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Calibre fund looks to target metals investments

Keywords: Tags  metals, manufacturing, investment banking, James


NEW YORK — James "Jim" Tumulty, a veteran investment banker with a track record in metals and manufacturing, and key members of the team he led at Seaport Group LLC have united to form Calibre Group LLC, a private equity fund that will provide merchant banking services to the "Rust Belt" manufacturing sector.

Calibre was established under an operating agreement that was executed and funded Jan. 2.

"We are pretty excited about our group of shareholders. They understand the metals business completely," Tumulty, principal and chief executive officer of Calibre, told AMM in an interview just prior to the launch of the company.

Tumulty couldn’t disclose the identity of Calibre’s shareholders, saying only that the lead investor was a mentor of his.

"They came to us and said we have proprietary investment capital. They rounded up somewhere between $100 million and $120 million for us to have another arrow in our quiver alongside our advisory business," he said.

With the formation and launch of Calibre, Tumulty and his team are positioned to offer potential clients a range of investment options.

"One is advice, two is access to third-party capital, if that’s what they want," he said. "The third thing we can offer is to be their lead investor. Then if there is a proprietary capital solution that is desired by the company, we are in a position to provide it where we weren’t before."

Calibre’s focus on metals comes naturally. While Tumulty was a senior managing director at Seaport, the company oversaw the sale of the assets of Sparrows Point, Md.-based RG Steel LLC (amm.com, June 1, 2012). Prior to that he was part of the financial/investment team involved with Craig and James P. Bouchard in the early days of Sewickley, Pa.-based Esmark Inc.

"One of the things Calibre’s investors want us to do is utilize our good relationship with the United Steelworkers and other organizations to source transactions. ... They want us to focus on industries that we know. That’s basic manufacturing, steel, metals, mining and steel processing. We also have forest products expertise and some oil and gas expertise," Tumulty said.

"I really want to focus on the oil and gas as it relates to metals," he added. "But we’re basically Rust Belt manufacturing."

A key target for Calibre’s investors is the metals distribution sector. "They have a strong appetite for consolidating, particularly processing and service centers," Tumulty said. "Our group has significant ‘distressed’ expertise, so our investors want us to look for both distressed and non-distressed opportunities."

Joining Tumulty at Calibre are Ed Siegel, principal and chief financial officer and "my partner for 20 years," Toby Kreidler, principal, who previously "worked under the iron thumb of Ron Bloom at the United Steelworkers," Harrison Bubrosky, an investment banker, who exited retirement to join the new venture as a principal, and Michael Rotch, "our analyst" and a vice president, he said.

"We brought our whole team, four of us from Seaport," Tumulty said, noting that their departure from the New York-based boutique investment bank was cordial and completely collaborative. "We are five now and we are going to be six. Ed, Toby, Mike and I remain employees of Seaport while we complete existing engagements."


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