Albaron Partners, with Blackstone, Bain pedigree, readies debut fund for untapped healthcare

Albaron is among a crop of first-timers braving the tough fundraising market to try to attract capital from picky LPs.

Albaron Partners wants to make the transition from independent sponsor into the world of the funded as it brings its debut commingled pool to market for investments in buy-and-build healthcare opportunities.

Albaron is among a crop of first-timers braving the tough fundraising market to try and attract capital from picky LPs. Investors have been happy to stick with their tried and true relationships to the detriment of new shops, who must compete with a flood of re-ups and new products from established managers.

Albaron, formed in 2017, is targeting $100 million with a $150 million cap for Fund I, which would give the firm spending power of up to $300 million with co-investments, people with knowledge of the firm told Buyouts. Albaron is working with placement agency WHR Capital on the fundraising, the people said.

The firm wants to build a concentrated portfolio of five to six platform investments in businesses with between $2 million to $10 million of EBITDA, the people said.

The firm seeks opportunities in healthcare in sub-sectors not yet well-mined by private equity and that have consolidation potential. The firm invests in podiatry, for example, IVF, ENT, urology and mental health.

Sourcing is something the firm believes differentiates it from others. Albaron taps its network of doctors to source proprietary opportunities outside of auction processes, the people said.

Its pre-fund deals include Beyond Podiatry, which the firm started building in 2019, and Innovation Fertility, which it first funded in 2020. Innovation Fertility is a management services organization that supports medical practices offering IVF services and infertility care, according to the website. Beyond Podiatry also provides management services to podiatry practices, serving 24 physicians primarily in the Midwest.

The firm exited Metro Vein Centers last year, the people said.

Albaron is led by a partner group that identifies as diverse: Alessio Baraldi, Damian Dalla-Longa, Sonia Ponnusamy and Debo Adesina. Three of four partners went to Wharton business school together.

Baraldi formerly worked at Blackstone Group, Warburg Pincus and Morgan Stanley. Dalla-Longa launched roll-up Better Choice in the animal health space, prior to which he worked at Bain Capital and King Street Capital. Adesina previously was a corporate partner at McGuireWoods and an attorney with DLA Piper and Akin Gump, focused on healthcare private equity, according to the firm’s website.

And Ponnusamy worked as head of business development at hedge fund Senrigan Capital Group, as well as at Lehman Brothers and Nomura as an investment banker.