While Others Freeze, Marlin Equity’s Fund Is On Fire

In a time of fundraising “haves” and “have-nots,” Marlin Equity Partners is decidedly a “have.”

The mid-market private equity firm, which entered the market with its third fund only a few months ago, is just days away from holding a first and only close on a sum greater than its hard cap, two sources familiar with the situation said. Probitas Partners is serving as placement agent.

peHUB first reported on the fund in October, citing a regulatory filing which showed it seeking to raise $450 million.

The exact amount gathered is not clear, but sources suggest the fund topped its target by at least $100 million, while a trade pub report put the final figure at $575 million. You may recall that great fortune is not the case with many funds in the market. Our recent “Where are they now?” roundup showed that only four of a sampling of 20 funds which entered the market a year ago have officially closed.

Marlin raised $300 million for its second fund in 2006, and $64 million for its debut fund in 2005. Limited partners include DuPont Capital Management, Private Advisors LLC and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The El Segundo, Calif.-based firm has done four acquisitions this year of companies in the services and software as a service sectors.

A third source compared the success of Marlin Equity’s fundraise to that of Charlesbank Capital and Riverside Partners, two of the strongest middle market fundraising efforts this year. In September, Charlesbank closed its seventh fund with $1.5 billion in commitments, beating its target of $1.25 billion in five months. For its part, Riverside Partners’ fourth fund has, in five months, topped its prior fund, which had $225 million in commitments. The firm has collected $234 million for its fourth fund, with plans to close on its $400 million hard cap by the end of the year, according to a Nov. 23 article in LBOWire.

Marlin declined to comment.


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