Banking & Finance and Health Care

Private equity firm exits portfolio company

September 1, 2017
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A local private equity firm has pulled out of one of its portfolio companies.

Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital said this week its exited from Westlake Village-based Key Health, a personal injury lien funding company.

After investing in Key Health, Blackford implemented a two-pronged approach to turning around the business. Blackford put in place a new financial infrastructure, key performance indicators and growth incentives. For the second part of its two-pronged attack, Blackford also supported and provided a form of accountability to the management team to encourage growth, resulting in improved company culture and a significant financial return for Blackford’s investors.

Martin Stein, founder and managing director Blackford Capital, said the private equity firm was “energized” by the exit.

"Having followed our core thesis of professionalizing and improving businesses at the lower end of the middle market, we were able to successfully grow Key Health and ultimately drive equity value for our investors,” Stein said. “Through the strong partnership between Blackford and Key Health's management team, we were able to motivate the team at Key Health and improve performance.”

Under Blackford’s ownership, Key Health showed consistent earnings increases, “due largely to Blackford's leadership in refining and developing Key Health's highly differentiated business model.”

Key Health is the latest successful exit from Blackford’s National Growth Practice, which targets middle-market manufacturing, distribution and business service companies. Addison, Illinois-based Snowhite, Hanover, Pennsylvania-based McClarin Plastics are also members of the practice.

Key Health CEO Jeff Trigilio said the partnership was “mutually beneficial” for both organizations.

“In addition to providing needed capital for growth, Blackford provided us with strategic experience and support that revitalized our company and gave us a new path forward,” Trigilio said. “The work Blackford has done has not only benefitted our shareholders, but it also furthered our ability to provide more Americans with access to quality health care services and put more people on the road to recovery after an injury."

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