Swander Pace Capital, a lower-to-mid-market buyout firm specializing in consumer products companies, has begun raising a new fund, Swander Pace Capital V LP, a person familiar with the offering told Buyouts, peHUB’s sister magazine. The fund has a $450 million target.
Founded in 1996, Swander Pace has offices in San Francisco and Bedminster, N.J., and manages more than $1 billion in private equity capital.
The firm invests in a number of consumer product categories, including food and beverages, clothing, pet products and sporting goods. Some of the firm’s better known portfolio companies have included Totes Isotoner, a maker of gloves and umbrellas, Eagle Pack, pet foods and Applegate, meats and cheeses. The firm sold Totes in 2004 and Eagle Pack in 2007.
The firm is led by five managing directors: Andrew Richards, Shawn Hecht, Mark Poff, C. Morris Stout and Corby Reese. According to the firm’s Web site, it focuses on taking positions in companies that have “leading market positions in attractive, defensible niches.” The companies it targets typically have up to $300 million in annual revenues.
In July, the $10 billion Ohio School Employees Retirement System announced that it was committing $40 million to the new fund.
The firm’s previous vehicle, the 2008 vintage Fund IV, has performed strongly, according to the source, citing data from December 2011. The fund, which raised $340 million, returned a net IRR of 18 percent and a 1.5x net return multiple.
That fund scored some big wins, including its investment in Liberty Brands, Canada’s leading maker of natural and organic yogurts, which Swander Pace sold to Yoplait in 2010. That investment boasted a 6.9x return on invested capital. Calls to Swander Pace were not returned by deadline.