GRAND RAPIDS – Charter Capital Partners has closed its Charter Growth Capital Fund with more than $21 million in commitments with a target raise of $100 million. Anchor investors in the fund include Mercantile Bank of Michigan and a strategic institutional investor, as well as several family offices and individual investors.

The Fund invests up to $5 million of mezzanine debt and equity capital in lower middle market companies in the Great Lakes region to support growth, succession, or recapitalizations. The Fund’s flexible capital solution fills an underserved market, providing capital in the difficult-to-access $1 million to $5 million range. The Fund will focus primarily on business services, distribution, healthcare, industrial services, and manufacturing companies.

John Kerschen, President and Managing Partner, launched Charter’s private capital investing practice more than a decade ago. Having made more than 40 investments, the firm has sourced, financed, and managed more than $220 million in private capital.

“Our team has an incredible track record of closing deals both within the Great Lakes region and within the target-rich, lower middle market, making us uniquely qualified to deliver value to both our portfolio companies and our investors,” said Kerschen. “Our team is also fortunate to be supported by a robust professional network that provides strong deal flow, enabling us to expeditiously pinpoint investment opportunities that best match our criteria.”

Overseeing the Fund, Kerschen is joined by Hector Bultynck, Managing Director, and Mike Palm, Director. Bultynck, a Detroit native, spent 19 years at Peninsula Capital Partners where he was a partner investing five funds totaling more than $1.5 billion. Palm, a Grand Rapids native, brings 14 years of finance experience at private equity firms Driehaus Private Equity and Beecken Petty O’Keefe and Company.

“Our ability to secure this initial close demonstrates confidence that investors support our vision and investment thesis,” said Bultynck. “We look forward to delivering top-tier returns to our investors via a unique vehicle that complements their current portfolio of investments.”

The Charter Growth Capital Fund is cultivating potential portfolio companies in parallel with fundraising and expects to announce its first investment before the end of the third quarter.

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