Sights Lowered, Start-up Dominus Nears Final Close

Firm: Dominus Capital

Fund: Dominus Capital Partners LP

Target: $250 million

Placement Agent: Probitas Partners

Dominus Capital LP is on the verge of holding a third close on its debut fund at $200 million, a sum earmarked to buy light manufacturing, business services and consumer products companies, a source told Buyouts. The firm expects to close the fund at $250 million sometime over the summer.

The New York shop had initially sought to raise $375 million when it hit the market in July 2008, but lowered the target because of the difficult time it had raising money. Limited partners include Credit Suisse, as well as public pension funds, small foundations and insurance companies.

Expect Dominus Capital to invest anywhere from $20 million to $50 million of equity into deals with enterprise values of up to $400 million, although the firm can sponsor larger transactions with co-investors. On its Web site, the firm describes a typical target company as one that is “at an inflection point, possessing identifiable untapped growth potential and where management subscribes to a continuous improvement philosophy.” In March, the firm made its first acquisition, buying Spectrum Corp., a Selmer, Tenn.-based maker of lubricants for lawn and garden equipment and automobiles, from River Associates Investments LLC.

Dominus Capital was founded by Managing Partner Gary Binning, Senior Adviser Edward Harvey, and Partners Robert Haswell and Ashish Rughwani, who were formerly executives at Quad-C Management Inc., a Charlottesville, Va.-based buyout firm. Prior to his roughly eight-year career with Quad-C Management, Binning was one of the founding partners of the North American private equity business of PAI Partners.