Muller & Monroe is seeking $300 million for its sophomore vehicle, M2 Private Equity Fund-of-Funds, which is more than double the haul from its first fund, a $144 million vehicle raised in 2005.
For its inaugural fund, the firm raised the majority of its capital from LPs in and around the Windy City, including the Chicago Policemen’s Annuity & Benefits, Chicago Transit Authority Employees’ Retirement Plan, Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and State Universities Retirement System of Illinois. From outside Illinois, the New Mexico State Investment Council also backed the first fund.
Muller & Monroe is helmed by President Andre Rice, who founded the firm in 1999. —Joshua Payne
Lincolnshire tests the waters for new fund
Mid-market buyout firm
The firm’s prior fund, Lincolnshire Equity Fund III, closed in 2005 with $433 million in commitments. Limited partners included New York City Retirement Systems, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and SVG Capital.
Lincolnshire Management declined to comment on the fund, but a source familiar with the effort says that LPs have responded positively, particularly European investors who are looking to gain access to U.S. mid-market funds.
Lincolnshire Management specializes in acquiring middle-market companies and helping them grow through equity investments. Rather than install a slate of new leaders, the firm prefers to work with a portfolio company’s existing management team and often gives them an equity stake in the company.
“We’re a value house and have bought very little in the last three years,” Lincolnshire Management President T.J. Maloney said at the 20th annual Buyouts East conference in New York earlier this month.
The buyout firm has lodged some exits recently. Last fall, Lincolnshire Management sold Excelsior Radio Networks Inc. to Triton Media Group, a digital products and services supplier, in a deal that was reportedly valued at more than $100 million. Lincolnshire remains a minority stakeholder in the company. Last summer, the firm sold port operator AMPORTS to AIG Highstar Capital for $425 million. —Joshua Payne
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About 45% of that fund’s limited partners were U.S.-based while 25% was from the United Kingdom and another 24% came from other European nations.