L.A. Firm Passes Halfway Mark To $1B Target

Firm: Freeman Spogli & Co.

Fund: FS Equity Partners VI LP

Target: $1 billion

Placement Agent: None

Freeman Spogli & Co. has raised more than $600 million so far for its sixth buyout fund, a source with direct knowledge of the firm’s fundraising effort told Buyouts.

The Los Angeles-based buyout shop is targeting $1 billion for the fund, though the source conceded “it’s a tough environment” for fundraising right now. The target appears to have come down somewhat, as Buyouts reported in March that the target was $1.75 billion. Freeman Spogli raised $1 billion for its previous fund in 2004.

The firm, which also has an office in New York, is not using a placement agent to help it raise the fund.

Freeman Spogli targets deals in the retail, direct marketing, distribution, and consumer products sectors. The firm has invested more than $2.7 billion in 44 companies since its founding in 1983, according to its web site.

The latest fund, FS Equity Partners VI LP, has so far attracted pledges from the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, which committed $75 million last year, as previously reported in Buyouts. Other supporters include the Florida State Board of Administration, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, and School Employees Retirement System of Ohio.

Freeman Spogli’s most recent exit could help it juice momentum for the fund. On Nov. 3, it agreed to sell Smile Brands Group Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based company that provides support services to dental groups, to Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, for an undisclosed amount. The sale would generate a “solid double-digit return” for Freeman Spogli, Fred Simmons, a partner at the firm, told Buyouts for a story on that deal.

The firm’s most recent acquisition came in July, when it bought Brooks Equipment Co., a Charlotte, N.C.-based marketer and distributor of fire protection and prevention equipment, from Behrman Capital, for an undisclosed amount.