Argosy Private Equity has closed a $300 million fund that will make lower middle-market investments.

Argosy invests in companies with between $3 million and $9 million in Ebitda, and makes control and minority investments. So far the new fund, Argosy Investment Partners V LP, has invested $40 million in four companies.

The firm focuses on manufacturing, business services and distribution investments.

In January, the firm bought a majority stake in Library Systems & Services LLC, which provides service to public and private libraries. Argosy's investments include Fairway Building Products, a building products company, and U.C. Coatings Corp., a wood sealing products company.

Investors in the fund include financial insitutions, insurance companies, foundations and high net-worth individuals, as well as a leverage commitment from the Small Business Administration, according to the firm.

The Wayne, Pennsylvania-based private equity firm closed the fund Jan. 30, but the close was announced April 10. Argosy previously closed a fund with $180 million in commitments in 2010.

Argosy isn't the only firm with an eye on the lower middle market. In March, Capitala Group closed a $125 million fund focused on investing in the space, and before that, BV Investment Partners raised a $487 million fund, also to buy lower middle-market companies. For more, see Life in the Lower Middle Market

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