J.H. Whitney & Co., established in 1946 by the industrialist and philanthropist, John Hay “Jock” Whitney, was one of the first U.S. private equity firms and is often credited with pioneering the development of the private equity industry. Today, JHW remains privately owned by its investing professionals and our main activity is to provide private equity capital to small and middle market companies with strong growth prospects in a number of industries including consumer, healthcare, specialty manufacturing and business services. We are currently investing our seventh private equity fund whose investors include leading foundations, universities, pension funds and other institutions.
Founded as one of the country’s first private equity firms in 1946 by John Hay “Jock” Whitney, J.H. Whitney & Co. was formed with the objective of providing capital and professional assistance to entrepreneurs growing companies and reshaping industries.
J.H. Whitney's rich history of success in small and middle market investing began with the nation’s first post-World War II leveraged buyout, Spencer Chemicals, by converting a munitions plant into a fertilizer facility. Shortly thereafter, J.H. Whitney introduced the world to Minute Maid Orange Juice, a product in part developed in the kitchen of JHW’s original Rockefeller Center, New York offices.
With his personal investment of $5 million in 1946 to capitalize J.H. Whitney & Co., Jock Whitney set the stage for a significant change in American capitalism. Our firm honors Jock’s legacy today by continuing his vision of providing capital and assistance to companies with the potential to achieve sustained superior performance.
The Firm’s early success in the 1940s with private equity investing led other prominent families to fund private equity activities in the ensuing years. Over the succeeding several decades, new and existing private equity firms received significant amounts of investment capital from leading foundations, universities and institutions. JHW pursued a similar model in 1990 when we raised our first private partnership apart from the Whitney family. Today, JHW is investing its seventh outside private equity fund and continues to attract its capital from leading foundations, universities, pension funds and other institutions.
We invest principally in small and middle market buyouts and recapitalizations of growth-oriented companies based in the U.S. This investment focus has guided our activities for decades, and we believe our dedication to this market niche enhances our ability to generate superior risk-adjusted returns for our investors.
We are guided by the parameters outlined below.
As we pursue investment opportunities, we may discover attractive companies that are either above or below one or more of the ranges listed above. For example, many attractive, growth-oriented companies are under $50 million in revenue, but their strong cash flows, profit margins and growth prospects typically lead to transaction sizes and equity investments for JHW within the ranges shown above.
We seek companies that have attractive long term growth and profitability characteristics. Educated by the successes and challenges of our prior investments, we have established several important practices that have enabled us to consistently generate top quartile returns for our investors.
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