Freeman Spogli & Co. Chipping Away at Fund Six

LA-Based buyout firm Freeman & Spogli has raised $419.2 million toward its sixth buyout fund, according to an SEC filing. The firm entered the market with FS Equity Partners VI LP last year, targeting $1.75 billion. But in the past 12 months, Freeman & Spogli has yet to hit its halfway point. In March of last year, the firm had already raised $250 million, so since then, Freeman Spogli & Co has only gathered $169 million in commitments.

That’s not encouraging in a time LPs and placement agents can’t shut up about things like “momentum” and “a big first close.” A number of middle market firms which successfully raised money in recent months have cited both of those as integral to their hitting (and often, beating) their target. With just $169 million this year, and $250 million last year, Freeman & Spogli doesn’t appear to have the wind at its back. Likewise, the firm held a first close on around $250 million, which isn’t close to the one third or one half that industry experts are recommending.

The firm is also seeking a significant increase over its prior fund. FS Equity Partners V had $1 billion in commitments. It closed in 2003

Freeman Spogli’s sixth fund has received investments from Florida State Board of Administration, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, and $40 million from School Employees Retirement System of Ohio.

The firm, based in Los Angeles, was founded in 1983 by Bradford Freeman and Ambassador Ronald P. Spogli .Freeman Spogli last month invested in The Paradies Shops, an airport retailer.