With five venture capital deals from its current fund already under its belt, Westbury Partners last month rounded up $150 million for a final close on Westbury Equity Partners SBIC LP. As the name indicates, the fund is structured as a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), meaning the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a limited partner and, in this case, has committed $2 for every $1 Westbury raised from private investors. The firm raised $50 million from high-net-worth individuals and received $100 million from the SBA to make up its $150 million pool of capital.
The Long Island, N.Y.-based firm is the brainchild of Joseph Fogg, former head of worldwide investment banking at Morgan Stanley & Co. Fogg left Morgan Stanley in 1992 to make direct investments with his own money and, over the years, has amassed a staff that includes right-hand-men James Schubauer, a former principal at First Atlantic Capital, and Richard Sicoli, a former manager in the financial reporting department at Barnes & Noble Inc.
Although this is the first vehicle Westbury has raised from outside investors, the partners consider it their second fund, since they have invested approximately $30 million on behalf of the Fogg family.
“The SBIC program was a natural extension of what we?ve been doing. We have the same deal flow and same pipeline, but with SBA capital we?re able to put additional dollars into the same deals we would have looked at before,” Sicoli said.
Westbury Partners falls into the middle- to late-stage investor category and looks at deals in the technology space ? specifically, information technology, Internet infrastructure, outsourcing and training and education.
Already having committed $25 million to five companies, including Ligos Technology, a provider of real-time media stream management software, and, most recently, Kenexa Corp., which provides companies with services and products that assist them in hiring and keeping employees, Westbury is still bullish on the space in which it invests.
“We feel the deals we?ve done would still merit our involvement if we saw them today for the first time,” said Schubauer. “We?ve been careful, and our portfolio is not chock full of crazy Y2K, new-age stuff. Ours are fundamentally good companies because of what they are providing.”
Westbury?s latest deal involved a $6 million commitment to Kenexa as part of a $27 million round of financing that also included Wafra Partners and Parthenon Capital and closed on March 30.
Contact Leslie Green.