Audax Has $700M For Fund III

LBO shop Audax Group is more than half-way toward its goal of raising a $1 billion third fund, according to a regulatory filing.

The Boston-based firm, founded by a pair of former Bain Capital executives in 1999, has raised $700 million for Audax Private Equity Fund III LP, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. An Audax representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Audax collects carried interest at a 25 percent rate on investments from its first two funds, keeping alive Bain Capital’s tradition of above-average carry. Boston-based Bain Capital sets a carry of 30 percent. Audax last raised a fund in 2004, Audax Private Equity Fund II LP, with $700 million in commitments. Its first fund tallied $500 million.

Among recent deals, Audax in April bought Knoxville, Tenn.-based Dura-Line Corp. from Sun Capital Partners. In the same month, Audax acquired Elyria, Ohio-based Arnco Corp. from Arnco CEO Robert Smith. The two companies make polyethylene pipes that protect underground wire and cable.

Portfolio companies for its LBO business include McLean, Va.-based CIBT Global, which helps corporations and government agencies obtain international travel documents for employees; Newton, Mass.-based Questex Media Group, a trade publisher; Salem, Va.-based truck-chassis maker Silent Preferred Partners; and Swissray International, an Elizabeth, N.J.-based digital X-ray maker.

Audax Co-CEO Geoffrey Rehnert was a former Bain Capital Managing Director who helped found the mega-firm in 1984. The other co-CEO is Marc Wolpow, also a former Bain Capital managing director and the founder of Sankaty Advisors, Bain Capital’s lending arm.

Audax also operates a mezzanine-lending business, run out of its New York office. The firm is known for supplementing its debt commitments to companies by buying equity stakes in the same companies. California Public Employees’ Retirement System reportedly holds a minority interest in Audax.—M.C.