Trivest Partners Closes Fund IV Above Target

Trivest Partners has closed its fourth fund, raising $325 million for Trivest Fund IV to continue its strategy of acquiring founder-owned and family-owned companies in the business services, consumer products, franchises and niche manufacturing industries. The firm beat its original target of $300 million.

Heavy investors in the fund, which is already 20 percent invested in platform acquisitions, include Credit Suisse, GE Equity, Morgan Creek Capital Management, Parish Capital and the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. The remainder of limited partners is represented by a mix of corporate pensions, funds of funds, endowments and foundations, family offices and financial institutions.

“It’s a difficult market out there but we were met with a very strong reception due to the fact that we’ve been in this business for 27 years and in that entire time have always stayed focused on the lower middle market,” said Trivest Managing Partner Troy Templeton.

Based in Miami, Fla., Trivest Partners participates in transactions valued up to $250 million, putting its money in U.S. and Canadian companies generating revenues of $25 million and up and EBITDA of at least $5 million. Equity-to-debt ratios for the firm typically fall in the 35/65 or 45/55 range. The firm has no size minimums for add-on acquisitions, focusing instead on strategic fit.

To date, Trivest has made two investments using Fund IV equity. The first investment was made in Nov. 2007 with the acquisition of DirectBuy, a franchisor of membership-based buying clubs. To help finance that deal Trivest cobbled together a $100 million equity co-investment fund independent of its Fund IV fundraising activities.

The second platform in Fund IV is ATX Networks Inc., a provider of cable network equipment and infrastructure services that Trivest Partners acquired last month. Terms of the deal, which included leverage from CIBC Leveraged Finance, CIT Capital Ltd. and Bank of Nova Scotia, were not disclosed.

“The debt markets remain open for deals of our size, and we’re off to a good start from an investment-pace standpoint, said Jamie Elias, a partner at Trivest Partners.

Fund IV had a minimum investment amount of $5 million according to a Form D filing dated April 30, 2008. To help raise the new vehicle, Trivest Partners tapped Stamford, Conn.-based placement agent Hudson Partners Securities. Legal counsel for the fundraise was provided by Greenberg Traurig.

Trivest Partners closed its previous fund, Trivest Fund III, in 2001 with $316 million in limited partner commitments. Trivest Partners was founded in 1981, and has completed more than 145 transactions to date.