Castle Harlan was founded in 1987, but traces its origins to the 1960s, when John Castle headed all of the private equity activities, including the Sprout Capital Group, at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (“DLJ”). At that time, DLJ used some of the first limited partnerships to bring institutional investors into private equity investing. Subsequently, Castle rose to be President and Chief Executive Officer at DLJ during the period of 1979 to 1986.
Leonard Harlan joined DLJ in 1965 and was a friend of Castle. Harlan left DLJ in 1969 and formed a successful real estate investment group, The Harlan Company. In 1987, Castle and Harlan, with a handful of others, raised $125 million for its new limited partnership, Legend Capital Group, L.P., to invest in leveraged buyout transactions.
In 1999, Castle Harlan teamed with Bill Ferris and Joseph Skrzynski of Australian Mezzanine Investments to create Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners, also known as CHAMP. CHAMP focuses on control investments in middle-market businesses in Australia and Southeast Asia with similar criteria to Castle Harlan. CHAMP also has an affiliate, CHAMP Ventures, that invests in small buyouts, non-control growth capital and venture capital. CHAMP raised its second fund with A$950 million of investor commitments in 2005 and its third fund with A$1.5 billion in 2010.
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