Two Exits for Nautic Partners After Long Holds

Another day, another exit for Nautic Partners.

Nautic this morning announced it was selling Fibertech Networks, which builds and operates fiber-optic networks, to Court Square Capital Partners. The deal is valued at north of $500 million, a Fibertech spokesman said.

Nautic first invested in Fibertech in 2000, the spokesman said. The Providence, R.I. –based PE firm made the investment when it was known as Navis Partners, which also was the former Fleet Equity Partners before it was spun out by the bank in 2000 (Got it? Nautic was Navis which was Fleet Equity).

Ridgemont Equity Partners is also exiting Fibertech. Its investment dates back to 2001 when Ridgemont, which was then Banc of America Capital Investors, led a $25 million second funding round into Fibertech.

Fibertech’s investors put in roughly $50 million via two rounds, the Wall Street Journal said. It’s not clear how much Nautic owned. “Nautic owned more than BofA and management owned a small portion,” a Fibertech spokesman said.

Management is expected to roll over part of their ownership into the new company. The deal is expected to close before Dec. 31.

On Wednesday, Nautic also agreed to sell Gaymar Industries, which makes therapeutic mattresses and temperature-management products, to Stryker Corp. for $150 million.

Nautic and Norwest Equity Partners bought Gaymar in 2003, and by last year the company had sales of about $77 million, of which roughly $14 million were related to its existing OEM relationship with Stryker, according to Business First.

For Nautic, both deals are notable because they are relatively long holds. The PE shop owned both companies for nearly a decade.

The Fibertech sale is apparently the first for Ridgemont since it was spun off from BofA earlier this month. It’s not clear who will reap the returns of the transaction, BofA or Ridgemont. Ridgemont is currently managing a $1.3 billion portfolio, which represents about 23% of BofA’s PE portfolio as of June 30.

Officials for Nautic and Ridgemont couldn’t be reached for comment.