Avista to Reach First Close

Avista Capital Partners is approaching a first close on its second fund, slated for July, a source familiar with the situation said. The firm deployed its first $2 billion fund quickly, doing around six deals last year and around 11 in 2006. This time around it’s seeking $3 billion. Despite the increase in target size, the firm will likely have a much easier time raising its second fund, a source told me.

Avista’s first fundraising effort took more than a year, simply because it was a first-time fund. The health care-focused buyout firm’s founders hail from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

Recent Avista news:

5/8/08: The firm wrote down its investment in the Star Tribune. (They bought it for $530 million.)

5/5/08: Avista scored a major coup with its $4.1 billion leveraged buyout of Convatec, probably the largest deal of the year thus far. J.P Morgan led the financing.

December 2007: The firm ended the year with a bang, picking up two health care spin-offs with full leverage.