Editor’s note: Local Tech Wire features an investment or venture capital firm each business day, today’s profile being the 44th in the series. Matthew Burns, Daniel Pearson and Worth Civils compiled the series. Built from a wire and cable manufacturing fortune, Richards Investment Capital targets growing middle-market in an acquisition or buyout mode.

The firm has been involved in an array of industries, from automotive tools to hotel safes, but its lone technology investment in recent years was in Averstar, a software engineering firm that was sold to Titan Corp. two years ago.

With $35 million under management, Atlanta-based Richards typically invests in companies with annual revenues ranging from $10 million to $100 million. But it hasn’t been involved in many deals since the late 1990s.

Richards prefers profitable companies that are under performing relative to their potential, family-owned businesses in need of capital to smooth generational transfer issues, rapidly growing businesses seeking equity to fund internal growth, management-led buyouts of private companies or divisions of larger companies, consolidation plays and divestitures or spin-offs of larger companies. The firm uses the experience of its partners as entrepreneurs and participants in a family-owned business to help portfolio companies work through management and generational issues that might stall growth.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Richards LLC

Mailing address: 303 Peachtree St., N.E., Suite 4100 Atlanta, GA 30308

Phone number: (404)572-7200

Web site: www.richardsco.com

Management Team:

James C. Richards
Carl B. Bachmann
Robert W. Heller
Catherine Hart
William A. Lundstrom

Focus of firm: Firm is committed to the long-term success of growing companies that are in buyout or acquisition mode throughout the Southeast.

Money under management: $35 million

Companies funded over the last five years:

Averstar, Inc.
Transportation Technologies
Tubular Textile Machinery
Safemark Systems, LP
Nestor Sales Company LLC
Exit Information Guide, LLC

In what size range: $3 million to $15 million

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Richards was created to formalize the family’s commitment to capitalizing and partnering with a wide range of growing businesses in the South.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Seeks working partnerships with profitable businesses that have strong management and well-defined objectives for the future. Richards focuses on companies where operating profits can be increased through growth, cost management, synergistic mergers and acquisitions, operating efficiencies, new-product development and superior strategic planning. Prefer situations where Richards can support a capable management team.

What differentiates you: Richards does business in the distinctly Southern manner that values personal relationships and demands the highest standards of ethics and integrity.

Friday’s profile: River Capital

Previous profiles can be found under Venture Watch. Set date parameters for Feb.11 through today, hit enter, and see the VC related stories published since that date.

Previous profiles:

Feb. 11: Academy Venture Funds
Feb. 12: Atlantic Group
Feb. 13: Aurora Fund
Feb. 14: Capital Investment Partners
Feb. 15: Carolina Financial Group
Feb. 18: Carousel Capital
Feb. 19: Catalysta Partners
Feb. 20: Charlotte Angel
Feb. 21: Draper Atlantic
Feb. 22: Eno River
Feb. 25: Halifax Group
Feb. 26: Intersouth Partners
Feb. 27: Kitty Hawk Capital
Feb. 28: NC Enterprise Corp.

March 1: NC Technological Development Authority
March 4: Oberlin Capital
March 5: A.M. Pappas
March 6: Piedmont
March 7: RBC Centura
March 8: Redleaf Group
March 11: Remington Capital
March 12: River Cities
March 13: Research Triangle Ventures
March 14: Southeast Interactive
March 15: Tri-State Investment Group
March 18: Trelys
March 19: truePilot
March 20: Wakefield Group
March 21: Frontier Capital
March 22: Southern Capitol Ventures
March 25: Alliance
March 26: Armada
March 27: Cordova Ventures
March 28: Craven, Green & Wahlen
March 29: Intelligent Systems

April 1: Five Paces Ventures
April 2: Kinetic
April 3: Gray Ventures
April 4: Live Oak
April 5: Mellon Ventures
April 8: Linx
April 9: Monarch
April 10: Noro-Moseley