CVCA Member Profiles

CVCA Member Profile: Krystal Growth Partners

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We’re continuing to profile unique organizations that make up our membership. This is an opportunity to learn how they contribute to our community and advance the ecosystem.

This week we’re excited to find out more about Krystal Growth Partners (KGP).

The CVCA caught up with KGP to learn more about their thesis, team, and what they’re excited about.

Tell us about Krystal Growth Partners.

Krystal Growth Partners is a Vancouver-based private equity firm focused on the Western Canadian mid-market. Core to our approach is a philosophy of partnership, ensuring that management, employees, and shareholders meaningfully participate in the success of our portfolio companies. We are mid-market specialists, partnering with owners and management teams who seek capital as well as expertise in the following areas: M&A, strategy, building leadership teams, financial management, and access to capital. 

KGP is not a typical private equity fund. On each investment, we invest our own capital as well as that of a hand-picked network of investment partners who have substantial entrepreneurial and investment experience. We offer patient capital with no fixed timelines for exit and focus on building long-term, sustainable value. This allows us to bring a flexible approach to our ownership structures. We are comfortable purchasing 100% of a business from a founder/​owner seeking to exit or making a minority investment in businesses seeking to grow. 

What is KGP’s focus?

For platform investments, we focus on mid-market businesses in Western Canada that generate $2 – 7 million in EBITDA. For bolt-on investments, we happily pursue accretive businesses of all types – regardless of size or geography. We are industry agnostic and have a wide variety of businesses in our portfolio but we tend to avoid directly extractive industries or capex-intensive businesses. While private equity is our first love, we also dabble in debt and convertible debt investments on an opportunistic basis, where it best fits the needs of our partners. 

Tell us about the team at KGP.

Founder and Managing Partner, Terry Holland, has been involved in the Canadian private equity market for over 30 years. After starting his career in real estate development and mining finance, Terry joined Trimin Enterprises Inc, a private equity firm, as president in 1990. Over the next 14 years, he would play a lead role in Trimin’s success as a growth partner for mid-sized businesses. In 2004, Terry launched Krystal Financial Corp. where he had similar success investing in small to mid-sized companies. In January 2018, Terry relaunched the business as Krystal Growth Partners, a new name, but a continuation of the same partnership approach to investing. As managing partner, Terry chairs KGP’s investment committee and works with our portfolio companies on strategic growth, investment planning, and operations initiatives.

Managing Partner, Kristi Miller, joined Krystal Growth Partners in 2022. Kristi is a proven business builder with over 25 years of finance and entrepreneurial experience. In 2010, Kristi founded First West Capital, a junior capital firm serving the Canadian mid-market. Under her leadership, First West Capital grew from a start-up to a national firm that funded over $250 million to more than 100 businesses. Kristi is honoured to have been recognized by EY as the Pacific Region’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of Business Disrupter for this work. Most recently, Kristi was Managing Partner at NPC Ventures, which focuses on innovative, early-stage, Canadian companies in the natural products and agbiotech sector. As Managing Partner, Kristi leads the KGP team, spearheads new investment origination, and works with our portfolio companies on strategic growth, investment planning, and operational initiatives. Kristi was honoured to receive the CVCA’s very own Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award in 2017.

What is KGP excited about in the immediate and long term?

We are growing! In every possible way: team, portfolio, and market.

Team: Managing Partner, Kristi Miller, and Associate, Matt Allemang have recently joined Terry Holland, Avery Holland, and Brian Lau in the trenches at our Yaletown head office. 

Portfolio: The portfolio grew by three in 2022 with platform investments in Whistler Contemporary Gallery, Huer Foods, and Joto Imaging Supplies. We’re enthusiastic about further integrating them into the KGP family. Additionally, the portfolio completed [3] bolt-on acquisitions last year and we have [2] more in due diligence today. We’ve always been fans of colouring outside the lines, and recently completed our first two convertible debenture financings for exciting, rapidly growing BC-based businesses… and we’re working on a third.

Market: We are working to expand our geographic reach beyond BC to include all of Western Canada. Look out Manitoba, here we come!

Our hometown of Vancouver will host this year’s CVCA Invest Canada. We will be there and look forward to meeting with anyone who is interested in what we do. Want to know where to find the best sushi, spin class, hike… or BC deal? Please reach out. We look forward to getting to know you.