San Francisco private equity firm FFL Partners has closed a $2 billion fund.
The fund, FFL Capital Partners IV, exceeded its $1.5 billion target and raised investments from pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices and $75 million from the FFL team. Washington State Investmetn Board is also an investor, according to their website. With three investments already under its belt, the fund is 24 percent invested. Mergers & Acquisitions reported that FFL was fundraising in May.
"We're looking to make 15 to 20 investments, both control and minority investments, typically control," says FFL co-CEO Spencer Fleischer.
FFL invests in business services, consumer, financial services and health care services companies. The firm has about $4 billion in capital under management. FFL raised $1.5 billion for its third fund in 2008, which included $40 million from employees, $811 million for its second fund in 2004, and $333 million for its first fund in 1999.
In April, the firm invested in Clarkson Eyecare Inc., an Ellisville, Missouri-based optometry chain that has 82 locations in the Midwest. Before that, in November, FFL invested in Eyemart Express, a Farmers Branch, Texas-based optical retailer with 150 stores. FFL made both of those investments, as well as craft beer group Enjoy Beer, from the new fund.
Optical is a space FFL has focused on because of fragmentation, according to Fleischer. "It's a good investment opportunity because it's consolidating, says Fleischer. "About half the optical retailers in the U.S. are single practitioners, and it is much more efficient to run them as a chain."
There have been several other private equity fund closes in the past few months. On June 2, Valor Equity Partners closed a $490 million fund. In late May, the Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) closed a $716 million, technology-focused private equity fund.