GI Partners Fund V will likely weigh in at about $2 bln

  • GI sold Duckhorn in August to TSG
  • GI made slightly under 4x its money: Magnuson
  • GI Fund IV closed at $2 bln in 2014

GI Partners’ fifth fund will “probably” be the same size as its last $2 billion pool, said Executive Managing Director and Founder Rick Magnuson.

Magnuson, speaking on the sidelines of Buyouts’ PartnerConnect West conference, wouldn’t say when GI would launch Fund V. The fourth pool is 70 percent invested, Magnuson said during a Sept. 27 keynote presentation.

The firm’s fourth pool collected $2 billion in 2014, while GI Fund III closed on $1.9 billion in 2009.

“We’ll be considering the next fund in the near future,” Magnuson said during the keynote.

GI, the Menlo Park, California, middle-market private equity firm, invests in tech, media and telecom, healthcare, retail and leisure, as well as business and financial services.

It’s one of the rare firms that has invested in wine. Other PE investors in the space include Bacchus Capital ManagementArbor Investments and TSG Consumer Partners.

GI acquired Duckhorn Wine Co in October 2007. Dan and Margaret Duckhorn founded the St. Helena, California, wine company in 1976. Duckhorn owns 13 estate vineyards totaling 1,013 acres, four wineries in the Napa and Anderson Valleys as well as three visitor centers, its website said. Brands include Duckhorn Vineyards, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration and Decoy.

GI held the investment for nearly nine years before selling Duckhorn in August to TSG. The firm made “slightly under 4x” its money with the deal, Magnuson said.

In June, GI completed its second wine investment, acquiring Far Niente Wine Estate, a winery and vineyard company. Wine investments are “difficult to execute,” Magnuson said during the keynote. “Lots of people are hobbyists. … It’s difficult to scale a business.”

GI used its second fund, which collected $1.45 billion in 2006, to invest in Duckhorn.

Duckhorn could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact GI Partners: info@gipartners.com

Photo courtesy Duckhorn Wine Co