By Steve Gelsi
7 October 2016


Highview Capital, which manages a $500 million evergreen fund backed by Karlin Asset Management, hired six executives and plans to add talent as it embarks on middle-market buyout and distress deals.

The Los Angeles firm recently launched with two co-founders: David Cohen, CEO of Karlin, and Ryan McCarthy, senior portfolio manager at Highview, who previously worked on Aurora Capital’s Aurora Resurgence fund as well as Alvarez & Marsal.

The firm is looking for deals with an average equity check of $50 million, with a deployment pace of $100 million to $150 million a year.

McCarthy told Buyouts he’s already hired six people — two vice presidents, two principals and two associates — and the firm plans to opportunistically hire more VPs and principals. As Highview builds its portfolio, it’ll also seek operational expertise.

Highview Capital is managing the fund for Karlin Asset Management, which handles $1.5 billion for the family office of Los Angeles billionaire Gary Karlin Michelson.

“For me the interest here was having a single LP that has a long history of successful investing and contrarian investing and building something that differentiates us,” McCarthy said.

The firm sees more opportunity right now for debt or distress-type deals as the economic recovery reaches the late innings of its cycle, he said.

“We’ll focus on lower-middle-market companies going through a transition or seeking a speedy process,” he said. “In that segment, you don’t have to pay as much in terms of a purchase-price multiple.”

With a flexible mandate, Highview’s aiming for buyouts, corporate carve-outs, take-privates, recaps, debt financings, restructurings and bankruptcies, and expedited sale processes.