Patriarch Partners' lofty goal is no less than "rebuilding America, one company at a time, one job at a time." The private equity firm acquires and attempts to rejuvenate distressed, undervalued, middle-market companies with well-established but waning brands and market presence. The firm has investments in about a dozen industries, most prominently manufacturing, consumer goods, business services, media, health care, and textiles. Patriarch Partners, which manages about $8 billion in equity and assets, holds long-term interests in about 75 portfolio companies, more than 50 of them majority owned. Hardly a patriarchy, the company was founded in 2000 by high-profile, high-style CEO Lynn Tilton.
A Wall Street veteran and self-made billionaire (depending on who you ask), Tilton has said that the only thing that Patriarch Partners' portfolio companies have in common is that no one else wanted them. The company's holdings comprise some familiar names, including map and atlas publisher Rand McNally, direct retailer Spiegel Brands, MD Helicopters (founded by Howard Hughes), and Dana, maker of such fragrances as English Leather and Love's Baby Soft. Other notable portfolio companies include DURA Automotive, home products maker Croscill, and Oasis International, which makes drinking water purification products and systems. In 2011 Patriarch Partners picked up Pennsylvania-based copper product manufacturer Hussey Copper.