Essex Woodlands seeks $750 mln for ninth fund

healthcare investing

Essex Woodlands Health Ventures is out fundraising for its latest pool, sources said.

The healthcare growth equity firm is seeking $750 million for its ninth fund, one placement source said. That is less than the $900 million raised by Essex’s prior pool, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures Fund VIII, in 2009.

Fund VIII was generating a 6.2% IRR as of March 31, according to the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund.

Results aren’t better for Essex’s seventh fund, which raised $600 million in 2006. Essex Fund VII is producing a meager 1.1% IRR, Oregon data shows.

Officials for Essex declined comment.

Founded in 1985, Essex makes mostly growth equity investments with a minority of deals focused on venture capital, according to the firm’s website. The firm targets pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, healthcare services and healthcare IT. Essex can provide up to $100 million for a growth equity deal, but investments typically range between $20 million to $60 million equity.

Essex, which has offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Houston, Shanghai, New York and London, doesn’t appear to have done a deal lately, based on public information. In May 2012, the firm launched Bioventus, which was Smith & Nephew’s former Biologics Division/Clinical Therapies business. Silver Lake Sumeru, along with Essex Woodlands, acquired Medseek, a provider of online strategic patient engage and analytics software, also in 2012. Essex led the $40 million funding round for IntegenX in December 2011. In September 2011, Essex also led the $22 million funding round for BreatheAmerica.

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