Bunker Hill closes first fund with $125M

After a year-and-a-half on the road, the former BancBoston Capital deal pros that formed Bunker Hill Capital closed their first fund with $125 million in commitments.

The firm’s three managing partners, Mark DeBlois, Robert Clark and Theresa Nibi, left BancBoston to launch Bunker Hill in 2003. The firm has one West Coast team member, Partner Brian Kinsman, who joined the firm a year ago. He is based in San Diego.

DeBlois said the firm started the fund-raising process about 18 months ago, with a target of between $150 million and $200 million. The fund will make controlling investments in lower middle market companies with enterprise values ranging from $20 million to $150 million and revenue ranging from $30 million to $300 million.

Bunker Hill will deploy about $10 million to $20 million per transaction. Its industry focus is split among four segments: business services, industrial products, specialty retail and consumer products.

While some firms are raising funds in just three months, DeBlois acknowledges that Bunker Hill took a little longer, but he wasn’t discouraged. “There were a lot of re-ups at larger funds, especially during 2005, which made it more of a challenge,” he says. “But any first-time fund is going to take longer to raise than you’d expect.”

Although it is a generalist fund, Bunker Hill attracted LPs because of its spot in the lower middle market, where DeBlois and his partners have spent their careers, targeting deals under $100 million, he says.

For its next several funds, Bunker Hill will continue raising funds in the $125 million to $300 million range, DeBlois says.