Private Equity Softens Blow for Businesses in Hard-Hit Industries

Private Equity Softens Blow for Businesses in Hard-Hit Industries

Like most private equity firms at the start of the year, Millstone Capital Advisors began 2020 feeling optimistic about the manufacturing and restaurant businesses in its portfolio.

Then the coronavirus outbreak began, followed by government-mandated business closures and social distancing measures across much of the U.S. that kneecapped the industries where the St. Louis-based private equity firm invests.

In March, U.S. Census Bureau data showed a worsening outlook for manufacturing activity as new durable goods orders dropped by 14.4%. Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association also had bad news: 4 in 10 restaurants have closed their doors, some with no hope of reopening. While many restaurant owners have tapped federal relief programs, over 60% said the emergency funding will not enable them to keep all of their employees on payroll.

Millstone’s restaurant businesses, which include the Lion’s Choice and Native Foods chains, are among those that have been impacted.

“Like the virus itself, the impact to restaurants is non-discriminating."

Toby Warticovschi
Partner, Millstone Capital Advisors

Yet even with the pain inflicted on the restaurant industry and many others, the operational and financial support from private equity investors is softening the blow for some businesses in hard-hit industries like restaurants and manufacturing.

Read the full article by Benjamin Glick in Middle Market Growth: