LNK find LPS hungry for consumer, retail-focused fund

LNK Partners has raised its first fund six months after breaking out from Apax Partners.

The White Plains, N.Y.-based fund raised $400 million (beating its $275 million target) to invest in consumer and retail investments.

The firm was named after its trio of co-founders, each of whom have deep retail and consumer industry expertise. The co-founders are David Landau, former head of Apax Partners’ consumer and retail group; Henry Nasella, a former venture partner with Apax, who previously served as chairman and CEO of Star Markets and was president and COO of Staples; and Bruce Klatsky, former chairman and CEO of apparel and footwear company Phillips-Van Heusen.

All three men were involved in Phillips-Van Heusen’s $430 million acquisition of Calvin Klein in 2003, which was partially financed via a $250 million PIPE infusion from Apax.

The fund will invest in buyouts, recaps, growth equity and PIPEs.

“We’re really focused on backing management teams, supporting them with our operating expertise and providing access to our network of relationships,” Landau says.

A major aspect during fund-raising was the tapping of 60 senior executives in the consumer and retail industries to invest personally in the fund. The concept, says Landau, serves to tighten the bond between LNK and these executives, some of whom are friends, and all of whom could be potential business partners down the road in one way or another.

Those investments are also touted by Landau as evidence of his firm’s insider status in the industry.

“We talked to people whom we have had long relationships with. They were saying, We’d like to back you,’ and we realized this was something we could offer friends who’d helped us in the past. They are people we know and we are going to turn to in supporting the companies we invest in. It’s a linkage they now have to us which is more than friendship.”

The firm hasn’t completed any deals, but is looking.