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With Dolan, private equity firm on familiar ground

For Bayside Capital, inheriting a company on its way to bankruptcy is nothing new.

The investment firm, with $4.5 billion in capital under management, is credit-oriented. According to its self-description, the company “provides rapid access to debt and equity capital … generally in time-sensitive or challenging situations requiring a creative solution.”

The Miami-based firm specializes in finding solutions fast. According to its website, after it gets introduced to a company, it could close a transaction with that company in as little as three weeks.

Bayside got involved in The Dolan Company in late 2013, when it began buying the Minneapolis-based company’s debt.

At the beginning of the year, when Dolan announced its restructuring plan, Bayside was named as a majority owner of the company’s debt. Dolan, parent of The Daily Record and a number of other business publications, said that its newly appointed chief restructuring officer, Kevin Nystrom, would be working closely with Bayside and other lenders.

Bayside partners and directors did not respond to calls for comment.

“I think they liked the core businesses, including the newspapers, Counsel Press and DiscoverReady,” said Nystrom. “They generically have experience in improving business.”

Bayside is an affiliate of a larger private investment firm, H.I.G. Capital, which has experience in a wide variety of sectors. H.I.G.’s portfolio includes a number of media companies, including niche print publishers Sunshine Media in Phoenix and True North Custom Publishing, based in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Bayside in particular has invested in diverse industries throughout the U.S. and Europe, including business services, retail and health care.

In 2009, H.I.G. Capital and Bayside Capital recapitalized a leading Dutch media company, VNU Media, which uses print, online and broadcast media to provide recruitment services.

H.I.G., which has more than $15 billion in capital under management, was founded in 1993 by Sami Mnaymneh and Tony Tamer, who together have an extensive background in mergers and acquisitions and management consulting.

Mnaymneh was previously a managing director with The Blackstone Group. Before that, he worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. with a focus on leveraged buyouts. Tamer was a partner at Bain & Co., where he developed business strategies and led acquisitions and divestitures.

“We want to grow every part of our business, and these people have huge experience in doing just that,” said Christopher A. Eddings, president of The Daily Record and vice president of Dolan’s business information division.

While Bayside’s role as a creditor to Dolan gives it a voice in the bankruptcy proceedings, it should not cause changes in the day-to-day operations of the business information division, he said.

Eddings emphasized that the business information division, which includes The Daily Record, and its staff will not be compromised as a part of the changes. With less debt, he said, the company may even be able to spend more on its news products with time.

“I think the greatest value that these owners have already brought to us is to take away some of the very difficult conditions we have been living under,” he said. “I have a lot of faith in them. They’ve done this right.”