West Hill Partners Working Away on First Fund

West Hill Partners continues to work toward a first close on its debut fund, after more than a year of fundraising. Since November of 2007, the firm, formed by alums of PE firm J. W. Childs, has marketed its first effort. The firm hasn’t held a first close to date but expects one this quarter, a source said. Boston-based West Hill seeks to raise $500 million and has engaged Park Hill Group as its placement agent.

The effort has experienced the challenges of a first-time fund in a difficult fundraising market but continues to push ahead with the effort, the source said.

West Hill was created when Dana Schmaltz, former J.W. Childs President, left the firm in mid-2007. Ted Yun, the former Partner and Chair of the Investment Committee of J.W. Childs, joined him alongside former Childs principals Jeffrey J. Teschke, and James Rhee and Mark J. Tricolli.

William H. Alteiri, formerly the President of TAG Venture Partners, serves as the firm’s Head of Business Development.

The firm targets companies in the consumer, specialty retail, healthcare services and business services sectors with between $100 million and $400 million in enterprise value. That leaves room for a $30 million to $60 million equity check, Schmaltz told The Deal in 2007. Without a first close under its belt, West Hill hasn’t been able to strike a deal, which doesn’t say much since very few deals are happening, even under $400 million in value.

For its part, J.W. Childs has decided to forgo a new fund-raise in lieu of a $200 million SPAC, which it filed last March. At the time, Dan said the SPAC was a way for the firm, bruised by a handful of bad investments, to “find a quality company to invest in, and then use that as the cornerstone of a fresh investment track record (“it’s not about what we did, it’s about what’s we’ve done lately”).”