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Brightstar on track to close sophomore fund at $1.2bn hard cap

Brightstar in September announced Fund II’s debut deal, the acquisition of a majority stake in SoftBank's mobile device services business Brightstar Corp.

Brightstar Capital Partners, led by ex-Lindsay Goldberg partner Andrew Weinberg, is nearing the finish line with a second buyout fund after effectively meeting its target, a person with knowledge of the matter told Buyouts.

Brightstar Capital Partners Fund II is only a few million dollars shy of the $1 billion target, the person said. The offering is expected to reach its $1.2 billion hard cap in Q1 2021, the source added.

Fund II secured more than half its target last year, Buyouts reported. This helped bolster the emerging manager’s fundraising prior to covid-19’s market impact. Brightstar is also benefiting from having built an investor base for its inaugural vehicle, closed two years ago at $710 million.

Some 173 limited partners committed capital as of this month, according to Form D fundraising documents. Disclosed examples include the University of Washington, a returning LP that is investing $30 million.

Stifel’s Eaton Partners is the offering’s placement agent.

Weinberg, Brightstar’s managing partner and CEO, founded the New York private equity firm in 2015. Its strategy is to make control investments in closely held entrepreneurial or family-owned mid-market businesses in North America, typically with revenue of $50 million to $1 billion, the firm’s website said.

Deal flow in a range of mature industries is sourced mostly via Brightstar’s network of relationships. Preferred sector characteristics include resilient end-market demand, consolidation opportunities and high barriers to entry. The firm invests $50 million to $300 million per company, tapping operational capabilities to drive growth.

Brightstar in September announced Fund II’s debut deal. The firm said it would acquire a 75 percent stake in Brightstar Corp, an unaffiliated US provider of mobile device services, from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The business could be valued at more than $1 billion, Reuters reported. SoftBank will retain a minority interest.

As it happens, Brightstar the company was formerly backed by Lindsay Goldberg, with Weinberg working over 2008-2011 as its chief operating officer and chief strategy officer. It was reportedly losing money under SoftBank’s ownership.

With the deal’s expected close next March, Brightstar Corp will join a portfolio of five other platform investments. They include US nutritional products developer and maker Capstone Nutrition, acquired last year.

Weinberg heads a Brightstar investment team of about 30 members. They include partner and president Renee Noto, who joined from Fifth Street Finance, and partners Matthew Allard, Joseph Bartek, Reidar Brekke, Todd Brock, Roger Bulloch, Raul Deju, Gary Hokkanen, Kenneth Kilroy and Tom Meredith. Several partners worked alongside Weinberg at Lindsay Goldberg.

Brightstar declined to provide a comment on this story.

Action item: Check out Brightstar Capital Partners’ corporate summary here.