Insight Equity Raising $500 Million

No, I am not referring to the storied Insight Ventures Partners. (We’ve beaten up on them plenty lately.)

Insight Equity is a turnaround private equity firm based in Southlake, Texas. You may remember I flagged their return to market back in June. The firm is almost doubling its fund size in its sophomore effort. Insight is seeking to raise $500 million, up from its first fund, a $280 million 2005 vintage.

The firm is on the road now, marketing Insight Equity II LP with UBS as its placement agent, a source familiar with the situation said.

In an interesting development that’s been springing up more and more lately, Insight is raising a mezzanine fund alongside its buyout fund. The idea is the firm’s deals will have no contingencies. Insight can walk up to the table with the mezzanine financing already in place, which is a huge advantage with speed and certainty to close.

It’s not unlike the strategy of ABRY, which invests out of a $900 million PE fund alongside a $650 million mezz fund.

Insight is headed by CEO and founder Ted Beneski, who spent time at Carlyle Group’s turnaround business and co-founded Bain & Company’s Dallas Office. It buys companies with enterprise values between $50 million and $500 million in a variety of industries but not real estate, retail or restaurant! (the firm’s web site makes a special point telling us this…) This year the company purchased interests in W.C. Rice Oil Company, Allied Energy Corporation and Allied Renewable Energy.