MidOcean sails toward $1B goal in March

As MidOcean Partners prepares to close on its largest-ever fund, the buyout shop recently invested in three deals totalling $1.8 billion.

MidOcean Partners, a mid-market specialist that spun out of Deutsche Bank and took over its private equity portfolio in 2003, expects to close in March on $1 billion for its third fund, according to a source familiar with the firm. The firm declined to comment on its fund-raising efforts.

To date, the firm has raised at least $600 million in commitments, according to a regulatory filing.

Previous limited partners include HarbourVest Partners, Northwestern Mutual and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Recently, MidOcean Partners closed on three previously announced deals. In late January, the firm completed its $450 million purchase of Sbarro Inc., the Melville, N.Y.-based pizza chain, and the firm closed on its recapitalization of glove and umbrella maker Totes-Isotoner Corp. The recap was completed for about $800 million. And on Feb. 1, MidOcean Partners bought a 50% stake, for $550 million, in Penton Media and Prism Media from Wasserstein & Co., which will be merged into a new company called Penton Media.

In 2003, after it spun out of Deutsche, MidOcean Partners quietly closed on $540 million for its second fund. At the time, the firm, which operates from offices in New York and London, was in merger talks with Ripplewood Holdings, a BDC-type buyout fund from Europe that has a strong foothold in Asia. The firms had planned to raise a joint fund under the Ripplewood banner, but those plans were scuttled last fall. —Jeremy Harrell