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BET Founder Bob Johnson Enters Into Strategic Partnership with Investment Firm Macellum to Form Firm to Invest In Black Businesses

Macellum Capital Management, an activist investment firm that invests in undervalued companies, has formed a firm to invest in Black- and minority-owned or -led businesses focused on the retail and consumer sectors.

An activist investor is an individual or group that buys a large stake in a public company in order to influence how the company is run.

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Macellum, which was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Duskin, recently launched Macellum Private Capital. MPC is targeting $100 million to $150 million for its inaugural fund. The new firm is receiving initial backing via strategic partnerships with Bob Johnson, founder of BET and The RLJ Cos.; international clothing company G-III Apparel Group and Citi Trends, an American clothing and home trends company that targets urban consumers, WWD reported.

Through the strategic partnership, Johnson, G-III Apparel Group and Citi Trends will share their resources with Macellum to help establish MPC.

MPC is seeking to take stakes in multi-unit retailers, e-commerce, health and beauty, apparel, food, home goods and experiential businesses. It also will consider business and industrial service companies that are vendors to larger organizations.

MPC focuses on Black and Hispanic consumers, and is being led by Daniel Balzora, a Black investor with 20 years of private equity/growth capital, investment banking/mergers and acquisitions.

According to Macellum, there is a growing market for companies that target non-white consumers. “Businesses and consumers are increasingly demanding products and services from these businesses, creating a $1 trillion-plus opportunity in an underserved and underrepresented market that has encountered systematic disadvantages to scaling and traditionally lacks access to significant capital, strategic and operational resources, and deep networks,” Macellum said in a statement.

The new firm is targeting firms offering “unique and differentiated products and services that reach sizable markets, multichannel distribution opportunities, and have already established “proof of concept” and are generating more than $5 million in annual revenues. They should also have a flexible capital structure; Macellum could be the sole investor controlling the company or a co-investor.

Companies interested in partnering with MPC should also have a culture that values diversity, “strong alignment,” and would allow Macellum Private Capital to participate in the development and evolution of its operations.

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