Leonard Green Appears Set To Top Target

Firm: Leonard Green & Partners LP

Fund: Green Equity Investors VI LP

Target: $5 billion

Amount Raised: $5.8 billion

Los Angeles buyout shop Leonard Green & Partners LP appears to be set to comfortably top its target on Fund VI.

The firm has collected $5.8 billion in commitments from investors for Green Equity Investors VI LP, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News earlier this month. Including investments from the firm itself and insiders, the fund will surpass $6 billion at closing, Bloombergreported.

In a crowded fundraising market that is sharply divided between firms that struggle and firms that soar, Leonard Green, which specializes in deals for high-profile retail and consumer brands, has been flying high with LPs.The Minnesota State Board of Investment, for one, committed $200 million in March to Fund VI, which had a target of $5 billion, as Buyouts previously reported.

Leonard Green is well known for known for investing in such high-profile retailers as Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Whole Foods, Rite-Aid, Sports Authority, Petco and BJ’s Wholesale. The firm also invests in financial services and health care companies, according to its Web site.

The fund has been especially popular among public pension funds over the last few months, gaining commitments from such major U.S. pensions as the Washington State Investment Board, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, the Ohio School Employees’ Retirement System, the Louisiana Teachers’ Retirement System and the New Mexico State Investment Council, among others.

Leonard Green concentrates on growth companies, typically investing in transactions up to $5 billion in enterprise value, with most transactions being between $500 million and $2 billion in enterprise value, according to the firm’s Web site.

Green’s previous funds have had strong track records of returns. Green’s most recent, Fund V, generated an IRR of 15.4 percent and a 1.3x return multiple, according to Sept. 2011 return data from Washington State. The new fund is expected to close in the current quarter.