Pre-Marketing Pays Off For Mason Wells

Firm: Mason Wells

Fund: Mason Wells Buyout Fund III LP

Target: $325 million

Amount Raised: $325 million

Placement Agent: $400 million

Growth equity firm Mason Wells has closed on $325 million in commitments from 18 investors for its third buyout fund, according to a regulatory filing. A source familiar with the situation said the fund has a target of $400 million with a hard cap of $500 million.

In an effort to gain momentum in a tough fundraising market, the firm had been “beating the trees” with word of Mason Wells Buyout Fund III LP for more than a year before “officially” coming to market last October, said an LP. Mason Wells’s prior vehicle was oversubscribed, with $300 in commitments topping its $250 million target.

Prior investors included AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., Bank of Scotland, BP America Inc., Green Bay Packaging Inc., Key Capital Corp., Prudential Capital Partners, SunTrust Equity Partners and the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio.

Forum Capital is serving as placement agent for the firm’s latest effort.

Formed in 1982 as a subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation, Mason Wells invests in companies generating between $25 million and $250 million in revenues in the engineered products and services, outsourced business services, and specialty packaging and paper industries. The firm often focuses on regional deals. In 2008, the company acquired Wrightstown, Wis.-based Coating Excellence International, a maker of flexible packaging for paper reams and food and industrial products. Last year the company acquired TOLAS Healthcare Packaging, a maker of sterile-grade packaging, through its portfolio company Oliver Medical.