Washington Post Capital Buzz: J.C. Watts signs on with D.C. investment firm

As seen in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/dc-firm-recruits-... By Thomas Heath

Former Oklahoma congressman and college football star J.C. Watts has joined Farragut Capital Partners, a Washington-based investment firm, as a senior adviser and partner. Watts starred as a quarterback at the University of Oklahoma and then with the Canadian Football League before serving in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He was a prominent Republican voice in the Congress.

“He’s going to be part of the team,” said Philip A. McNeill, 51, one of Farragut Capital’s three founding partners and co-head of mezzanine investing at District-based Allied Capital from 1998 to 2002. Allied has since been purchased by New York-based Ares Capital.

The other partners in Farragut Partners are Javier E. Aguirre and G. Cabell Williams III. Aguirre, 33, is a Washington native who worked at Darby Overseas Investments, a private equity firm founded by former Treasury secretary Nicholas F. Brady. Williams, 57, is another Allied veteran who co-headed that firm’s mezzanine practice with McNeill.

“J.C. brings a wealth of experience in the public and private sector as we look at companies in those spaces,” said McNeill. “He has expertise in energy, media and transportation, as well as a strong network of contacts that will benefit the firm and its portfolio companies.”

Farragut earlier this year launched fundraising on the team’s third fund, Farragut Mezzanine Partners III, which is seeking to raise $150 million.

The firm is about a third of the way to its goal.

Mezzanine III intends to be structured as a small-business investment company and licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The firm would invest and make loans to companies with less than $150 million in revenue.

About Farragut Capital Partners

Founded in 2011, Farragut Capital Partners, LLC is a private investment management firm providing mezzanine debt and equity capital to finance leveraged and management buy-outs, generational transfers, growth capital financings, and recapitalizations. The firm is actively investing out of its latest investment vehicle, Farragut Mezzanine Partners III, LP.  Farragut seeks to invest up to $10 million in established small and middle market companies with proven business models and stable cash flows.  The firm targets companies with strong, committed management teams and the potential for significant growth in equity value.

Farragut specializes in asset-light businesses with unique and defensible market positions, stable business models, and reasonable capital expenditure and working capital needs. The firm works with owners (family businesses, equity sponsors, and fundless sponsors), senior lenders, and directly with management teams to create and build value in its portfolio companies over time.