Birch Hill Equity Partners secures C$1.7bn in final close of Fund VI

Fund VI is Birch Hill's largest fund to date, exceeding by 35 percent the C$1.3bn raised by its predecessor in 2015.

Birch Hill Equity Partners, one of Canada’s largest private equity firms, collected more than C$1.7 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.2 billion) for its sixth mid-market fund, according to a Form D fundraising document.

The amount raised marks the final close of Birch Hill Equity Partners VI and parallel vehicles, a person with knowledge of the matter told Buyouts. The target and hard cap were not disclosed.

Birch Hill secured 35 percent more capital for Fund VI compared with its predecessor, which was wrapped up in 2015 at C$1.3 billion. Fund V was backed by new and existing limited partners, most of them corporations, family offices, insurers and pension plans in North America and Europe.

Fund VI received commitments from 49 investors, the Form D document shows. Disclosed LPs include District of Columbia Retirement Board and Export Development Canada.

Birch Hill declined to comment on this story.

Birch Hill was founded in 1994 as TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners, an in-house PE group of Toronto-Dominion Bank. A management buyout in 2005 led by Partners Stephen Dent and John MacIntyre established the standalone firm, with the bank staying on as an LP.

Birch Hill, which is based in Toronto, has since focused on acquiring and investing in growth-oriented Canadian and US mid-market companies, often holding assets for seven years or longer. Target opportunities, sourced in a wide range of sectors, are valued at $30 million to $600 million.

Since inception, Birch Hill has made more than 60 investments, according to its website, 46 of which have been fully realized. The firm reports generating a 17 percent cumulative average rate of EBITDA growth on actively employed capital.

Last year, Birch Hill sold two portfolio companies, including Creation Technologies, a Vancouver provider of electronic manufacturing services held since 2007. The buyer was Lindsay Goldberg.

Birch Hill also sold Sigma Systems, a Toronto provider of catalog-focused software products, backed in 2015. The buyer, Australia’s Hansen Technologies, said the deal valued Sigma at C$157 million.

Birch Hill’s recent platform investments include Campus Energy Partners, a Calgary midstream, energy infrastructure, and energy supply business. Campus was formed in 2019 to acquire assets from AltaGas for C$165 million.

Along with Dent and MacIntyre, Birch Hill’s leadership team includes Partners Andrew Fortier, Matthew Kunica, Félix-Etienne Lebel, John Loh, Michael Salamon, David Samuel, Pierre Schuurmans and Thecla Sweeney.

Action item: Reach Birch Hill Equity Partners at its Toronto headquarters here: 416-775-3800.