Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ridgemont Equity closes oversubscribed $735 million fund

Charlotte private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners announced Thursday that it has closed a $735 million buyout and growth equity fund, its first since spinning out of Bank of America in 2010.

Ridgemont focuses on deals between $25 million and $75 million in several industries  including healthcare, industrials, energy and technology. That strategy hasn't changed much since leaving Bank of America, but its leaders have had to spend a lot more time fundraising, partner Travis Hain told the Observer.

But that's gone pretty well for them. Ridgemont originally planned for a $675 million offering, but demand was strong enough to boost it to $735 million. The firm still had to turn away money, Hain said.

The Ridgemont team has been together since 1993, and invested more than $3 billion in 115 companies since then. Bank of America spun it off three years ago as regulators made clear they would clamp down on such investments. One provision still being crafted known as the Volcker Rule would restrict banks from having relationships with private equity firms.

Ridgemont still manages some legacy investments made in its BofA days, but the bank did not participate in the latest fund.

About half of the fund has been committed so far. The firm announced its ninth deal of the fund Tuesday, an equity investment in Simpleview, a Tucscon, Ariz., company that provides software-as-a-service systems for destination marketing companies. Terms of that deal were not disclosed.

Hain said the firm has not laid plans to begin raising money for a new fund as of yet, but said it will in the future.