Capital Roundtable

Marquee Sponsor

Showcase Sponsor

Association Partners

Data Partners

Partial List of
Past Attendees

ABB Optical Group
AEA Investors
Alvarez & Marsal
Angelo Gordon & Co.
Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec
Chefs' Warehouse
Diversified Foodservice Supply
Frontenac Co.
Gamut Capital
Harris Williams & Co.
Harvest Partners
Hellman & Friedman
Incline Equity
Kelso & Co.
Korn Ferry
Lancor Inc.
Lazard Middle Market
LKCM Headwater
Luther King Capital Management Corp.
LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions Inc.
New Mountain Capital
Norwest Equity
Palladium Equity
Permira Advisers
Prodos Capital
Robert W. Baird & Co.
Seal Rock Partners
Star Mountain Capital
Stephens Group
Three Wells Capital
W. W. Grainger Inc.
William Blair & Co.

Private Equity’s Triple Whammy --

Digital Disruption, Impending Inflation,

And Economic Uncertainty



Private Equity Investing

In Specialty Distribution Companies



John A. Svoboda

Managing Director

Svoboda Capital Partners LLC


Thursday, June 14, 2018

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

New York City








Korn Ferry



P. Reed Anderson, Houlihan Lokey

R. Wade Aust, Alantra

Joshua A. Cherry-Seto, Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC

John J. Daileader, Greenbriar Equity Group LLC

Justin de La Chapelle, AEA Investors LP

Stephen Eckert, Plante Moran
Matthew J. Espe, Advent International Corp.

Brad Keyworth, Lincoln International LLC

Thomas Kimball, U. S. Foodservice Inc.

Michael S. Langdon, Frontenac Co.

Felix Lo, Golden Gate Capital

Thor T. Mann, ghSMART & Co. Inc.

Erik E. Maurer, Prospect Partners LLC
Ryan J. Mitchell, BB&T Capital Markets
Jeff A. Rosenkranz, Metronome Partners LLC

Benjamin Schnakenberg, High Road Capital Partners

Todd Shelton, Phillips Pet Food & Supplies LLC

Mary-Knight Tyler, formerly A. H. Harris
Garry Vaynberg, Piper Jaffray & Co.

Faculty | Schedule | Registration | Location | Sponsorship | Audio Package |

What do Walgreens’ talks to buy AmerisourceBergen in the drug distribution sector and HD Supply’s agreement to buy A.H. Harris in the building materials industry have in common?


In both instances, the companies are looking to better position themselves amidst digital disruption.  

  • In Walgreens’ case, it wants to bulk up and gain control of its distribution channel as Amazon increasingly encroaches.

  • HD Supply, meanwhile, seeks to develop more specialized capabilities that the Amazons of the world won’t easily duplicate.

Specialty distribution M&A is off to a strong start in 2018, thanks in part to moves like these. But digital disruption isn't the only thing driving deals.  

  • Inflation is rising for the first time in years, and specialty distributors have typically done well during inflationary periods. Will the same be true if inflation increases over the next several months?

  • With Republicans in control in Washington, businesses – especially those tied to manufacturing – feel like they’re operating in a friendlier, less regulated environment. 

At the same time, though, there are concerns that valuations are too high, that inflation may play out differently this time, and that a downturn is eventual if not imminent, given that we’re now in the third-longest economic expansion in U.S. history.


Register now to join more than 20 experts in debating what kinds of deals will generate the best returns in such a complex environment at The Capital Roundtable’s annual conference on “Private Equity Investing in Specialty Distribution Companies,” on Thursday, June 14, 2018.


Ongoing tech disruption and the possibility that a downturn is near make this a tricky environment for investing.


  • On the one hand, investing right now is tempting, with industrial production and consumer sentiment strong, inflation rising, and the promise of new technologies like self-driving vehicles.


  • On the other hand, what if you time it wrong, and you pay peak valuations, and then the economy dives and portfolio company revenue does too?


We’ll help you find the middle ground with a frank discussion of how to recession-proof your portfolio and invest for success no matter the business climate.



Here Are Three Key Reasons Why You Should Join Us


1. Learn how the new tax reforms may uniquely affect specialty distributors

2. Hear how opportunities in food and drug distribution are changing as Amazon moves in, and what’s next


3. Evaluate the potential impact of the Trump administration’s trade war on specialty distribution companies.


Here are some of the topics that our 20 expert speakers promise to spotlight -- 

  • How this expansion has been different, and how that changes investing tactics

  • How tax reform affects specialty distributors

  • New tariffs on steel and aluminum suggest that inflation may increase for the first time in many years -- How to regard opportunities in cyclical sub-sectors like building materials

  • How to adjust leverage calculations as interest rates rise

  • How rising inflation may affect your portfolio companies differently in a more digital world

  • What gauges can help you judge whether companies can withstand a recession

  • How the lines are blurring between retail and wholesale

  • How companies are handling truck driver shortages

  • How and when self-driving technology and drones can help your portfolio companies

  • Techniques other than add-on deals that can enhance company growth rates

  • Family office interest in specialty distribution companies

  • How to play the mixed messages coming out of the Trump administration

  • ESG initiatives and the circular supply chain

Register Now to Join Our Chairman John Svoboda

And More Than 20 Other Industry Experts


Mr. Svoboda is managing director and co-founder of Svoboda Capital Partners LLC. 


The Chicago-based private equity firm invests in business services, value-added distribution, and consumer products companies with enterprise values up to $150 million.

John was a partner in the corporate finance department at William Blair & Co. through 1997, when he left to form his private equity firm with co-founder Michelle Collins.


Mr. Svoboda has served on the board of private distribution companies including Cape Electrical Supply and GPA Holdings. He currently serves on the board of Sonoma Creamery, BPI Media, One North Interactive and SWC Technology Partners. 


He serves as a trustee of the University of Chicago Medical Center and  the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, as a life trustee of the Francis W. Parker School and is Chairman of the Board of the Auditorium Theatre.


Mr. Svoboda also has served on several boards of the Stanford Business School, including the GSB Advisory Council, the GSB Management Committee and the GSB Trust.


He is an alumnus of Stanford Business School with an MBA and of Williams College with a BA. 


Here Are Four More Key Reasons Why You Should Join Us 


  1. Review which sectors are best for investing, now that inflation and interest rates are rising

  2.  Hear tactics for due diligence from peers who’ve nurtured companies through downturns

  3.  Discuss strategies for taking advantage of tech disruption as big players like Amazon expand and as hot technologies like self-driving and drones come online

  4.  Hear how PE investors are combining businesses to form new platforms, in an effort to create value outside of highly competitive auctions.


 Recent Middle-Market PE Specialty Distribution Deals



  • Quad-C Management closed an investment in Galleher Corp., a distributor of floor coverings.

  • High Road Capital Partners’ portfolio company -- Midwest Wholesale Hardware -- acquired Strauss Lock Distributors.

  • AV Capital bought American Insulated Glass, a fabricator and distributor of glass products in the southeast U.S.

  • Nautic Partners bought Endries International Inc., a distributor of fasteners and Class-C parts.

  • Sterling Group’s portfolio company, Construction Supply Group, purchased Zia Concrete Supply, a construction supply distributor.

  • Charlesbank Capital Partners bought Galls, a distributor of uniforms and equipment for public safety services, from CI Capital Partners.

  • Riverside Company portfolio company DPA Microphones bought Sound Network, a U.K.-based professional audio distributor.

  • High Road Capital Partners acquired U-C Coatings, which distributes and manufactures premier specialty coatings and sealants for the North American wood and lumber markets.

  • Cressey & Co.’s StatLab did an add-on deal for American MasterTech Scientific Inc., a distributor of specialty laboratory products.

  • ShoreView Industries bought Winzer Corp, a distributor of maintenance repair supplies.



This Capital Roundtable conference is the ideal place to expand your network and open up pathways to future deals. The day’s agenda includes ample time to let you --

  • Meet fellow attendees and featured speakers
  • Enhance your personal database with valuable new connections
  • Share both ideas and business cards
  • Meet potential investment partners and clients

Keep in mind this conference is certain to fill up quickly, so you’ll want to register as soon as possible to assure yourself a seat. To avoid disappointment, please contact Julie Berger today to confirm your attendance at 212-832-7300 ext. 0 or


 Who Should Attend


Designed to Meet the Needs of GPs, LPs, & Managers of Buyout, Growth Equity, Mezzanine, BDC, and Lending Funds, as Well as Independent Sponsors, Operating Partners, Portfolio Company Managers, and the Bankers, Lawyers, Accountants, & Other Advisors Who Support Them.




We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, June 14, 2018.


Conference Organizers


This conference is being produced by The Capital Roundtable, America’s leading conference organization focusing on “need-to-know” information for professionals in the middle-market private equity community.  For more information about The Capital Roundtable’s 30 annual conferences and other events and programs, please visit




 Speaking & Business Development Opportunities


We offer excellent speaking, marketing, and business development opportunities to reach the middle‑market private equity community. For more details, please contact Kellie Green or Claire Notton at 212-832-7300 or by email at or




Have a Question?


Please contact Julie Berger at or 212-832-7300 ext. 0.




Who We Are


This Capital Roundtable conference in midtown, New York City, is all-business, all-targeted, all-designed to be a completely focused day of practical information and revealing insights. You’ll gain valuable insights from --

  • Three informative panel discussions
  • Two revealing keynote presentations
  • Real-world perspectives from PE investors
  • Industry outlooks from noted sector experts
  • War stories and lessons learned from experienced hands

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Chaired By

  • John A. Svoboda, Managing Director, Svoboda Capital Partners LLC


Hosted By

  • Burt Alimansky, Chairman & CEO, The Capital Roundtable


  • P. Reed Anderson, Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey
  • R. Wade Aust, Partner, Alantra
  • Joshua A. Cherry-Seto, Chief Financial Officer, Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC
  • John J. Daileader, Managing Partner, Greenbriar Equity Group LLC
  • Justin de La Chapelle, Partner, AEA Investors LP
  • Stephen Eckert, Manager, Plante Moran
  • Matthew J. Espe, Operating Partner, Advent International Corp.
  • Brad Keyworth, Managing Director, Lincoln International LLC
  • Thomas Kimball, S.V.P.--National Sales, U. S. Foodservice Inc.
  • Michael S. Langdon, Managing Director, Frontenac Co.
  • Felix Lo, Managing Director, Golden Gate Capital
  • Thor T. Mann, Partner, ghSMART & Co. Inc.
  • Erik E. Maurer, Principal, Prospect Partners LLC
  • Ryan J. Mitchell, Mng. Dir. & Co-Head--Commercial & Indust. I-Banking, BB&T Capital Markets
  • Benjamin Schnakenberg, Partner, High Road Capital Partners
  • Jeff A. Rosenkranz, Managing Partner, Metronome Partners LLC
  • Todd Shelton, President & CEO, Phillips Pet Food & Supplies LLC
  • Mary-Knight Tyler, former Chief Financial Officer, A. H. Harris
  • Garry Vaynberg, Managing Dir. & Head--Distribution Practice, Piper Jaffray & Co.
  • Ryan White, President & CEO, INSIGHT2PROFIT

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Networking & Registration & Breakfast


Welcoming Remarks & Audience Self-Introductions


Conference Chairman’s Introduction --

  • John A. Svoboda, Svoboda Capital Partners


Morning Conversation --

The Good News About Inflation -- Why Specialty Distributors Are Not Losing Any Sleep



Networking & Coffee


First Panel -- 

How We Launched an Exciting Distribution Platform --

Despite an Expensive Market for Deal Making    

Morning Keynote --

  • Thor T. Mann, ghSMART & Co. Inc.
12:30-01:30 Networking & Luncheon


Second Panel --

King Kong vs Godzilla --

How Can PE Investors Face Off Against Amazon?


Networking & Dessert



Afternoon Conversation --

Leveraging the New Federal Tax Code --

Key Provisions That Bring Joy to Specialty Distributors



Third Panel --

When “Buy & Build” Loses Steam --

Investors Turn to Sales & Pricing to Boost Productivity



Networking & Adjournment



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Space at this conference is limited, so register as soon as possible to assure yourself a seat. To avoid disappointment, please contact Julie Berger today to confirm your attendance at 212-832-7300 ext. 0 or


Please note that The Capital Roundtable limits the number of registrants from a single firm to three.


  • Best Rate -- Early Registration -- Save $400 off the standard fee of $1495 when you register by Friday, April 20. Just $1095.


  • Incentive Registration -- save $200 off the standard fee!
    Register by Friday, May 11, and the fee for the conference is $1295.


  • Conference Rate -- $1,495 increasing to $1,595 day of conference, space permitting.


  • Group Rate -- $995 each, when you register two or more people to attend from the same company.


Register Now


You can pay by credit card (using the links above) or by check. Mail your check and business card to: New York Business Roundtable Inc., 747 Third Avenue, Suite 200, New York, NY 10017.

Have a special question? Please contact Julie Berger at or 212-832-7300 ext. 0.


From time to time, for reasons beyond Capital Roundtable's control, program schedules and speakers become subject to change.  We make every effort to announce substantive changes by email to registrants at least 48 hours in advance.

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The University Club

Midtown, NYC

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Audio Package

Can't attend but want to hear the program? You can buy the audio package along with the handouts. Purchase the audio package online now.

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We offer excellent marketing and business development opportunities to reach the middle‑market private equity community. For more details, please contact Claire Notton at 212-832-7300 ext.117, or by email at


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