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N.Y. Bank Acquires Part of Geneva Cos.

February 17, 1987|CARLA LAZZARESCHI | Times Staff Writer

A subsidiary of Chemical Bank of New York has quietly purchased a portion of the Geneva Cos., a Costa Mesa group specializing in arranging the sale of mid-size, privately held businesses.

The deal, completed last last year, gives Chemical Bank's venture capital arm a strong presence on the West Coast. At the same time, fast-growing Geneva picks up a high-level point of entry into East Coast mergers and acquisitions business. Both Geneva and the Chemical Bank venture capital unit cater to mid-size businesses.

"There were a lot of reasons for the sale. But basically, the deal was good for both companies," said Art Perrone, president of Geneva's business services operations. "There's a lot of synergy between us. We're both in the deal business and (are) looking for expansion."

Perrone said that as a result of the new investment, Geneva will soon be expanding its operations in Costa Mesa and opening a new branch office in Florida. The company already maintains branches in New Jersey and Chicago.

Perrone treated the specifics of the arrangement with Chemical Bank with the secrecy usually reserved for one of the deals he handles for Geneva.

He declined to specify the share of the company purchased by Chemical Venture Partners, the bank's venture capital arm, and he refused to disclose the price that the bank's subsidiary paid.

However, he conceded that the share Chemical Venture Partners bought was large enough to win the company at least one seat on Geneva's board.

Representatives of Chemical Venture Partners could not be reached for comment.

Chemical Venture Partners is the first outside group to invest in Geneva Cos., a privately held business founded in 1977 by Richard Rodnick.

Although company officials have said that the business has grown quickly over the years, specifics have been minimal.

In an interview about three years ago, Rodnick said the company had revenues of "more than $10 million and less than $25 million" in the fiscal year ended in October, 1983.

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