Strong Heritage.
Valuable Perspective.

Standard of Excellence

Gardner Standard is a private investment firm that focuses on investing in small middle-market companies. We trace our origin to a Minnesota-based, family-run business founded in 1884. Our heritage provides a valuable perspective that distinguishes us from most investment firms.

At Gardner Standard, we understand the importance of a long-term commitment to employees and the community. Integrity is fundamental to everything we do.

Investment Criteria & Structures

Business Size

  • $7.5 to $75.0 million of sales for new platform investments
  • No minimum for add-on acquisitions


  • U.S. or Canada

Transaction Types

  • Family/Entrepreneur-owned businesses
  • Operationally-challenged and/or distressed companies
  • Other complex or special situations (e.g., minority interests, legal judgments)
  • Executive-led transactions
  • Orphaned/Non-core divisions or carve-outs

Business Characteristics

  • Leading company in niche market segment
  • Defensible competitive position
  • Capable management team (existing or brought by us)
  • Actionable opportunities to elevate performance

Investment Structures

We are flexible investors. We seek controlling interests in small middle-market businesses as well as influential minority equity positions and debt investments with an equity component. We work to ensure that our investments are structured in a manner that allows our portfolio companies and their management teams to achieve their goals.

Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better.
If it doesn’t exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.

Sir Frederick Henry Royce, Co-founder of Rolls Royce