Sources: Catterton Partners Now Fundraising for Fund VII

Catterton Partners has finally put its fundraising plans in gear and the private equity firm is out marketing for its seventh buyout fund, three sources say.

It’s unclear how much Catterton is looking to collect but one person estimates its $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion.

Greenwich, Conn.-based Catterton, a consumer-focused private equity shop, began marketing for the US fund in April, one person says. The firm’s last buyout fund, Catterton Partners VI LP, raised $1 billion in 2006. The PE firm was expected to begin marketing in 2008 for its seventh buyout fund. However, the firm, faced with a dismal fundraising environment, chose to raise a “top off” fund, with $200 million in additional capital, in 2009. In 2008, Catterton also raised a $300 million growth equity pool.

Catterton Partners VI LP has generated an IRR of 8.58%, according to Sept. 30 data from PSERS, while the growth fund has produced an IRR of 4.14%. Meanwhile, the top off fund, Catterton Partners VI-B LP, has a net IRR of 10.5%, according to Sept. 30 data from CalPERS.

Founded in 1989, the PE firm targets the middle market. Sectors include food and beverage, retail and restaurants, consumer products and consumer health. Catterton currently owns Outback Steakhouse, PetVet Care Centers and O.N.E. coconut water.

“They have a good reputation,” one placement agent says of Catterton. “They’ll get a lot of latitude as far as increasing their fund size.”

Officials for the firm declined comment.

Catterton has been active on the deal scene. Last month, Farley’s & Sathers, a Catterton portfolio company, agreed to merge with Ferrara Pan Candy Co. Catterton will retain a majority stake in the combined company. Also in May, Catterton invested $36.3 million in Baccarat, a luxury crystal company for a roughly 22% stake. In 2011, Catterton invested, via separate transactions, in Pong Research Corp. and in Cover FX. The PE firm, in late 2010, also led a buyout of Noodles & Co.

Catterton invested $20 million into NJOY, an electronic cigarette brand. In a somewhat related investment, the private equity firm also made a undisclosed investment in ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers in October 2011.

Catterton has scored some exits. In May, the PE firm agreed to sell MonoSol, which makes water-soluble films used in consumer applications, to Kuraray Co. In December, Catterton sold First Watch Restaurants to Freeman Spogli & Co. Not all has been good for the PE firm. Late last year, Catterton tried to sell YoCrunch but that auction failed, one banker says.

 

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