Marlin Equity nears $350M final close

Marlin Equity Partners appears close to holding a first and perhaps final close on its second fund, Marlin Equity II, which has a hard cap of $350 million, said a source familiar with the process. Marlin Equity closed its first fund in 2005 with $60 million in commitments.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based firm—which recently bought bankrupt Ronco Corp., a TV infomercial company known for selling such products as the Pocket Fisherman and the Veg-o-Matic—plans to acquire companies hitting on fewer than all cylinders in technology, health care and consumer sectors. On its website, the firm describes itself as backing companies “undergoing varying degrees of operational, financial or market-driven change.”

The firm, which has eight companies in its portfolio, typically invests in businesses that are generating sales of between $10 million and $500 million, but that aren’t necessarily generating a profit.

Led by Managing Director Dave McGovern, Marlin Equity Partners was founded in 2005 with a team from tech buyout shop Gores Technology Group, now called The Gores Group. McGovern, a former attorney and a onetime investment banker at CIBC World Markets, had been the head of M&A at Gores Technology Group. There he and his team executed the turnaround of The Learning Co. and of Hewlett-Packard’s electronic payment systems unit VeriFone.

Other ex-Gores Technology Group members at Marlin Equity team include Nicholas Kaiser, a former associate, and P.J. Nachman, who worked in the M&A group.

McGovern didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Marlin Equity recently expanded its health care business, adding Victor Otley as an operating partner to evaluate acquisition opportunities and oversee the portfolio. He was the founder and CEO of IntelliCare, which he sold in 2005. Placement agency Probitas Partners is raising the fund. —Mark Cecil