John Caple has stepped down as a partner with Comvest Partners, in order to launch a new lower middle-market private equity firm with David Block, who is in the process of resigning as president and CEO of Swiss Watch International. The two have been longtime pals, going back to their days as colleagues at consulting firm Bain & Company.
Their new firm will be called Hidden Harbor Capital Partners, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.
“At Comvest I was usually the person doing the most deep value or deep turnaround deals, even buying businesses that were unprofitable,” says Caple, whose deals have included Sunteck Transport Group and Cartera Commerce. “So that’s where we’ll be focused.”
Caple adds that he plans to remain on existing portfolio company boards for Comvest, saying that the split was amicable. “David and I have always wanted to work together, and this just seemed like the right opportunity and time.”
He declined to discuss anything surrounding fundraising, which I take to be de facto confirmation that there will indeed be fundraising (i.e., this won’t be a fundless sponsor). Also expect several new hires, including some possible additions at the general partner level.