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Leeds Equity raises more than $1bn as digital education heats up

The hard cap on Fund VII is $1.25bn, which the firm is expected to hit around the second quarter.

Leeds Equity, which has invested behind the technological evolution in education and training, raised more than $1 billion for its seventh fund, and is now eyeing its hard cap, a person with knowledge of the firm told Buyouts.

The hard cap on Fund VII is $1.25 billion, which the firm is expected to hit around the second quarter, the person said.

UBS is working as placement agent on the fundraising. No one from Leeds responded to a comment request Monday. Leeds closed its sixth fund on more than $750 million in 2018. Fund VI was generating an 18.1 percent net internal rate of return and a 1.2x multiple as of Sept. 30, 2019, according to performance information from the Connecticut treasury. Fund V was producing a 19.9 percent net IRR and a 2.4x multiple as of the same date, Connecticut’s information said.

Leeds had a strong exit in March with its sale of EdCentric and Campus Management, two separate portfolio companies, to Veritas. Leeds also invested in the new entity alongside Veritas, according to a statement at the time.

Earlier this month, Leeds-backed Exterro, which provides legal software, acquired AccessData, which provides digital forensic investigation software.

Jeffrey Leeds formed Leeds Equity in 1993 and managed about $2.5 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2019, according to the firm’s Form ADV. He leads the firm as managing partner along with partners Susan Cates, Jacques Galante, Scott VanHoy and CFO Peter Lyons.