Lincolnshire Adds $40M to Fund II –

The limited partners that invested in Lincolnshire Management‘s $275 million Lincolnshire Equity Fund II (LEF II), recently agreed to reopen it to three investors, bringing the total capital commitments to $315 million.

“We were approached by Allianz Private Equity Partners, The Knickerbocker LLC and the pension fund of the Government of Bermuda,” said T.J. Maloney, president of New York-based Lincolnshire Management. Allianz is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, while Knickerbocker is a private investment group for a high-net-worth family.

The original limited partners for LEF II include Bell Atlantic Asset Management, pension funds for NYC firefighters, police, teachers and municipal workers, Aegon USA Investment Management, GE Capital Corp., Prudential Insurance, HSBC and Union Bank of California.

In explaining the reasons the new groups asked the firm to reopen Fund II, Maloney said, “Our bricks-and-mortar strategy is appropriate for the environment. We studiously avoided investing in dotcoms and made very few acquisitions in 1998, 1999 and 2000 because we thought the market was overvalued.” He added that the firm’s IRR on a net basis is 60%.

“We are now aggressively buying companies,” he said.

Indeed, the firm has bought four companies so far this year, three of them since March, making the total number of acquisitions six for LEF II. Lincolnshire looks to invest between $5 million and $50 million in each portfolio company.

In June, the firm acquired Transworld Signs Inc., an add-on to its sign portfolio company Visual Products Corp., which includes Fallon Luminous Products, Gordon Sign and Signage. Collectively, theses companies’ sales are approaching $80 million. Among its customers are the U.S. Postal Service and Shell Oil.

Lincolnshire also purchased Riddell Sports Group Inc. in June, which has sales of $100 million and is a provider of branded athletic equipment, uniforms and practice gear for young men and women. The company is perhaps best known for its premier position in manufacturing and marketing football helmets to the National Football League (NFL).

In September, Lincolnshire acquired Computer Technology Solutions Corp. (CTS), a provider of after-sales services to major computer hardware manufacturers and system integrators. The company’s aggregate sales for 2001 will be approximately $100 million.