The Cambria Group is a private investment company which acquires and invests in small and mid-sized businesses with established operating histories. Cambria’s principals established the firm in 1996 to fill a void in the private equity markets — to pursue businesses which are fundamentally attractive, but which lack both the high growth characteristics sought by traditional venture capitalists and the scale required to interest most fund-based buyout firms.
The firm’s principals distinguish themselves in two ways. First, each of the firm’s principals has both operating and financial experience, a combination which is employed in all stages of the private equity business — from evaluating opportunities to structuring transactions and helping to manage portfolio companies. Second, the principals provide the majority of the equity for each transaction personally. This approach allows the firm to make decisions quickly and without uncertainty as to their source of capital — and accommodates a long-term perspective with respect to building shareholder value and seeking liquidity.
Cambria focuses on quality businesses with revenues of under $50 million and valuations of under $25 million, investing across a wide range of industries, including the low-tech manufacturing, distribution and service sectors. Cambria considers a variety of transaction types as well, from outright acquisitions to growth equity financings.
The firm seeks four critical elements in every situation — a fundamentally sound and durable business with a history of profitability; availability of a strong management team; a fair purchase price in relation to historical performance; and opportunities for management and Cambria to add value to the business over time.
In a typical transaction, Cambria invests up to $5 million to acquire a control position, investing together with management. In other cases, Cambria will invest in concert with other like-minded private equity investors, serving either as the lead investor or as a value-added co-investor alongside another firm or firms.
After closing, Cambria’s role shifts to one of active oversight and support of the management team, with the firm’s principals serving as active shareholders and board members. Working in partnership with management, which remains responsible for day-to-day operations and business decisions, Cambria’s principals seek to employ their experience and networks to the team’s common goal — building the long-term value of the business itself.