named "Agency of the Decade" by industry trade journal PROMO Magazine in December 1999. In a nod to Lake Capital's successful strategy, PROMO named DVC "Agency of the Year" in 2003.
Eagle River Interactive, Inc.
(Formerly Nasdaq:ERIV, now part of Omnicom)
In 1994, Terry Graunke, the cofounder and chairman of Lake Capital, invested $500,000 of his own capital to start Eagle River Interactive, an interactive development and electronic commerce company. As CEO, Terry guided Eagle River through its early stages of growth. Two years later, he took the company public with an IPO that raised more than $50 million.
Eagle River was one of the first interactive developers to recognize that size matters to Fortune 500 companies willing to commit funds to internet-based operations and communications. Growing rapidly to encompass larger-scale business operations and services such as IT training, Eagle River quickly added six offices in the U.S. and one in Paris. In addition, Terry recruited top senior managers such as Kevin Rowe, who had technology experience plus similar business philosophies, from leading systems integrators in order to differentiate Eagle River from advertising agencies.
In 1997, Eagle River's interactive development business was sold to Omnicom Group. Omnicom paired Eagle River with one of its other interactive assets, AGENCY.COM, to create one of the world's largest interactive developers.
After the sale, the continuing company was renamed Mastering, Inc. to reflect its ongoing focus on leader-led and computer-based IT training. Mastering was subsequently sold to PLATINUM technology in April 1998 in a transaction valued at more than $225 million.
FishNet Security is a national leader in Information Security solutions, integration, and professional and managed services. Since its founding in 1996, FishNet Security continues to be a market leader in helping businesses, government, educational institutions, and other organizations define the true risks in their environment and deploy the right solutions and technologies to ensure the continued success of day-to-day operations and objectives. With offices spanning coast-to-coast, located in 25 US cities, and a 15,000 square foot Security Operations Center (SOC) near its headquarters in Kansas City, FishNet Security is able to provide industry leading engineers, consultants, forensic teams, educators, and account managers to all facets of businesses and organizations throughout the United States.
In March 2008, Lake Capital made a strategic investment in FishNet to enable the company to grow the scope and reach of its service offerings through organic initiatives and acquisitions. FishNet is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
HMI is an integrated performance marketing agency network that works with marketers to deliver measurable, tangible and accountable business results. It provides clients with a comprehensive offering built around relationship, digital, shopper, promotional, local (Getmembers.com), data management and media services. HMI seeks to engage customers and drive transactions for its clients using a model of continuous improvement that seeks to lower costs and improve return while promoting brand loyalty and lifetime value. Clients include American Express, AT&T, Dell, eBay, Mars, Sears, TXU Energy and Unilever.
Lake Capital made a strategic investment in SolutionSet in 2006. Together with management, Lake Capital has helped build the business via acquisition and organic growth into a full-service, multi-channel marketing agency. In December 2011, SolutionSet merged with D.L. Ryan Companies and rebranded the company as HMI.
HMI is headquartered in San Francisco Bay area, with offices in Chicago, Atlanta, and Albany, New York.
Lake Capital completed a successful exit of the investment in December 2012.
Hudson Energy Services
Hudson Energy Services is a competitive supplier of electricity and natural gas to commercial, industrial and residential customers in deregulated states. The company was founded in December 2002 to capitalize on the market opportunity presented by the deregulation of retail energy markets.
In April 2006, Lake Capital made a strategic investment in Hudson Energy Services to grow the company into a leading, multi-state retail energy marketer. Hudson seeks to capitalize on the positive industry dynamics supporting the deregulation of the electricity and natural gas markets. The company’s service offering and geographic coverage will be expanded through organic and acquisition-based growth initiatives to develop additional products and to enter new deregulated markets.
Hudson Energy Services is headquartered in Suffern, New York, with an office in Irving, Texas.
Huron Consulting Group
In 2002, Lake Capital and its co-investors backed a group of former Arthur Andersen & Co. partners, led by Gary Holdren, to create Huron Consulting Group, an independent provider of financial and operational consulting services. The company’s professionals employ their expertise in accounting, finance, economics, and operations to provide clients with specialized analysis and customized advice and solutions. Huron's Financial Consulting segment helps clients effectively address complex challenges that arise from litigation, disputes, investigations, regulation, financial distress, and other sources of significant conflict or change. Services in this segment include financial and economic analysis, forensic accounting, expert support and testimony services, restructuring, turnaround and bankruptcy advisory services, and valuation analysis. The Operational Consulting segment helps clients improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their operations, reduce costs, manage regulatory compliance, and maximize procurement efficiency. Huron provides services to a wide variety of both financially sound and distressed organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, medium-sized businesses, leading academic institutions, healthcare organizations, and the law firms that represent these various organizations.
Huron went public in the fall of 2004 and now trades on NASDAQ under the symbol HURN. In 2004 Gary Holdren, Huron's CEO, was named Ernst & Young's Business Services Entrepreneur of the Year for the Illinois region, and in 2005, Huron Consulting Group took the top spot in Entrepreneur Magazine's Hot 100 List. Today Huron has grown to more than 2100 employees and was named by Consulting magazine as one of its "Seven Consulting Jewels".
Lighthouse Global Network, Inc.
In 1998, Lake Capital's founders, Terry Graunke and Paul Yovovich, raised more than $100 million in equity from private equity firms Frontenac Company, GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, and a number of entrepreneurial individual investors to form Lighthouse Holdings, an acquisition corporation focused on building and growing a portfolio of diversified marketing services companies.
Once equity funding was in place, an additional $100 million in debt financing was secured. The Lighthouse team then completed sixteen acquisitions in the U.S. and internationally to build a company with more than $100 million in net revenues and more than $25 million in EBITDA. Transactions focused on companies specializing in marketing and business consulting, design and brand development, promotion, direct and database marketing, and sports marketing and event management - all high-margin, consultative service areas that allowed Lighthouse to build strategic relationships with corporate customers at the vice president of marketing level and above, resulting in numerous cross-sell opportunities that drove organic growth.
Lighthouse was acquired by Cordiant Communications Group in 2000 in a transaction valued at more than $500 million. Cordiant was subsequently acquired by WPP Group (NasdaqGS:WPPGY)
(Formerly Nasdaq:MASC, now part of Computer Associates)
In 1996, Mastering Computers, a leading information technology (IT) training company with nationwide operations, was acquired by Eagle River Interactive, a public company founded and led by Terry Graunke. Mastering Computers leveraged Eagle River's interactive development skills to create a computer-based training library of more than 300 titles. The company also drew on its public parent's financial assets to expand its product line significantly into higher-margin training products and to expand geographically into Europe.
In 1997, Eagle River sold its interactive development business to Omnicom Group, one of the world's largest holding companies of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. The public company changed its name to Mastering, Inc. and focused on its IT training business, a more predictable, higher-margin, and faster growing business.
After growing Mastering from a $10 million business to a company on track to realize revenues of more than $50 million two years later, Mastering was acquired in early 1998 by PLATINUM technology in a transaction valued at more than $225 million.
MedErgy HealthGroup is a healthcare communications organization that blends strategy, science, and creative to ensure promising products become commercially successful brands. The company's strengths include Strategic Planning (strategic mapping, core message development, integrated communication strategies and solutions), Market Conditioning (opinion leader relationships, publication planning and execution, educational content development and execution), and Brand Actualization (positioning/core branding, brand naming/identity, lifecycle promotion from launch going forward). MedErgy HealthGroup has two operating agencies, MedErgy Marketing and SciFluent Communications, a separate entity that focuses primarily on medical education.
MedErgy HealthGroup is headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia.
MediaWhiz is a leading online performance marketing company. Founded in 2001, MediaWhiz has emerged as a market leader in lead generation, affiliate marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and other online media services. The company is benefiting from advertisers’ increasing focus on performance-based marketing solutions that provide an immediate return on investment.
In August 2005, Lake Capital made its initial investment in MediaWhiz. In March 2006, MediaWhiz merged with Global Resource Systems, which significantly increased the company’s capability in email and affiliate marketing, among other areas. In November 2006, MediaWhiz acquired Text Link Ads, a leading provider of text link ads and related services, to broaden the company’s display ad services division, and Monetizeit, one of the industry’s largest vertically-focused lead generation companies, to deepen MediaWhiz’s expertise in lead generation.
MediaWhiz is headquartered in New York, New York, with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Plantation, Florida.
NAL Worldwide Holdings, Inc.
NAL Worldwide is a specialty logistics service provider focused on solving complex supply chain problems. Leading global organizations in the communications, technology, retail and healthcare industries use NAL Worldwide solutions to react faster and more efficiently to business demands and execute more effectively across the supply chain spectrum.
In July 2005, Lake Capital acquired the SIRVA Logistics business assets from North American Van Lines, Inc., a subsidiary of SIRVA, Inc. (NYSE: SIR), and renamed the company NAL Worldwide. The NAL team and Lake Capital seek to expand the scope of services and broaden the geography of NAL Worldwide, through organic as well as acquisition-enhanced means.
The company has its operational headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, corporate headquarters in Addison, Illinois, and additional facilities across the U.S.
NetStar-1 is a leading provider of management consulting services including program management, business optimization, and financial management, to the U.S. federal government. The company's program management services help federal government agencies analyze and determine service requirements, monitor program performance, and track and report progress, ensuring program success. NetStar-1's business optimization services help clients enhance the performance of their organizations by identifying and implementing process improvements and best practices. The company's financial management offerings comprise formulating, executing, and tracking budgets, and implementing effective cost controls, ensuring that government agencies conform to established regulations, guidelines, and specifications.
In March 2007, Lake Capital partnered with the management team of NetStar-1 to grow and enhance the company's service offerings. NetStar-1 completed the acquisition of AVIEL Systems in April 2008, which augmented its management consulting service offerings and extended its reach into additional federal agency customers. In October 2010, NetStar-1 sold its Information Technology Solutions and Commercial Sales divisions in order to focus solely on servicing the U.S. federal government with its core management consulting services. NetStar-1 is headquartered in Rockville, MD.
Founded in 2003, OneWed.com began as a general online wedding planning resource for brides. Seizing a market opportunity to seamlessly connect informed, qualified brides with local wedding vendors, OneWed re-launched in October 2008 with the largest, most comprehensive list of over 200,000 local wedding professionals--from photographers and florists to reception sites and cake bakers--and the functionality to rate and provide detailed reviews of all vendors.
For today's internet savvy bride, OneWed is the complete online bridal resource with all the choices, tools, community and honesty needed to plan her perfect day....spreading the love from Newlyweds to Nearlyweds.
Respond2 Communications, Inc.
Respond2 Communications is a provider of direct response marketing services to clients that range from Fortune 1000 companies to entrepreneurial direct marketers. Lake Capital worked with the executive team to grow the business to become the largest independent buyer of direct response television media. This enhanced company was formed by joining Respond2, Cmedia, ATC Agency Services, and MMSI, four leading direct-response television ("DRTV") marketing services firms.
Taking advantage of the growing role of direct response television in driving sales in many categories, Respond2 Communications offers its clients a complete managed solution for their DRTV needs focused exclusively on improving their return on advertising investments. Its service offerings include strategic marketing consulting, media buying, channel partner development, tracking and analysis, creative development, production, editing, dubbing, and full-service campaign management.
Having achieved our strategic and financial objectives, we successfully exited our investment in 2007.
Founded in 2004 by Eric Casaburi, Retrofitness was created to provide an exciting and inviting environment fitting all levels of fitness enthusiasts. Each Retrofitness location is equipped with a full service fitness center, including 50 plus pieces of equipment supplied by the leading manufacturer of equipment supply, Life Fitness. In addition to equipment, members can enjoy a RetroBlends Juice Bar, personal training services, tanning and a retro cardio movie theatre featuring famous 80’s flicks.
The Company began franchising operations in 2006 and Lake Capital made a strategic investment in Retrofitness in August 2008 to finance the brand’s expansion and growth initiatives. The Company grew from approximately 20 open clubs to over 80 during Lake Capital’s ownership and expanded into 10 states in the eastern U.S. Lake Capital completed a successful exit of the investment in 2012.
Ricetta Pharmacy Solutions
Lake Capital formed Ricetta Pharmacy Solutions to build a leading multi-regional, long-term care pharmacy and made a strategic investment in Southern Pharmacy Services in April 2006. Together with management, Lake Capital plans to build the business via organic growth and acquisitions into a leading regional institutional pharmacy.
Southern Pharmacy Services provides institutional pharmacy services to long-term care settings, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, group homes, rehabilitation centers and other long-term care institutions. Southern purchases and dispenses prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals and provides client facilities with related management services, including automated medical record-keeping, drug therapy evaluation, regulatory assistance, cost containment and purchase economies. The Company was founded in the fall of 2003 by Marybeth and Chad Terry (a husband and wife team) and operates out of two North Carolina facilities in Pink Hill and Kernersville.
Tolt Service Group
Tolt Service Group is a single-source provider of managed services for all technology equipment within the four walls of retail locations throughout the United States. Tolt provides its customers, primarily large national and regional retailers, with a suite of field services designed to offer a single source solution for the installation, ongoing maintenance and disposition of technology hardware and software. By utilizing only company employed field technicians strategically located throughout the United States to provide comprehensive manufacturer-independent field service solutions, Tolt is able to provide its clients with better service at a lower cost.
Lake Capital made a strategic investment in Tolt in May 2008. Management and Lake Capital seek to leverage and broaden the company’s network to better serve current and new customers in a variety of retail segments. Tolt is headquartered in Charlotte, NC.
U.S. Communications Corporation
Founded in 1975, U.S. Communications Corporation was an integrated marketing agency providing a broad range of services to Fortune 500 clients. Its blue-chip client base included Apple Computer, GTE Corporation, and Quaker Oats.
Seeing an opportunity to combine strengths, Terry Graunke completed a leveraged buyout of U.S. Communications in 1990 and merged U.S. Communications with Unispond, a leader in direct marketing that had, itself, been formed through a number of acquisitions. The resulting privately-held, integrated marketing services company continued to grow and filed for an initial public offering in 1992. However, Omnicom Group saw its own opportunity and negotiated with Terry, acquiring the company before the IPO was finalized.
Vestcom International Inc. is the leading provider of unit pricing printing and fulfillment services for some of the nation’s top grocery, drug, and mass merchant chains. The company’s services include processing, digital printing, electronic presentment, and on-time distribution of in-store retail communications with variable data, such as shelf unit price labels, in-store signage, ad tags, and loyalty cards. The company’s products are found at a retailer’s shelf-edge and typically contain relevant SKU information, including price, price per unit, form description, and bar code. Vestcom’s products and services benefit retailers by reducing labor costs and providing efficiency to the process of delivering consistently accurate pricing data to the store shelf, which may be updated as often as 5,000 to 7,000 times each week in a single store, resulting in more than 100 million price/promotion updates per week being processed by Vestcom through its nine production facilities located across the United States.