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Market wrap up: Lee Equity corrals $1B

Fund-raising was brisk during the past week, allowing buyout and mezzanine firms to raise the level of capital commitments secured so far this year to $254.6 billion.

Lee Equity Partners, the buyout fund Tom Lee launched in 2996, set the pace when it raised about $1 billion for Lee Equity Partners Fund. The New York-based firm is planning to close the vehicle with at least $1.5 billion in capital commitments in the coming months.

Lee Equity’s strategy is to invest in middle-market media, financial services and retail companies. Limited partners in its debut fund include Teachers Retirements System of Texas, according to a regulatory filing.

Among Lee Equity’s professionals is Bob Wright, the former chairman of NBC Universal. Deals the firm has already done include the buyout of teen apparel store Debs Shops, and it backed health insurer Universal American Financial Corp.

Quintana Capital Group also held an interim close of its second fund. The Houston-based firm collected $260 million for the fund, which is targeted at $650 million. The firm makes control-oriented equity investments in the oil and natural gas, coal and power industries.

In addition, Argosy Partners Ltd. has raised $120 million for Argosy Investment Partners IV, which has a $150 million goal. The Wayne, Pa.-based firm takes control equity or minority mezzanine positions in lower middle market companies with revenue of $15 million to $100 million.

Deal activity

There were eight LBO transactions during the past week, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week). However, none of the deals disclosed financial terms, leaving the year-to-date deal volume unchanged at $124.9 billion.

During the past week, New Mountain Capital of New York acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Camber Corp. through its New Mountain Partners III fund. Camber is a Huntsville, Ala.-based provider of education, training and other services to government agencies. It primarily serves the Department of Defense.

Another deal saw Riverside Co.’s Riverside Micro-Cap Fund acquiring JSL Communications, a Bainsbridge Island, Wash.-based publisher of continuing education training materials used by emergency medical service workers and by first responders.