Grand Rapids’ investment bank Charter Growth Capital Fund and Detroit’s HighGrove Cos. have teamed to acquire All Star Driver Education, which is based in Ann Arbor and provides driver training at several high schools throughout the state.
Founded in 1997, All Star is one of the nation’s largest and most-comprehensive providers of driver education services, having successfully graduated more than 200,000 students. The investment recapitalized the company while enabling current All Star CEO Brent Wall to retain an ownership stake and participate in the continued growth of the company.
“HighGrove and Charter came along at exactly the right time in our company’s journey,” says Wall. “We look forward to propelling our future growth through the guidance and expertise our investors will provide.”
Sean Roberts, founder of HighGrove, says, “Charter Growth Capital Fund was the ideal financial partner in this transaction. The Charter team has deep transaction experience in the lower middle market, which made for a seamless closing process, and they will be invaluable as we work to build the company. This acquisition represents a considerable opportunity for growth, and we’re excited to partner with Charter and the All Star team to pursue those opportunities together.”
CGCF provided mezzanine debt and an equity co-investment in support of the acquisition.
“The Charter Growth Capital Fund team is thrilled to partner with HighGrove in this investment,” says Hector Bultynck, managing director of Charter Capital Partners who will serve on the All Star Board of Directors. “Having announced the close of our first portfolio company in October, making our second investment just two months later confirms our fund thesis that successful lower middle market companies have an unmet need for a flexible debt and equity offering. We are delighted to welcome All Star to our portfolio.”
Legal representation was provided to Charter Growth Capital Fund by Bodman, which has offices in Detroit, Troy, and Ann Arbor.