1-Hour Program

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Independent sponsor, also referred to as a fundless sponsor, is an individual or group that seeks to acquire a company without previously having secured funds for the transaction.  The independent sponsor identifies a target company and then raises the capital necessary to make the acquisition and acquire the company. This is in contrast to other structures where the capital is in place – or the mechanism for securing it – prior to identifying the target, notably private equity funds, who raise pools of capital from investors in advance of securing an acquisition target, and strategic acquirors, who acquire companies using an existing operating company and its capital structure as the acquisition platform.

In the last few years, these independent sponsors have become an increasingly important player in the M&A landscape, particularly in the middle market and lower middle market.  Once thought of as a steppingstone to raising a dedicated PE fund – or as a less desirable alternative to PE – independent sponsors have come into their own in the last few years and developed into an attractive alternative to them.  Nevertheless, the approach has its weaknesses as well as strengths.

In this One-Hour Briefing experts will explore the following topics:

  • Advantages of the independent sponsor model (10 minutes)
  • Challenges of the independent sponsor model (10 minutes)
  • Who is attracted to the independent sponsor model and why? (10 minutes)
  • Typical structure of independent sponsor transactions (10 minutes)
  • How has the independent sponsor model evolved? (10 minutes)
  • Development and implementations of capital source networks (5 minutes)
  • What is the future of the independent sponsor model? (5 minutes) 

Program Level: Update

Prerequisites: None

Advanced Preparation: None



Jeffrey D. Brooker

McGuireWoods LLP


David R. Caro

Vesper Company


Toby D'Ambola

Ocean Avenue Capital Partners, LP


Joseph Ehrlich

Brown & Brown Risk Solutions


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