JW Childs Shops $1B Fund III

Boston-based buyout shop J.W. Childs Associates is out raising a third investment fund, which is 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 new fund, which is called J.W. Childs Equity Partners III LP.

Although 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, focused on leveraged buyouts and mid-market recapitalizations of companies with total enterprise value between $150 million and $600 million.

Historically, the firm has specialized in consumer products, health-care and specialty retail plays. 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 numerous calls seeking comment for this story.

Robyn Kurdek can be contacted at Robyn.Kurdek@tfn.com