Exclusive: ABRY Partners targets $1.9 bln for flagship Fund VIII

ABRY Partners is back in the market to raise its eighth flagship private equity fund, targeting $1.9 billion, according to two limited partners with knowledge of the fundraising.

Fund VIII has been in the market since the spring, one LP said, and could hold a final close as soon as August. The expectation is the fundraising will be quick and quiet, which is ABRY’s usual way of operating, one LP said.

A representative for ABRY Partners did not return a call for comment Tuesday. The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund committed up to $35 million to the fund, subject to legal diligence, sister magazine Buyouts reported in June.

ABRY has been “disciplined” about increasing fund sizes, which investors appreciate, one LP said. Limiting fund size increases also leaves little room for new investors, the LP said.

The firm, based in Boston, closed its seventh flagship fund in 2011 on $1.6 billion. ABRY Partners VII LP was generating a 1.17x multiple and a 12.08 percent internal rate of return as of Dec. 31, 2013, according to performance information from the Indiana Public Retirement System.

Fund VI, a 1.35 billion, 2008 vintage vehicle, was producing a 1.48x multiple and a 17.72 percent IRR, according to Indiana’s numbers. And Fund V, a 2004 vintage, $950 million vehicle, was generating a 1.75x multiple and a 17.63 percent IRR, according to the Indiana pension system.

ABRY had already been in the market this year raising its third senior debt fund, ABRY Advanced Securities Fund III, which was set to hold a final close on $1.5 billion in the spring, according to one of the LPs. Information about ABRY Advanced Securities Fund III could not be confirmed as the ABRY representative did not return a call Tuesday.

In January, ABRY closed its acquisition of New Mountain Capital-backed Inmar Inc, which operates intelligent commerce networks.

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