Lazard Ltd. (NYSE: LAZ) has acquired The Edgewater Funds, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the middle markets. No financial terms were disclosed. Edgewater Funds was in the midst of raising $750 million for a new growth capital fund, and has over $1 billion in capital under management.
Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) announced today that it has established a Chicago-based private equity business with The Edgewater Funds, a Chicago-based private equity firm, through the acquisition of The Edgewater Funds’ management vehicles. Edgewater, which will continue to be managed by its current leadership team who retains a substantial economic interest, is focused on growth-oriented investments and buyouts in the US middle market.
“Edgewater’s founder, Jim Gordon, and his partners have built a strong private equity business in the middle market and a broad network of business relationships in Chicago over the past 18 years,” said Bruce Wasserstein, Chairman and CEO of Lazard.
“The addition of Edgewater will bring a nationally prominent middle market private equity management business to Lazard and will serve as an enhancement to our expanding effort in Chicago, the highly active base for our Financial Advisory business in the Midwest,” said Charles G. Ward, President of Lazard and Chairman of its Asset Management Group. “We look forward to working with the Edgewater team to build deal flow, growth opportunities and investment sources for the funds.”
“Lazard is the preeminent, global independent firm in strategic financial advisory and management of clients’ assets,” said Jim Gordon, Founder and Managing Partner of Edgewater. “By joining Lazard, we believe that we can strengthen our investment and capital base and leverage the Lazard brand and international presence to expand our portfolio companies around the globe. We can also attract talent to partner on new investments and provide a more diverse range of opportunities to benefit our fund investors through the Lazard network of high quality research and world class investment banking.”
In addition to his role as Managing Partner of Edgewater, Mr. Gordon serves on the boards of directors of numerous Chicago area arts institutions and non-profit organizations, including The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, the Joffrey Ballet, the Museum of Science and Industry of Chicago, Chicago Cares and the Big Shoulders Fund. He also serves as a Vice Chairman of the board of The Whitney Museum of American Art.
Edgewater primarily manages two middle market funds with approximately $700 million of assets under management, Edgewater Growth Capital Partners, L.P. and Edgewater Growth Capital Partners II, L.P. The funds are focused on buyout and growth equity investments in middle market companies.
Lazard, one of the world’s preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 39 cities across 24 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. With origins dating back to 1848, the firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and capital raising, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments, and individuals. For more information on Lazard, please visit www.lazard.com.
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