Cleantech investor NewWorld Capital winding down business

  • Tested market for $300 mln fund in summer
  • Partners didn’t want to wait out two-year-plus fundraising
  • Firm to manage four remaining investments

Private equity firm NewWorld Capital Group, formed in 2009 to invest in environmental services including clean energy, waste management and other related markets, is winding down its business.

The New York firm decided last summer to wind down after meeting with limited partners about raising its first institutional fund, targeting $300 million or more, said Ali Iz, one of the firm’s two managing partners.

The firm had “encouraging meetings with the LP community,” but its “partners were not prepared for the long, two-year-or-so fundraising process,” Iz said. “We decided not to raise a fund, or make new investments, but we will continue to manage out the portfolio.”

NewWorld tried previously to raise a fund in 2012, when it talked to LPs about raising a $300 million pool, Buyouts previously reported. Iz said at the time LPs indicated they wanted to see more exits before committing to a fund.

Iz said the decision to wind down was not because of performance. He declined to provide performance numbers. NewWorld made 10 investments, exited six and continues to manage four, Iz said.

The firm took portfolio company SolarEdge Technologies public in March 2015 at $18 a share. The stock price has doubled since then, closing at $36.60 on Jan. 15. NewWorld retained a minority stake in the company at IPO. SolarEdge is listed one of six “exited” investments on the firm’s website.

NewWorld sold portfolio company Astrum Solar, a residential solar installer, to Direct Energy in 2014 after only eight months of ownership, according to a statement at the time. “We are particularly gratified to have earned a handsome return for our investors despite the relatively short holding period of this investment,” Managing Partner Bill Hallisey said in a statement at the time.

NewWorld was formed by five founding partners: Hallisey, formerly a managing director at GSC Group; Iz, an ex-venture partner at CMEA Capital; Carter Bales, who previously co-founded Wicks Group of CosEverett Smith, previously a managing director for New Energy Capital; and Bradley Abelow, former chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

Bales is now listed as managing partner emeritus for the firm.

Abelow departed after just a year to be chief operating officer for MF Global, according to his LinkedIn profile. Smith departed in 2014 to run GoldenSet Capital Partners, which manages NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure LP, a “single investor partnership formed with North Sky Capital,” his LinkedIn profile says.

Partner Karine Khatcherian left at the end of last year. She had been with the firm since 2014 and had focused on fundraising activities, among other things, her LinkedIn profile shows.

NewWorld’s team also includes Silda Wall Spitzer, ex-wife of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. She was brought aboard in 2012 as a principal and is currently listed as a senior adviser.

Action Item: NewWorld’s Form ADV:

Photo courtesy of Ron_Thomas/E+/Getty Images