Thoma Cressey Closes Fund VIII

Thoma Cressey Partners has closed its eighth fund and its largest to date as it reached out to European investors for the first time.

Thoma Cressey raised $765 million for Thoma Cressey Fund VIII, which was targeted at $650 million. The firm’s previous fund, in 2001, raised about $550 million.

“We were a little surprised initially at the strength of the demand for the fund,” says Managing Partner Lee Mitchell. “It just got oversubscribed very, very quickly.” Mitchell says that previous funds have performed well and that Thoma has a long operating history – the Chicago-based firm is celebrating its 25th anniversary – which helped when raising commitments from LPs.

The private equity firm did not disclose the name of LPs, but they included U.S. and European governmental pension programs, funds-of-funds, corporate pension plans and endowments. The principals of Thoma Cressey also investors an undisclosed amount in fund VIII. As fund VII continues to wind down, the firm won’t begin investing in fund VIII until the second quarter. Thoma Cressey mainly focuses on health care and software. Chicago-based Thoma is still investing from its $554 million seventh fund, raised in 2001, said Thoma Managing Partner Lee Mitchell.

Some investments from fund VII include infusion pharmaceuticals company Critical Care Systems Inc., expert testimony and litigation support provider LECG Corp. and enterprise software provider Prophet21 Inc.

As the fund winds down, Thoma Cressey has already been active this year on a few fronts. The firm announced a competing takeover offer of Sydney, Australia-based Citect Corp. for $1.28 per share. Directors of Citect – a developer of software for large-scale industrial complexes – have approved the deal.

Also, Thoma Cressey announced on Jan. 9 that it provided $50 million in new capital out of its seventh fund to software developer Made2Manage Systems Inc., which is owned by Battery Ventures.