Bertram Capital returns to market for second fund

Bertram Capital recently began raising its second fund with a $500 million target.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based growth equity firm had planned to begin marketing in early 2009, but held off due to the smaller deal sizes it was making.

“Everything we’re buying right now is substantially under 5x EBITDA, but we originally forecasted paying 8x EBITDA or more,” Bertram Managing Director Jeff Drazen said at the time. “[Canadian publisher] Trafford is a good example. It’s a $10 million business we’re buying for a couple hundred thousand… I just don’t feel we can go out until fund I is 75% committed, and we’re just not there yet.”

Drazen declined to discuss the fund-raising progress of the second fund.

But the firm’s $350 million first fund is now more than 80% committed. That vehicle is split just about evenly between acquisitions and platform investments, whereas the new fund will put more than two-thirds of its money into acquisitions.

Through the end of the third quarter last year, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System reported that Bertram’s first fund had an IRR of 23.6%, albeit without any distributions. —Dan Primack