Wind Point just shy of $1.2bn target set for ninth mid-market fund

Fund IX’s existing commitments already make it the biggest capital pool in Wind Point Partners' nearly four-decade history.

Wind Point Partners is very close to wrapping up a ninth flagship mid-market offering, the first by the Chicago private equity firm to exceed $1 billion.

Wind Point Partners IX and a parallel vehicle, launched in mid-2019, collected more than $1.17 billion, according to Form D fundraising documents. The offering is as a result just shy of reaching its $1.2 billion target.

Fund IX’s existing commitments already make it the biggest capital pool in Wind Point’s nearly four-decade history. If closed at the target, it will be 22 percent larger than Fund VIII, which secured $985 million in 2017, ahead of an initial hard cap of $750 million.

Some 88 investors committed to Fund IX’s main vehicle, the Form Ds showed.

Pension systems with disclosed pledges include Employees Retirement System of Texas, which is investing $60 million; Maryland State Retirement and Pension System and Minnesota State Board of Investment, each of which is committing $100 million; and Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, which is investing $75 million.

Wind Point was founded in 1984 as an investment firm backed by Wisconsin’s Johnson family, owner of SC Johnson. Founders Bob Cummings and Rich Kracum, who joined in the mid-to-late 1980s, helped transition the organization to an institutional PE firm.

Wind Point undertook a succession in anticipation of Fund VIII, which saw Cummings and Kracum step back from day-to-day operations. The firm is today principally owned by managing directors Nathan Brown, Paul Peterson and Alex Washington, according to its ADV filings.

Fund IX is expected to maintain the strategy followed by its two predecessors. Wind Point acquires controlling interests in mid-market companies focused on business services, consumer products and industrial products, its website showed. Target opportunities have EBITDA of at least $10 million and enterprise values of $100 million to $500 million.

Wind Point invests primarily in profitable businesses but will also consider businesses that are underperforming. It works with companies in need of a CEO, such as a corporate spinout or family-owned operation without a successor, as well as those with a strong CEO but which could use an active chairman. Equity checks range from $60 million to $130 million.

The portfolio holds 19 active platform investments. Recent additions include CTSI, a Chantilly, Virginia, technology and communications solutions provider, acquired by Wind Point this year, and Tropicale Foods, an Ontario, California, maker of Hispanic frozen treats, acquired in 2019.

Wind Point in January announced the promotion of Joe Lawler to managing director, increasing the leadership team to six. Lawler joined in 2009 from William Blair & Company’s investment banking division.

Wind Point and Neuberger Berman two years ago completed a GP-led secondaries process for Wind Point Partners VI, a 2006 vintage fund with committed capital of $715 million. The deal was valued at about $175 million, Buyouts reported.

Wind Point did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Action item: Check out Wind Point Partners’ ADV filings here.