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Brightstar passes $1.27bn finish line with second flagship fund

With the closing, Fund II is 79% larger than Brightstar’s inaugural fund, which collected $710m in 2018.

Brightstar Capital Partners, led by ex-Lindsay Goldberg partner Andrew Weinberg, is expected to announce the close of a second buyout fund at $1.27 billion, sources told Buyouts.

The New York private equity firm wrapped up Brightstar Capital Partners Fund II at its hard cap, the sources said. It includes roughly $60 million committed by the general partner. The vehicle also brought in about $190 million from limited partners for co-investments.

Fund II recently exceeded its original $1 billion target, Buyouts reported in January. With the closing, it is 79 percent larger than Brightstar’s inaugural fund, which collected $710 million in 2018.

Emerging managers led by seasoned GPs – like Brightstar – have fared surprisingly well in fundraising over 2020-2021, despite the challenges erected by covid-19. Brightstar benefited in part from building an LP base for Fund I and securing a significant portion of capital before the pandemic’s outbreak.

LPs investing in Fund II included endowments and foundations, family offices, insurers, pension plans and sovereign wealth funds, the sources said. Eaton Partners was the placement agent.

Brightstar was founded in 2015 by CEO and managing partner Weinberg, a 12-year veteran of Lindsay Goldberg.

Weinberg set up the firm to make control-stake investments in North American mid-market businesses that are closely-held or owned by families. It typically writes checks of $50 million to $250 million per company, tapping into operational capabilities to drive organic and acquisition-led growth.

Fund II is expected to maintain this strategy. It has already backed two platform companies: Brightstar Corp, an unaffiliated device lifecycle solutions provider, and Amerit Fleet Solutions, an outsourced fleet maintenance provider. These deals, done in late 2020, bring total transactions completed since inception to 22.

Along with raising capital, Brightstar has been adding to its personnel and US-wide offices. It recently recruited 12 employees, increasing the team to more than 40. Senior-level hires include CSO and managing director Michael Drexler and managing director Michael Singer, Buyouts earlier reported.

Other senior members of Brightstar’s team include partner and president Renee Noto, previously with Fifth Street Finance, and partners Matthew Allard, Joseph Bartek, Reidar Brekke, Todd Brock, Roger Bulloch, Raul Deju, Gary Hokkanen, Tom Meredith and Joseph Stanislaw.

Several of the firm’s partners worked alongside Weinberg at Lindsay Goldberg.