February 19, 2014
Contact: Lauren Sinai

Prospect Partners Recapitalizes Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center

Fast-Growing Wedding Services Provider Poised to Accelerate Geographic Expansion

CHICAGO, Ill.—February 19, 2014: Prospect Partners, a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, today announced the management-led recapitalization of Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center ("Wedgewood"), California's leading provider of full-service wedding and banquet services.

Temecula, Calif.-based Wedgewood was started in 1986 by CEO John Zaruka and his wife, Linda, who operated a single site in Ventura, Calif., until 2002, when son Bill, now President, joined the company. Since that time, Wedgewood has expanded to nearly 25 picturesque Wedgewood-branded locations in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. The weddings take place on attractive golf courses, historical properties and outdoor gardens leased by Wedgewood, which controls all aspects of each venue's food and beverage operations.

Wedgewood's all-inclusive model features multi-tiered, professionally-planned wedding packages that include invitations, food and entertainment as well as options including floral arrangements, cakes, photo booths, lighting, and ministry services. Over the years, Wedgewood has hosted more than 20,000 unique weddings — 2,300 in 2013 alone — serving over 415,00 guests.

"Wedgewood is a truly unique and rapidly growing company that has built a tremendous reputation in a niche segment of the wedding services market," said Erik Maurer, a Principal of Prospect Partners. "The company's momentum is a credit to John and Bill, who defined and brought to life the concept of a 'Wedgewood wedding' — convenient, competitively-priced, hassle-free, and memorable — through their incredible expertise, industry knowledge, and dogged focus on an outstanding guest experience."

Said John Zaruka: "This is a very exciting time for Wedgewood. Prospect Partners shares our values, understands and respects the entrepreneurial aspect of our business, and can provide the financial resources and professional strategic support we need as we grow into an even larger company."

Added Bill Zaruka: "Prospect Partners has successfully helped guide so many other niche companies like ours at key moments in their growth. We look forward to tapping the team's real-world business acumen in the months and years to come."

Going forward, Wedgewood's growth objectives include expanding Wedgewood-branded weddings to more locations in existing and new geographic markets. The company will continue to seek partnerships with property management companies as well as acquisitions of food and beverage operators that provide wedding/banquet services at U.S. venues such as golf courses, hotels, and other unique properties.

Serving on the board of the holding company, Wedgewood Hospitality Group, Inc., are Mr. Maurer, as Chairman, and Prospect Partners' Vice President Brett Holcomb as a Director.

The other platform companies in Prospect Partners' $200 million third fund, Prospect Partners III, L.P., are: Owen Equipment Holdings Corp., a leading western U.S. provider of infrastructure maintenance equipment; Cyclonaire Holding Corporation, a leading engineer and manufacturer of pneumatic conveying systems; Absolutely Custom Group, Inc., of Spring Grove, Ill., a leading embellisher of customized athletic uniforms, spirit wear, and decals for the K-12 school sports market; Velocity Aerospace Holding Group, a Burbank, Calif.-based provider of aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services; ICI Holding Company, a Daphne, Ala.-based wholesale distributor, supplier and manufacturer of agricultural irrigation mechanical and electrical components; Landmark Irrigation Holding Services, Inc., a Madera, Calif.-based designer and installer of custom drip irrigation systems for Central California farmers; Prospect Water Co. LLC, a Lombard, Ill.-based provider of water treatment products and services through independently franchised dealers; and SurePoint Holdings, LLC, of Lawrence, Kansas, a nationwide provider of direct-to-consumer diabetes supplies and services. Prospect Partners III, L.P. closed in August, 2010.

About Prospect Partners

Prospect Partners is a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, managing $470 million across three funds. A highly experienced and active investor, Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues typically under $75 million. Since 1998, Prospect Partners has invested opportunistically nationwide in more than 105 companies in a broad range of niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty service markets. Based in Chicago, Prospect Partners also has an office in Menlo Park, Calif. 

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