New Office

Private Equity Firm MiddleGround Capital Targets Europe

Amanda Cheesley Deputy Editor London 25 January 2023

Private Equity Firm MiddleGround Capital Targets Europe

MiddleGround Capital, a US operationally-focused private equity firm which makes investments in middle market B2B industrial and speciality distribution companies, has launched a new office.

MiddleGround Capital has announced the launch of its European office based in Amsterdam, alongside senior hires to head the office. 

By opening an office in Amsterdam, the firm said it is able to capitalise on its existing relationships in Europe, access the region’s industrial manufacturing hubs and meet the needs of institutional investors across continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

Alexander van der Have, Anthony Denaix and Robert Jonkers will lead the new office, reporting directly to John Stewart, MiddleGround’s founding partner, the firm said in a statement. 

In view of his extensive investment experience, Van der Have will be managing director and head of the investment team.

Prior to this, he was part of the management team running the venture/growth capital and private equity business at Ingka Investments, part of IKEA group. He also served in various senior investment management roles in private equity and venture capital firms. 

Denaix, will also be a managing director and head of business development, the firm continued. He brings experience in business development and private equity client solutions from his time at both Orbit Partners, where he was managing director of global business development and origination, and GLG, where he held numerous leadership positions focused in EMEA. 

Jonkers will be a managing director as well and head of operations, the firm said. Jonkers brings a combination of hands-on operational experience with leadership roles in McKinsey’s supply chain practice, where he focused on elevating supply chain organisations and networks to unlock the strategic potential as a critical enabler of overall business performance. 

Prior to his time at McKinsey, Jonkers held senior positions at Nature’s Pride and PON amongst others. 

The European team will comprise other senior management, including Brandon Hamel, who was a senior associate in North America and has been promoted to vice president of the transaction team. Sarah Varghese, who was an associate in North America, has been promoted to senior associate of the transaction team. Both Hamel and Varghese have accepted a rotational assignment in Amsterdam, the firm added.

“We have already established a strong foothold in Europe, and the official launch of our European office marks the next stage of growth for our firm,” said John Stewart, MiddleGround’s founding partner. 

“MiddleGround Capital is putting boots on the ground in Europe, and our three new team members – Anthony, Robert and Alex – will lead the European team. I look forward to working closely with them as we expand our efforts to ensure we replicate our success in North America and apply our operational expertise to transform industrial companies across Europe,” he continued.

MiddleGround has hired a total of 15 professionals to be part of the European team. 

Additionally, the firm said that 2022 was a strong year of expansion for them: they hired 51 employees, deployed $2.1 billion of capital and raised $450 million of co-investment deployed. To that end, the firm promoted team members to partner and C-Level positions – expanding its partnership to six. 

Based in Lexington, Kentucky, MiddleGround Capital has $3.3 billion of assets under management.

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