Great Hill Partners draws $955 million for fifth fund in busy year

Firm: Great Hill Partners

Fund: Great Hill Equity Partners V LP

Amount raised: $954.8 million

Led by managing partners Christopher Gaffney, John Hayes, Michael Kumin, Mark Taber and Mathew Vettel, Great Hill has announced several deals so far in 2014, including exits, investments and purchases.

Among them, Great Hill agreed on Dec 1 to sell, a specialist in web-based freight transportation management services for small businesses, to publicly-traded C.H. Robinson for $365 million in cash. Great Hill acquired the company in 2006.

In November, Great Hill agreed to sell Bswift, a retail shopping platform for health insurance exchanges, to Aetna, for about $400 million. Bswfit has been owned by its employees and a number of investors, including Great Hill.

In October, Great Hill invested about $125 million for a majority stake in Momondo Group, an online travel search company operating in more than 30 countries. Also that month, online home goods retailer Wayfair Inc went public on the New York Stock Exchange in a deal that raised $319 million. Great Hill owns 11 percent of the outstanding shares of Wayfair Inc, which had a market cap of $1.7 billion on Dec. 10.

Great Hill Equity Partners added about $461 million to Fund V less than a year after it disclosed about $494 million in commitments for the fund, according to Form D filings.

It’s also approaching the $1.1 billion it raised for the vintage 2008 Great Hill Equity Partners IV LP. A transaction from that fund has been the subject of a court battle surrounding Great Hill’s 2011 deal to pay about $115 million for e-commerce transaction company Plimus Inc to a shareholder group including Susquehanna Growth Equity LLC, Plimus founders and employees. 

Last month, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss fraud claims by Great Hill against four outside directors of Plimus in connection with the sale. A spokeswoman for Ballard Spahr LLP, the law firm representing the defendants in the Chancery Court case, declined to comment.

Goodwin Procter, the law firm representing Great Hill, the plaintiff in the Delaware case, said the decision is noteworthy.

“Deal lawyers and their clients will want to focus on the importance of answers to written due diligence questionnaires, data room disclosures, and accurate portrayal to potential buyers of a selling company’s business and of senior management’s commitment to the company’s future,” according to a Dec. 2 client alert from Goodwin Procter.

Separately, past LPs of Great Hill have included Commonfund Capital Inc, the Connecticut State Treasury, Conversus Capital LP, the Washington State Investment Board and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System.

Great Hill did not return a voicemail seeking comment on Fund V.