Tuckerman Raising Money To Back The Fundless

Firm: Tuckerman Capital

Fund: Tuckerman Capital III LP

Target: $110 million to $115 million

Amount Raised: $100 million

Friend to the fundless Tuckerman Capital is almost finished raising a third vehicle, having secured $100 million of the $110 million to $115 million target range set for Tuckerman Capital III LP.

Tuckerman Capital helps finance the buyouts of small manufacturing companies valued at $5 million to $25 million. The firm’s partners are a breed of roving sponsors that lack a dedicated pool of capital. These dealmakers are often eager to do a few one-off transactions to build their track record and eventually raise an institutional fund. Tuckerman Capital provides both equity and debt, and also gives them access to its own Rolodex of management contacts.

The Hanover, N.H.-based firm expects to close on the remainder of the fund within the next 30 days, said Tim Briglin, one of two partners. Limited partners, which will have the option to co-invest through the fund, include institutional investors and family offices. All LPs from its second fund have re-upped, said Briglin. Tuckerman Capital’s second fund, the $50 million, 2003-vintage Tuckerman Capital II LP, is already fully invested. The firm raised $25 million for its Tuckerman Capital LP in 2001.

Tuckerman Capital has completed two transactions with the third fund, both with Hanover Partners. It recently sold Rugby Manufacturing Co., which it also bought with Hanover Partners, to Kirtland Capital Partners. In 2005, Tuckerman Capital teamed with Pegasus Management to buy the U.S. packaging business of ShieldPack.

“There are plenty of guys in the fundless sponsor community ultimately looking to raise a fund,” said Briglin. Others, like Hanover Partners, continue to rove. These dealmakers are often not independently wealthy and sometimes will put down zero equity in a deal, said Briglin. For its part, Tuckerman Capital gets access to small market deals across the country without having to scour for them or deal with bankers.

Both Briglin and fellow partner Peter Milliken began their careers lending to manufacturing companies. Prior to co-founding the firm, Briglin was a partner at the buyout fund Green Mountain Partners, where he participated in 21 deals, investing over $200 million. Before joining Green Mountain, Briglin worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. in the financial sponsor coverage group. Early in his career he was an analyst in the corporate leveraged lending group at Marine Midland Bank.

Milliken is also a Green Mountain veteran, and while there participated in 13 deals valued at $142 million. Prior to that he was an investment manager for Asian Strategic Investments Corp., a China-based private equity fund, where he invested in Chinese manufacturing companies.

Hanover, N.H., perhaps best known for being the site of Dartmouth College, is a little out of the way for most private equity shops. Milliken got his M.B.A. at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. The firm gets its name from hiking destination Tuckerman Ravine, a landmark on the south side of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington.

“It’s better than living in a big city,” Briglin said of Hanover. “There’s no advantage for us to be located in a major city. It’s not as if our companies are located in one particular area.”—E.B.