Victory Park Capital eyes VPC Fund III

  • Chicago firm talking to LPs about VPC Fund III
  • Firm capped off last fundraising effort in 2011
  • Retired U.S. Sen. Lieberman is executive chairman

VPC Fund III would come after its predecessor, VPC Fund II, capped off its fundraising effort in 2011 with $480 million. That pool is almost fully invested, according to a source familiar with the firm. A spokesman for Victory Park Capital declined to comment.

Four partners lead Victory Park Capital: Richard Levy, Brendan Carroll, Matthew Ray and Jordan Allen, according to the firm’s website Carroll is a co-founder of the firm along with Ray and Levy, who serves as chief executive officer and chief investment officer. Allen joined the firm in 2013 from Man Investments USA and serves as chief operating officer.

In the 1990s, Carroll had worked for Lieberman as a staff assistant on Capitol Hill while he was an undergraduate at Georgetown University, according to a report in the New York Times. Carroll took a leave of absence from his job at Robertson Stephens to work on Lieberman’s campaign with presidential running mate Al Gore. Carroll asked Lieberman to join Victory Park Capital at a lunch meeting in 2013.

Lieberman, 72,  a candidate for vice president in 2000, joined Victory Park Capital as chairman of its executive board. 

“While in the U.S. Senate, I fought for policies that would allow small businesses to thrive,” Lieberman said in a prepared statement when he joined Victory Park Capital. “I look forward to a long-term partnership … that will position the firm for continued growth.”

By landing Lieberman, Victory Park Capital joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Warburg Pincus in wooing top-ranked U.S. government officials in the past year. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Giethner now works as president and managing director at Warburg, while retired Army Gen. David Patraeus heads up the KKR Global Institute as chairman.

Meanwhile, Victory Park Capital has been active on the deal front:

  • The firm floated a $50 million credit facility to LendUp, a direct lender for non-prime borrowers, in May.
  • It bought Houston-based hydraulic fracturing equipment manufacturer Surefire Industries USA LLC for an undisclosed sum in April.
  • The firm helped Borro, a personal asset lender, close on $112 million in financing in March. Also that month, it sold portfolio company, Global Employment Solutions, to private equity firm TZP Group LLC for an undisclosed sum.

Victory Park Capital currently lists 20 companies on its website as investments, including Fast Trak Legal Funding, Reich Brothers, Global Employment Solutions, Buccaneer Energy, Giordano’s restaurant, Fuller Brush, iTransfer, Ascent Aviation Services and Jamba Juice.

Victory Park Capital promoted Derek Ferguson and Chad Peterson to the title of principal in May, in a move to expand its leadership team. 

Founded in 2007, Victory Park Capital positions itself as a privately held investment adviser and specialist in niche credit and private equity deals in distressed and improving mid-market companies across industries.

Victory Park Capital looks to embark on the fundraising trail after recent successes by other Chicago-based firms. Thoma Bravo in May closed Thoma Bravo Fund XI LP at $3.7 billion in less than six months. Also this year, fund-of-funds manager Twin Bridge Capital Partners closed Pacific Street Fund III LP with $450 million, while GTCR raised $3.9 billion for GTCR Fund XI.