Levine Leichtman to buy Fastsigns from Roark

Roark Capital Group has found a buyer for Fastsigns International.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners said late Tuesday it is acquiring Fastsigns. Financial terms weren’t announced. The deal is the fourth investment from Levine Leichtman’s fifth fund.

The Los Angeles private equity firm finished marketing for its fifth fund earlier this year. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Fund V LP closed at $1.65 billion, above its $1.5 billion target, in March. The firm’s fourth pool collected $1.1 billion in 2006. Fund IV is generating a 23.1 percent net IRR and 1.8x investment multiple as of Dec. 31, according to performance data from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Atlanta-based Roark launched an auction of Fastsigns, a franchisor of signs and graphics, in March, peHUB has reported. Roark tapped North Point Advisors to run the process.

“We are truly thankful for and appreciative of the wonderful partnership we have had with CEO Catherine Monson, the outstanding management team members and committed franchisees of Fastsigns,” Neal Aronson, Roark’s managing partner, said in a statement. “Founder Gary Solomon and Catherine Monson built a great company that we have been privileged to be a part of.”

Fastsigns has nearly 550 franchised locations spread through eight countries, including the United States, Canada, England, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company provides products such as banners, building signs, vehicle graphics and signs for windows.

Roark’s investment in Fastsigns is more than 10 years old. The PE firm acquired Fastsigns in October 2003. Roark invested $15 million into Fastsigns and returned $30 million through two recaps by the end of 2011, Buyouts has reported.

Atlanta-based Roark, a mid-market PE firm, is out fundraising. Roark is seeking $1.5 billion for its fourth pool, peHUB has reported.

Levine Leichtman did not return calls/messages for comment.

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