Huntsman Gay Nearing Debut Fund Close

Firm: Huntsman Gay Capital Partners

Fund: Huntsman Gay Capital Partners Fund LP

Amount Raised: $1.25 billion

Target: $1.25 billion

Huntsman Gay Capital Partners has defied emerging manager odds, raising an oversubscribed fund in a time of extreme limited partner belt-tightening.

The firm, which invests in middle-market LBOs, growth equity deals and mid-cap public companies, expects to exceed the hard cap of its debut fund, holding a final close in the next month, a source familiar with the situation said. According to regulatory filings, Huntsman Gay Capital Partners Fund LP has a $1.25 billion ceiling.

The Salt Lake City and Palo Alto-based firm received a $100 million commitment from California State Teachers’ Retirement System and a $180 million commitment from California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to public documents. Other limited partners include AlpInvest, C.V. Starr & Co., and Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, our source said. Huntsman Gay Capital has extended its fundraising to accommodate a commitment from one or more potential LPs, including New York State Common Retirement Fund. The fund is expected to hold a final close near the end of the year.

The firm is named for its leaders, former Bain Capital Managing Director Bob Gay and industrialist Jon Huntsman. Other team members include former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young, former Key Venture Partners Managing Director David Dame, former Bain Capital Managing Director Gregory Benson and Ron Mika of Sorenson Capital and Bain Capital. In October, Huntsman Gay Capital struck its first deal, purchasing Turner Bros. Holdings, an energy transport company, from Saw Mill Capital.

Also known as H&G Capital Partners, the firm has been sued by H.I.G. Capital, another buyout fund based in Miami, over its name. H.I.G. Capital is arguing that it has “invested millions of dollars in promotion and advertising” its brand since its formation in 1993. Executives at the firm did not return calls for comments.