Jonathan S. Blue
Chairman & Managing Director
Jonathan S. Blue is Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC. As Chairman of Blue Equity, Blue has and continues to oversee all acquisitions, operations, organic growth and ultimate liquidity events for nearly all of the Blue Equity portfolio companies.
In 2004, Blue formed Blue Equity, LLC, as a successor firm to a private equity company that he founded in June 1998. Prior to that, he served as Vice President for Progress Rail Services Corporation, then a subsidiary of Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN), which was subsequently sold to Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT).
For six years prior to the 1998 sale of Louisville Scrap Material Co., Inc. and its affiliate companies, Blue served there as Senior Vice President, Rail Services. Responsible for worldwide business development of railroad and rail-related services, he succeeded in establishing these companies, collectively, as industry leaders and they were subsequently sold to his largest competitor. Blue began his post-college career as a Senior Associate for APM, Inc., in New York City, a leading international management consulting firm.
Blue received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. A frequent public speaker, Blue has been profiled in many national and international publications. His ideas and views have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He has been interviewed on Bloomberg Television and CNBC.
Blue has served on numerous professional panels relating to private equity, sports, entertainment and talent management, spirits and the alcohol beverage sector, family offices, and a variety of other business topics. Blue is actively involved in several civic and charitable activities.
Highlights of Blue’s accomplishments at Blue Equity:
- In 2003, Blue, through acquisitions and new development, grew Enlace Spanish Yellow Page directories from one market to over 32 markets in more than 18 states, making it the largest independent publisher of Spanish language telephone directories in the United States. In 2009, Enlace was sold to the leading telecommunications company in the world, Telmex (BMV: TELINT).]
- In 2005, Blue formed BEST (Blue Entertainment Sports Television). He was successful in growing it—through ten acquisitions—into one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment firms, which was acquired by Lagardère-Unlimited (MMB: EN Paris) in 2010.
- In 2011, Blue led the acquisition of Cool Petroleum, the licensed operator of Shell brands in the country of Jamaica and one of the largest corporations in Jamaica. He was successful in rebranding the company as The Antilles Group Limited and it was sold to the Rubis Group (NYSE Euronext Paris: RUI) in 2013.
- In 2015, Blue began acquiring retail liquor stores and quickly built the largest locally owned and operated liquor chain in Kentucky. In June 2021 he sold the liquor store portfolio that had grown to a chain of 23 liquor stores branded as Liquor Barn, Party Mart and DEP’s to Gopuff, an American instant delivery consumer goods and food delivery company headquartered in Philadelphia. Blue currently serves as Principal. Alcohol Strategy for Gopuff.