Astara is an integrated team of investors and operators that has worked together for years. With over 100 years of cumulative experience in the middle market, the members of the Astara team have participated in control equity investments and held C-level positions through every phase of the business cycle. We target a variety of sectors where we have deep experience, including packaging & converting, food processing & distribution, building & forest products, aerospace / defense / government contracting, niche manufacturing and business & industrial services. We support investments throughout an organization, from people to processes, infrastructure and equipment, technology and social governance, among others.
Astara invests in companies where it can be a value-added partner that helps management teams transform the business into an industry leader. We have significant experience transacting with founder- and family-owned companies and understand that selecting the right partner is one of the most important decisions they will ever make. Astara has an exceptional track record of being a good transaction partner to business owners during the acquisition process and then a good steward for the business into the future.
Our goal is to build sustainable value for our companies and believe this can only be created by making our companies fundamentally better. Rather than rely on financial leverage to drive returns, we bring financial, operational, and strategic resources to partner with great management teams and position companies for long-term success. We capitalize companies conservatively so they have the flexibility to make strategic investments and can withstand unforeseen economic downturns. This approach, combined with Astara team members’ collective experience, allows us to transform and improve companies.
VALUES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
We build sustainable companies that are good corporate citizens, manage healthy and safe workforces, and play a positive role in their local communities. At Astara, sustainable means companies are managed so that their current earnings do not borrow from their future earnings. To accomplish this goal, we capitalize companies in a way that allows management to invest in the employees, equipment, intellectual property, and infrastructure that ensure their long-term success.
We believe in being a positive contributor to society. Through our investments we contribute to healthier populations, shared wealth creation, cleaner environments, and increased employment. Our team members have led investments that served as a catalyst to improved labor relations, better environmental compliance, and job creation when we have resuscitated an important employer in a community. Accordingly, Astara is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) and utilizes ESG principles to inform its investment decisions and approach to operating companies.
Across the spectrum of interactions with counterparties, from LPs to intermediaries to stakeholders in companies, the Astara team members’ collective belief is that relationships matter, that all people should be treated with respect, and that transparency builds trust. Trust is hard to earn and can be lost in an instant. Therefore, we value integrity above all else.
Helping companies navigate challenges requires an investor to be clear-eyed about identifying risks, and to communicate with stakeholders honestly and transparently to build trust. We endeavor to see things as they are and to avoid wearing rose-colored glasses and the trap of underwriting heavily adjusted earnings. We “take out the hope and put in the plan” – a plan that is developed in partnership with the team that will execute it.