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New Texas CAPCO Fund to Encourage Small Business Growth; Advantage Capital Partners Raises $23 Million Fund.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Advantage Capital Partners has raised approximately $23 million under the Texas Certified Capital Company (CAPCO) program for investment in qualified small businesses.

"We look forward to investing in promising companies with solid growth prospects, companies that will create jobs and increase demand for goods and services from other local businesses," said Steven T. Stull, Advantage's president. "Experience in several states around the nation has shown that CAPCO investments attract additional venture capital dollars from outside the area to support entrepreneurs and their businesses, resulting in a more diverse and stronger local economy."

To manage the new Texas fund, Advantage has established an office in northwest Austin led by Timothy Cockshutt, managing director, and Damon Rawie, principal.

"Small businesses are the source of most new jobs in today's economy, and the CAPCO program will encourage investment in our state's high-potential companies," Cockshutt said. "We are glad to be open for business in Texas. We are especially interested in companies in West Texas, South Texas and other Strategic Investment Areas outside the major cities."

To be considered for a CAPCO investment, Cockshutt added, businesses must be headquartered in Texas, have principal business operations in the state and have 100 or fewer employees, at least 80 percent of whom must live in Texas. The primary purpose of the business should be manufacturing, processing or assembling products, conducting R&D or providing services, he said.

Cockshutt, who joined Advantage in 1998, has been involved in the management of the firm's investment portfolios in New York, Florida and other states. He spent 15 years of his career in Texas, working at Meridian Advisors, Ventex Management and Criterion Investments in Houston after earning an MBA degree from Rice University. Cockshutt also holds a bachelor's degree in geology from King's College, University of London, and a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from Amherst College.

Rawie, with Advantage since 1999, has been involved with investment management for the firm's Louisiana and Wisconsin portfolios. Prior to Advantage he worked in investment banking and operational consulting, including positions with China International Capital Corp., Price Waterhouse and J.P. Morgan Securities. Rawie holds an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University.

Advantage Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in promising companies in connection with federal, state and local economic development efforts. With offices in New Orleans, St. Louis, New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities, Advantage has raised $650 million in institutional private equity since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas where little venture capital or venture capital infrastructure exists -- or where capital is only available for mature companies. For more information about Advantage Capital, visit www.advantagecap.com.

In addition, Advantage participates in the U.S. Treasury Department's New Markets Tax Credit program, which is designed to stimulate growth and job creation in low-income neighborhoods throughout the United States by providing much-needed investment capital, financial counseling and other services. To date, Advantage has raised more than $55 million through the New Markets program for investment in low-income communities.

NOTE: For more information on the Texas CAPCO Program, go to the website http://www.texascapital.org/about/capco.php
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 7, 2005
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