Inaugural retail fund nears $400M close

LNK Partners of White Plains, N.Y. is nearing a final close for its inaugural fund, which will invest exclusively in the consumer and retail sectors. The fund’s book cover lists $275 million, but the entire $400 million cap is expected to be spoken for by month’s end, with a final close occurring no later than mid-March, according to limited partner sources.

A trio of investors with deep retail and consumer industry expertise launched the firm last year.

The co-founders are David Landau, former head of Apax Partners’ consumer and retail group; Henry Nasella, a former venture partner with Apax who previously served as chairman and CEO of Star Markets and as president and COO of Staples; and Bruce Klatsky, former chairman and CEO of apparel and footwear company Phillips-Van Heusen.

All three men were involved in Phillips-Van Heusen’s $430 million acquisition of Calvin Klein in 2003, which was partially financed via a $250 million PIPE infusion from Apax.

Landau declined to discuss LNK’s fund-raising plans, due to regulatory restrictions, but the firm’s website indicates that it will back existing management teams within the consumer and retail space. It is comfortable with either majority or minority stakes, and will participate in buyouts, recaps, growth equity and PIPEs.

Credit Suisse is serving as placement agent for both the main fund and a $30 million side fund.