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Investment Criteria


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Investment Criteria


Business Characteristics

Niche market leaders uniquely positioned relative to their competition

  • "Mind share" leaders - high brand awareness in a target markets based on reputation, quality and the respect of peers, customers and suppliers

  • Competitive differentiation through: proprietary processes or technologies; design, engineering or product innovation; customer relationships and sales & marketing expertise

  • Competitively advantaged cost structure, but sufficiently well-positioned such that they don’t compete based solely on price

Current sales of $10 - 125 million with significant growth potential - organic and through acquisition

$3 - $12 million in sustainable EBITDA with margins in excess of 10%

Control transactions in the $10 - 75 million enterprise value range typically requiring $3 - $25 million in equity

  • Willing to selectively consider later stage, growth capital investments

Talented, entrepreneurial management teams passionate about their business

  • Willing to consider selected situations where senior management or selling shareholders seek to exit the company assuming a strong core team will remain

International sales and marketing potential

Non-union or union-friendly

Companies with primary operations located in the United States or Canada


"I had the opportunity to work with Rock Gate during the depths of the great recession of ’08 – ‘09.  Their team was willing to dig in and really understand the business at a deeper level while others were seeking to re-trade terms.  Despite the challenging environment, they worked diligently to execute a fair and equitable deal for all parties."

Duane P. Donner II
Managing Partner
Founders Investment Banking LLC
Sellers' Investment Banker

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Industry Sectors


Industry Sectors


We are generalists; however, over time we have focused a majority of our time on opportunities in the following categories:

  • Engineered Products
  • Infrastructure Products & Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Organic and Specialty, Food Beverage & Agricultural Products (learn more)
  • Specialized Business Services
  • Value-Added Distribution and E-Commerce

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Investment Types


Investment Types


  • Recapitalizations
  • Buyouts
  • Corporate divestitures
  • Industry consolidations, and
  • Later stage growth capital investments
  • Add-on acquisitions for platform companies


"Rock Gate said what they were going to do, and did it. It’s refreshing to work with a buyer who understands the big picture, but can also dig into important details without getting caught up in unimportant minutiae.  While fair, Ken was a firm negotiator and represented his partners' interests with integrity and assertiveness."

Darrell Butler
Managing Director
Billow Butler & Company
Sellers' Investment Banker