Lincolnshire Tests The Waters For New Fund

Firm: Lincolnshire Management Inc.
Fund: Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV LP
Target: $700 million

Mid-market buyout firm Lincolnshire Management Inc. has been feeling out limited partners to gauge their appetite for committing to a new fund. The New York-based firm will likely hit the market this spring with its fourth vehicle, Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV LP, rumored to have a target of roughly $700 million.

Lincolnshire Management declined to comment on the fund, but a source familiar with the effort told Buyouts that LPs have responded positively, particularly European investors who are looking to gain access to U.S. mid-market funds.

Lincolnshire Management specializes in acquiring middle-market companies and helping them grow through equity investments. Rather than install a slate of new leaders, the firm prefers to work with a portfolio company’s existing management team and often gives them an equity stake in the company. The LBO shop prides itself on its disciplined approach to acquisitions.

“We’re a value house and have bought very little in the last three years,” Lincolnshire Management President T.J. Maloney said at the 20th annual Buyouts East conference earlier this month. One of the firm’s recent acquisitions was The Alaska Club, a chain of fitness centers scattered across the state of Alaska.

And the buyout firm has lodged some recent exits as well. Last fall, Lincolnshire Managment sold Excelsior Radio Networks Inc. to Triton Media Group LLC, a digital products and services supplier and a portfolio company of Oaktree Capital Management LP. The deal was reportedly valued at more than $100 million, and Lincolnshire remains a minority stakeholder in the company. Last summer, the firm sold port operator AMPORTS to AIG Highstar Capital, the infrastructure arm of AIG Global Investment Group, for $425 million.

The firm’s prior fund, Lincolnshire Equity Fund III LP, closed in 2005 with $433 million in commitments.

Lincolnshire Management’s existing limited partners include New York City Retirement Systems, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and SVG Capital.—J.P.