Magazine article Black Enterprise

Pro-Line Links with Venture Capital Firm

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Pro-Line Links with Venture Capital Firm

Article excerpt

Haircare company plans to use financing to grow market share

Pro-Line Corp. recently received a $5 million investment--with access to an additional $15 million--from Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc., a leading international private equity firm with offices in the U.S. and abroad.

Comer Cottrell, founder and CEO of the $68 million Dallas-based cosmetics and haircare manufacturer (No. 29 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list), say, he began seeking potential investors a little more than a year ago to increase the company's sales nationally and internationally in order to seek acquisition opportunities. But to do that, a cash infusion was needed. "There have been quite a few acquisitions in our industry in recent months, and it appears that today bigger is better," says Cottrell.

Patricof (which manages funds valued at approximately $3.4 billion worldwide), was linked to Pro-Line with the assistance of NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, the BE 100s company's investment advisor on the deal.

Cottrell says he selected Patricof from the 12 investment banking companies that expressed interest in his company when NationsBanc Montgomery began presenting the firm's portfolio. Patricof, he says, is familiar with expanding companies and was already investing in similar types of growing businesses, including a vitamin company and a chain of stores that would be a source of distribution.

What really sold the Pro-Line president on Patricof, however, was the fact that the multibillion-dollar investment firm wasn't interested in controlling his business; his management team could stay in place. …

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