Lion Capital seeks $2.5 bln for Fund IV

Lion Capital IV LP has a $2.5 billion target and a $3 billion hard cap, the person said. The private equity firm is not using a placement agent.

Lion, which has offices in London and Los Angeles, is a consumer-focused firm that has invested in companies such as Jimmy Choo shoes (sold to TowerBrook Capital Partners in 2007), Kettle Foods (exited in 2010), and AllSaints, the apparel retailer.

Lion has been exiting deals as it prepares to come to market. In December, the firm agreed to sell Bumble Bee Foods to Thai Union Frozen Products in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. Lion was expected to make more than 4.5x its money with the sale.

Earlier this week, Lion sold a 49 percent stake in Picard, a French frozen food retailer, to Aryzta. Lion last month sold Ven Geloven, a Netherlands-based frozen food producer, to TowerBrook. The firm also agreed to sell Vaasan Group, a bakery group, to Lantmännen in January.

Lion’s third fund collected 1.6 billion euros (US$1.7 billion) in 2010. The pool is generating a 17.08 percent IRR and 1.51x multiple, according to data provider Bison.

Investments made by Lion’s Fund III include optical retailer Alain Afflelou, fashion retailer AllSaints, canned seafood company Bumble Bee Foods, hairstyling products maker ghd, men’s clothing and accessories maker John Varvatos, frozen food maker Picardand anti-aging skincare company Perricone MD, according to the firm’s website.

News of Lion Capital’s fundraising was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Executives for Lion could not immediately be reached for comment.