Corlex Capital, LLC, an independent financial sponsor focused on control and minority equity investments in the lower middle market, announced its official launch of operations. Founded by five longtime industry professionals, Corlex Capital has redefined the private equity model by combining intellectual and financial capital to be thoughtful and impactful in every engagement. Corlex Capital will leverage its deep industry expertise and extensive operations experience to create significant value for companies in the franchise, restaurant, retail and service sectors.

Led by private equity and franchise industry veterans Jason Bedasse, Jake LaJoie, Dan Lonergan, Chad Magee and Jeffrey Kolton, Corlex Capital is seeking control and minority equity investment opportunities in North American companies with EBITDA between $5 million and $25 million. The firm will also leverage its extensive investment and credit underwriting experience to provide debt capital raise consulting by developing lender marketing materials and an optimal capital structure to maximize the likelihood of success.

Although Corlex Capital is fundamentally a principal equity investor, its platform is differentiated by its complementary consulting practice, through which the firm has access to intimate knowledge about businesses and their internal operations. By offering this service, the firm gains a comprehensive understanding of its client’s business, which allows it to develop value enhancement plans that are then funded through its principal investing business. This approach delivers improved revenue and profits for business owners, while allowing Corlex to de-risk principal investments and drive higher risk-adjusted returns for all stakeholders. Corlex Capital is open to a range of investment types including growth/acquisition capital, recapitalizations, family-owned business transfers, management/corporate buyouts and corporate divestitures.

“While traditional financial sponsors are solely focused on making principal investments, at Corlex Capital we combine intellectual capital with financial capital to deliver higher risk-adjusted returns for investors,” says Jake LaJoie, Partner at Corlex Capital. “Our team’s decades of experience working together in our target industries, coupled with the information advantage from our consulting practice, highlights Corlex’s unique approach to deliver an unmatched level of service while offering proprietary investment opportunities to investors.”

On the heels of its launch, Corlex Capital has signed a letter of intent to invest in the Ivan Ramen brand, created by world-renowned ramen chef Ivan Orkin, to develop an American Urban Casual prototype of his award-winning ramen restaurants. Widely recognized as the international authority on ramen, the chef’s Ivan Ramen portfolio includes restaurants in New York City, a decade of successful operations in Tokyo, an episode of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated Chef’s Table documentary series, a top-selling ramen cookbook, as well as a second book in development.

Corlex Capital intends to finance and assist with the development of the prototype with future plans to franchise and expand the Ivan Ramen brand. Beyond the creation of a global franchise chain of restaurants, Corlex will also assist with the development of Ivan Ramen-branded consumer packaged goods and leverage the celebrity status of chef Ivan Orkin for media opportunities including books, television programs and speaking engagements.

“When I decided I was ready to take my concept to the next level, I invested a great amount of time and energy into finding the right partner that had the ability and experience to scale my brand. After meeting with the partners at Corlex Capital, I was immediately impressed with their innovative approach and knew I’d found the perfect fit,” says Ivan Orkin, celebrity chef and creator of the Ivan Ramen brand. “Partnering with Corlex Capital gave me immediate access to industry experts whose insights have been an invaluable resource. I look forward to partnering with the firm to share my love of ramen worldwide.”

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