J.W. Childs Back In The Market –

Boston buyout shop J.W. Childs Associates is out raising a third investment fund, rumored to have a target close between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion.

Already the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (PennSERS) has committed up to $40 million to the fund, J.W. Childs Equity Partners III LP.

Though details on the firm’s latest offering are sparse, the fund will likely adopt a similar investment strategy to its predecessors. J.W. Childs Equity Partners II LP, a $980 million fund, closed in 1998, and focused on leveraged buyouts and mid-market recapitalizations of companies with total enterprise value between $150 million and $600 million. The firm specializes in consumer products, health care and specialty retail outfits. Its current investment portfolio includes restaurant chain Chevy’s Inc., charter school manager Edison Schools Inc., artificial sweetener maker Nutrasweet Inc. and medical equipment provider Universal Health Services.

J.W. Childs has $1.5 billion under management in three buyout funds.

The firm did not return calls.

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