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December 7, 2016  |  Stone-Goff Partners Announces Investment in The Channel Company

Partnership With The Channel Company Will Accelerate Growth and New Initiatives

NEW YORK, NY – Stone-Goff Partners (SGP) announced today that it has invested in The Channel Company (TCC), the leading provider of IT channel-related media, events and other marketing solutions to the IT Channel. The investment will support several new initiatives in terms of growth in research, data, managed marketing services as well as opportunistic acquisitions of competitively-positioned industry participants.

Founded in 1982, Boston-based TCC is an IT channel-focused B2B marketing platform enabling technology companies to target and reach their channel partners. The company’s deep management team currently leads more than 100 employees focused on servicing its blue-chip customer base of over 400 technology companies and channel partners. TCC leverages its primary media outlet, www.crn.com, and its proprietary database with the largest and most accurate set of data regarding channel relationships in North America, to provide comprehensive IT channel marketing services.

Today, IT industry executives estimate that 70%+ of all technology sold into the corporate enterprise market in the Americas is facilitated by an IT channel partner. Through its media offerings, live events, consulting, proprietary research and managed marketing services, TCC helps its customers optimize their channel marketing strategy and drive new revenue through the indirect sales channel.

“We are thrilled to have found what we believe is a great partner in Stone-Goff,” said TCC CEO Robert Faletra. “We are growing so fast we had the luxury of looking for a partner that not only understands the business, but is clear in understanding how we can accelerate the buildout of our offerings and delight our customers,” Faletra noted.

“We are excited to partner with Bob and his team to enhance TCC’s fast growing service offerings through leveraging the Company’s dominant brand and proprietary database,” said Hannah Stone Craven, co-founder of Stone-Goff Partners. “The company’s depth of talent and expertise within the IT channel and culture of growth underscores TCC’s continued potential.”

CHILDS Advisory Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to The Channel Company in this transaction. Citizens Bank, N.A. provided senior debt financing and Northstar Capital provided mezzanine financing and equity co-investment.

September 14, 2016  |  Stone-Goff Anounces the Sale of Learners Edge

Successful Exit Of Pioneering Provider Of Teacher Professional Development

NEW YORK – Stone-Goff Partners (SGP) announced today that it has sold Learners Edge to L Squared Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Newport Beach, CA specializing in education investments.

Based in Lakeville, Minn., Learners Edge is a leading direct-to-teacher provider of online professional development, continuing education and master’s degree programs for K-12 teachers. Founded in 2002 by two middle-school geography teachers, the company was established with the mission to help teachers advance their classroom skills and careers, while also improving student learning. Co-founders Joe Cotter and Kyle Pederson started with innovative distance-learning courses, enabling teachers to secure their education and training whenever and wherever they preferred. As the distancelearning model transitioned online, they invested heavily in an online platform that could deliver full course curriculum. Learners Edge is now the largest online direct-to-teacher continuing education provider in the U.S.

In 2013, Stone-Goff Partners invested alongside the company’s co-founders. With enhanced focus on reaching more teachers and developing proprietary online content, the business continued its rapid growth trajectory.

“The Learners Edge team – led by CEO Joe Cotter – developed a clear, mission-driven approach for the development and dissemination of continuing education for teachers. Our successful exit is a testament to the value created by the management team since our investment and demonstrates the company’s strength in helping on-the-ground teachers improve classroom instruction and student learning,” said Hannah Craven, co-founder of Stone-Goff Partners. “As the company’s first outside investor, we are honored to have been able to partner with Joe, Kyle, Julie Yaeger, Jenny Oelkers, Mark Hrubes and the entire Learners Edge team. We wish them and their new investment partners the very best as they continue to deliver high-value professional education to teachers around the country.”

George K. Baum Capital Advisors acted as exclusive financial advisor to Learners Edge in this transaction. Avante Mezzanine Partners provided debt and equity co-investment. Fredrikson and Byron P.A. served as legal counsel to Learners Edge.

October 27, 2015  |  Stone-Goff Partners Announces Closing of Stone-Goff Partners Fund II, LP

Fund focused on U.S. Lower Middle Market Buyouts - Founder-Owned Businesses and Corporate Carve-Outs

New York, NY – Stone-Goff Partners (“SGP”) announced the closing of Stone-Goff Partners Fund II, L.P., (“Fund II”) a private equity fund focused on investments in businesses within the consumer and services verticals. Fund II will continue its predecessor’s successful lower middlemarket private equity investment strategy, generally investing between $6 million and $20 million in equity per transaction.

Following the initial closing, SGP is pleased to be in a position to deploy capital in attractive new opportunities, explained co-founder and partner, Hannah Stone Craven. “We are thrilled to announce another milestone in the evolution of SGP and honored by the reception we have received from new and existing investors.” The closing includes anchor investor Carl Marks & Co. as well as other investment groups from the U.S. and around the globe.

Leveraging a network of industry operating advisors, the Stone-Goff investment team has extensive investment experience, working closely with the management teams of its portfolio companies to enhance value. Stone-Goff Partners was founded in 2010 by Hannah Stone Craven and Laurens Goff, who bring decades of combined experience as private equity investors and strategic partners to lower middle-market companies. Collectively, the founders have invested more than $200 million of capital into more than 30 companies in the lower middle market.

The firm recently announced its first Fund II investment, The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, a 41-unit, sports-themed casual dining restaurant chain based in Maryland with units stretching from Virginia to New York. “We continue to identify and invest in companies with a great track record of stable, profitable growth,” said co-founder and partner Laurens Goff, “and we look forward to announcing additional investments in the near term.”

October 21, 2015  |  Stone-Goff Partners Announces the Acquisition of the Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille

New York, NY – Stone-Goff Partners (“SGP”) announced today that it has acquired a controlling interest in The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, a family-friendly casual dining restaurant and dynamic sports bar with 41 company-owned and franchised locations across the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Appalachian regions of the United States. Terms were not announced.

Founded in 1976, “The Turtle” began as a Maryland institution and has since expanded to Delaware, Virginia, the District of Columbia, West Virginia and New York’s Long Island. The Greene Turtle currently has signed development agreements for franchise expansion in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Maryland. Stone-Goff has partnered with the management team, including CEO/President Bob Barry, to accelerate the growth of the business. In 2015, The Greene Turtle has already opened four new locations; two additional locations are expected to open during the remainder of 2015.

“The Greene Turtle is a tremendous brand that represents great food in a sports-themed atmosphere,” said Laurens Goff of Stone-Goff Partners. “We are thrilled to partner with Bob Barry, his team, and Greene Turtle’s fantastic group of franchise partners to continue the chain’s growth throughout the Eastern United States.”

The Greene Turtle has more than doubled in size over the past several years and has signed several multi-unit development deals for new and existing markets. Barry said the support of its new owners will serve to further invigorate the chain’s operations and expansion efforts.

“This is both a great opportunity for us and a strong testimony to the incredible potential and increasing value of our organization,” he said. “Stone-Goff and its principals have worked closely with us in recent months to gain an understanding and appreciation of what makes The Greene Turtle so special. We look forward to continuing our growth and evolution under their ownership.

Raymond James & Associates advised the sellers on the transaction. Arrowpoint Partners provided financing to SGP.

February 2, 2015  |  Stone-Goff Partners Announces the Sale of Thymes

New York, NY – Stone-Goff Partners announced today that it has sold its equity stake in Thymes, a leading bath, body and home fragrance brand, to a private equity consortium which included consumer-focused private equity firm Castanea Partners.

Originally founded in 1982 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Thymes creates highly curated fragrance collections with product lines that include body and hand lotions, bar soaps and bubble baths, candles, fragrance mists, potpourris, reed diffusers, and refresher oils. Thymes is seen as a premium and innovative brand that has a unique consumer appeal. The company is also home to one of the most recognizable and proven home fragrances, Frasier Fir. Thymes products are sold in over 5,000 specialty retail locations in the United States. Thymes is led by CEO Anne Sempowski Ward.

"To be associated with such a powerful brand was a privilege,” said Laurens Goff of Stone-Goff Partners. “We will truly miss working with Anne and her team and we are confident they will continue to grow and thrive with their extraordinary new partners."

"It has been a pleasure working with Stone-Goff in growing Thymes,” said Anne Sempowski Ward. “Their experience in supporting and building middle market companies has been essential to our success. We are well positioned for the future thanks to their early commitment and belief in the Thymes brand."

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

October 23, 2013  |  Stone-Goff Partners Announces Investment in Learner's Edge

New York, NY – Stone-Goff Partners announced today that it has made an investment in Learner's Edge, a leading provider of continuing education courses and degree programs to K-12 teachers.

Based in Minneapolis, MN, Learner's Edge was founded in 2002 by two middle-school teachers, Joe Cotter and Kyle Pederson, who were convinced that there was a better way to provide continuing education courses that would lead to improved classroom instruction and student learning. Joe Cotter, CEO of Learner's Edge, continues to lead the company and shape its next stage of growth.

Since that time, Learner's Edge has helped tens of thousands of teachers grow their knowledge base, enhance their classroom instruction techniques, and increase student achievement by providing high quality, classroom-applicable professional development. Learner's Edge helps teachers by providing high-quality content and degree-eligible credits at an affordable price available online, anytime. Learner's Edge partners with academic partners such as Augustana College, Colorado State University-Pueblo, North Dakota State University, Marygrove College, Pacific-Lutheran University and Lourdes University to provide degree-eligible credits to teachers. In addition, Learner's Edge has partnered with Augustana College to provide a fully online masters of education degree program. Learner's Edge currently offers 80 relevant courses through its continuing education and affiliated masters programs.

January 6, 2012  |  Stone-Goff Partners Acquires NAS Recruitment Communications from Interpublic Group

New York, NY – Stone-Goff Partners announced today that is has acquired NAS Recruitment Communications from Interpublic Group. The transaction was completed in partnership with NAS' senior management team.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, NAS is a leading marketing services agency specializing in media buying, human resources marketing and communications, and employment branding. NAS serves over 2,000 clients out of its 19 sales offices and Cleveland headquarters, including brands such as Toyota, Hyatt, US Cellular, Supervalu, Wendy's, Providence Healthcare, and the Children's Hospital Boston. Drawing on an understanding of relevant media channels, NAS designs successful engagement strategies for its clients' hiring needs.

As media channels proliferate, NAS helps employers address an increasingly complex landscape for locating, attracting, and developing talent, said Hannah Stone Craven, Partner at Stone-Goff Partners. NAS' longstanding client relationships and the team's ability to help their clients navigate a complex media and recruiting environment provide a meaningful opportunity to accelerate growth."

NAS Chairman Jim Miller noted, "With the ownership and strategic direction of our agency now in the hands of management and private equity partners, we will be even better positioned in the marketplace. Interpublic has been a great owner and partner over the last decade, however, under this new structure, NAS will be more nimble and better able to adapt to a constantly evolving set of dynamics in our space."

Laurens Goff, Partner of Stone-Goff added, "The opportunity to acquire NAS is an excellent match for Stone-Goff's strategy of investing in strong niche businesses with established track records and experienced management teams. We believe the opportunity to work with this team on new product development and strategic initiatives will deliver significant growth and value-creation."

CEO James Miller and Senior Vice Presidents Patty Van Leer and Matthew Adams, along with other key management members, will remain with the company in their current roles. Senior debt financing for the transaction was provided by First National Bank of Pennsylvania. MESA (Media and Entertainment Strategy Advisors) advised the seller. This transaction represents the third portfolio acquisition for Stone-Goff Partners.

October 1, 2010  |  Stone-Goff Announces Formation of New Partnership

Investment focus to include consumer, services, leisure, media, information and retail businesses

New York, NY – The principals of Stone-Goff Partners, LLC, Hannah Stone Craven and Laurens Goff are pleased to announce the formation of a new private equity partnership – Stone-Goff Partners LLC. This partnership represents the combination of two predecessor partnerships – Ayr Capital Management and Goff Management.

Stone-Goff Partners LLC will continue its mission of making investments in lower middle market companies ($2-$20 million in EBITDA). The partnership is backed by equity sources including family offices, financial institutions, and high net worth individuals.

Stone-Goff's principals both have deep backgrounds in private equity. Craven was most recently a partner with Sandler Capital Management, a private equity firm specializing in media/information investing that managed funds in excess of $1.5 billion. Goff was formerly a principal at Hampshire Equity Partners where he focused on investments in the consumer, retail and services sector.

For more information, visit www.stonegoff.com