Avista Capital Looks to Raise $2 Bln Fund

Avista Capital Partners is raising a new fund after closing its last pool less than two years ago, according to several sources.

Avista, which has offices in New York, Houston and London, is seeking to raise a $2 billion pool, according to sources and a Form D SEC filing. The name of the new fund is Avista Capital Partners (Offshore) III LP.

Founded in 2005, Avista is made up of former executives of DLJ Merchant Banking. Thompson Dean, an Avista co-managing partner, is a former managing partner at DLJ MB. Dean helped co-found Avista along with Steven Webster, who is also a co-managing partner (Dean is the former chairman of DLJMB Global Energy Partners). David Burgstahler, also an Avista co-founder, was a partner of DLJ Merchant Banking. He is now an Avista partner and president. Nearly all of Avista’s other partners are former DLJ MB execs.

One source was surprised Avista Capital is fundraising again. In March 2010, Avista announced the final close of its second fund which raised $1.8 billion. “They basically had already put a bunch of money to work by the final close,” the source says.

Avista Capital Partners II LP had a net IRR of 55.4%, according to a June 30, 2010 quarterly report from CS Pacific.

Since that time, Avista has been very active. In September 2010, Avista announced plans to buy the global auto care unit of Clorox Co. Avista, earlier this year, agreed to invest in Celtique Energie Holdings. The PE firm, on June 15, bought DataBank Holdings from Freeman Group. The next day, Avista said it had bought Anthony International.

Avista, which makes control or influential minority investments, focuses on energy, healthcare, media, industrial and consumer businesses.

Officials for Avista couldn’t be reached for comment.