Ascent Equity Capital Announces Increase in Size of First Fund to $5 Million

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Ascent Equity Capital, Inc. (http://www.ascentequitycapital.com), a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today that it had closed on an increase in the size of the company's first fund, Ascent Equity Capital I, L.P., to $5 million, with increased commitments from existing investors. Ascent was launched in November 2003 with $500,000 in capital.

Ascent Equity Capital, Inc. (http://www.ascentequitycapital.com), a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today that it had closed on an increase in the size of the company's first fund, Ascent Equity Capital I, L.P., to $5 million, with increased commitments from existing investors. Ascent was launched in November 2003 with $500,000 in capital. Ascent Equity Capital I, L.P. has generated over a 50% gross internal rate of return on realized investments to date, and a 2.9x multiple of invested capital.    

Ascent Equity Capital I, L.P. will continue to focus on investing through Ascent's CEO in Residence program, in which Ascent partners with a proven CEO first, and then invests in a buyout of a company with the CEO assuming the top position of the acquired company. Ascent typically brings in larger private equity groups to finance the majority of the equity in any transaction. In the past Ascent has co-invested with private equity firms such as Frontenac Company in Chicago and Great Hill Partners in Boston in buyouts as large as $100 million in enterprise value.

Ascent's investments to date include investments in Central Security Group, a provider of alarm monitoring services, TrialGraphix, a provider of trial litigation services, Encore Legal Solutions, a provider of information management services to legal firms and legal departments of Fortune 1000 companies, and Main Street National Bank, a small business equipment leasing and banking company.

Ascent General Partner Chad Mollman said that Ascent considered raising a second fund of $10 million, but chose to instead focus on investing out of the current fund with more committed capital in place, with the goal of raising a second fund significantly larger than $10 million fund in the future. Mollman said that because Ascent is typically a minority investor, even with an increase in size of a later second fund, Ascent would continue to focus on the same size of deals, avoiding problems that other private equity firms have had when they increased in size and had less success conducting larger transactions.

Ascent announced last year that it was changing its name to Ascent Equity Capital from Pinnacle Equity Capital, to create a more distinct identity from the CEO search firm Pinnacle CEO Recruiters, which Ascent previously was affiliated with, and as Ascent desired to seek CEO and acquisition candidates from a wider range of intermediaries than just Pinnacle CEO Recruiters.

About Ascent Equity Capital

Ascent is a Chicago-based private equity fund focused on partnering with outstanding CEOs and acquiring and building leading companies. Ascent Equity Capital's investment strategy is to invest in transactions in which: (i) a private company is under-managed or "under the radar", (ii) new management is able to improve the operational performance and implement a successful growth plan, and (iii) after a company has achieved critical mass and demonstrated strong growth and margins, a company is attractive to a number of large corporate buyers and larger private equity groups. Ascent Equity Capital makes equity investments of up to $1 million, and brings in larger private equity firms to partner with on acquisitions of companies up to $1 billon in enterprise value. Ascent is actively seeking investments in companies in the business-to-business services, consumer services and products, financial services, and media and publishing sectors.

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CHAD MOLLMAN
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