Fund Closes: Patricof Pulls Out Excelsior with $1.1B –

Ring up another winner on the $1 billion-plus fund register.

Early this month Patricof & Co. Ventures, the U.S. affiliate of Apax Partners, announced the closing of its sixth private equity vehicle, Apax Excelsior VI, at $1.1 billion.

The fund will focus on multi-staged companies active in information technology and telecom, health-care, business services and business-to-business e-commerce plays, and retail and consumer services. Although these are the same industry sectors the firm has targeted historically, the new fund will weigh its investments differently, reflecting the most recent performance of the market.

Over the last several months, Patricof has added a number of investment professionals to reflect its shifting investment targets.

Most recently, the firm added Ted Schell, formerly senior vice president for strategy and corporate development at Sprint Corp.; Michael Duran, previously with AT&T Bell Laboratories; and Ron Weissman, most recently vice president of strategy and corporate marketing at Berity Inc., to its IT/telecom team.

“All our professionals are broken up into industry teams, we’re building depth within different industry teams to identify deal flow,” said Salem Shuchman, general partner with Patricof.

For early-stage companies, the fund will invest as little as $5 million, while making commitments of up to $100 million for later-stage companies and buyout transactions. To date, the fund has announced investments in a $30 million Series B deal for e-business support network SiteRock Corp. and in supply chain and B-to-B solutions provider SupplyForce.com LLC’s $52 million Series B round.

When the fund is fully invested, it is expected to hold between 40 to 50 portfolio companies.

While the firm initially planned to set a maximum capitalization of $750 million on the new vehicle, commitments came pouring in from both existing and new institutional investors. Some of the participating limited partners include New York State Common Retirement Fund, J.P. Morgan Investment Management, TIAA-Cref, KeySpan Energy Corp. and Vassar College.

Apax Partners is a worldwide confederation of funds, raised and managed separately under a single banner. Patricof & Co. is its U.S. affiliate. With offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Israel, Apax has approximately $7 billion under management.