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About Us

We understand the needs of small businesses from the perspectives of both owners and managers and have a history of creating partnerships to promote the growth and success of the companies in which we invest

Overview

C3 Capital is an experienced SBIC mezzanine lender with offices in Kansas City and Phoenix. We have invested over $500 million in more than 80 companies since 2003. C3 provides expansion and acquisition capital to lower middle market companies across the United States, working closely with entrepreneurs and sponsors, owners and managers to execute growth strategies and enhance long-term enterprise value. The funds make $3-15 million investments in the form of subordinated debt or preferred equity in established businesses with a history of profitability. We currently manage three funds, all licensed as Small Business Investment Companies, with combined assets greater than $400 million.

C3 provides the layer of a company’s capital structure between senior debt and common equity, commonly referred to as “mezzanine” capital. For companies with a track record of profitability and sustainable cash flow that cannot obtain desired levels of bank financing, raising mezzanine capital is generally a superior alternative to raising additional common equity since mezzanine:

  • Is typically less expensive than common equity
  • Is far less dilutive than common equity
  • Enables existing owners to maintain control
  • Unlike common equity, does not require a forced sale of the company at the time of repayment/redemption

As a business philosophy, nothing is more important to us than our reputations. We have invested in over 80 small businesses since 2003, and we invite all potential partners to use our portfolio companies as references. Because of our backgrounds and experience, we understand the needs of small businesses, and, unlike many mezzanine funds which prefer to be passive, we enjoy taking as active a role as needed to help our portfolio businesses achieve their goals.

Finally, because the principals of C3 typically invest at least 20% in each fund we raise, we believe our interests are uniquely aligned with both our investors and our portfolio companies, generally the largest assets of the entrepreneurs we support.

History

C3 was founded in Kansas City in 1994 as an independent sponsor, raising our first fund in 2003 and additional funds in 2007 and 2013. We can provide more than capital to entrepreneurs and leaders because of our long history and diversity of experience, which includes CEO and/or senior management positions at chemical, energy, manufacturing, business services, and finance companies as well as extensive public and private company board representation. We bring a unique mix of operating and financial skills and a substantial network of contacts to every business in which we invest. Our team has diverse educational and professional backgrounds, including degrees and work experience in engineering, accounting, commercial and investment banking, and finance.

We have long experience working and investing together as a team and are significant investors in all our funds. While many mezzanine providers require a sponsor in each investment, C3 draws on its private equity and operations experience to invest in transactions with or without a sponsor. We focus on adding value to businesses through strategic and financial guidance and by sharing our network of relationships. We act as important resources to help management succeed, but generally, we do not seek control.