By: Bailey McCann, Private Equity Strategies
EBF & Associates, L.P has closed its Merced Partners IV, L.P. fund at its hard cap of $800 million. The fund had an initial target of $750 million. Merced Partners IV will make opportunistic value investments in niche financial instruments and hard assets, pursuing the same investment strategy successfully utilized in its predecessor fund, Merced Partners III, L.P. (a $567 million fund closed in December 2010). The Fund will target opportunities generally ranging from $10 million to $100 million. Limited partners in the Fund include endowments, foundations, state and corporate pension plans, and family offices.
Since 2005, EBF has raised six multi-year lock-up funds with approximately $2.4 billion in aggregate commitments. EBF also manages Merced Partners Limited Partnership, an annual liquidity fund formed in 1990. EBF has 37 employees including six partners and 12 investment professionals.
Private Equity Strategies spoke to Andrew Platt, Managing Director at EBF about the fund and what the firm plans to do going forward. “In all it was about three and a half months from first close to final close, and we were oversubscribed on this fund. So I think some of the challenges that others have seen on the fundraising side, we were able to avoid. That said we also have a strong commitment to off-cycle marketing. It’s a continuous conversation with our investor base, and I think that makes it easier when we are raising new funds,” he says.
So far the new fund is already 10% invested, with a strong pipeline of opportunities to consider going forward. “We like a lot of what we are seeing in hard assets, ships, aircraft. Ships and aircraft are what we call globally ubiquitous assets, everyone uses them, and everyone needs them.” Almost all of the investments across EBF’s fund group are unlevered and the funds themselves are unlevered, Platt notes.
“I think investors now are more comfortable with lock-ups and longer investment periods in the private equity structure, they are socialized into that. It’s a different conversation in a hedge fund structure, but even there it is possible as well. Investors now are looking for returns and they are looking for cross-asset buckets, alternatives to their alternatives, if you will. We’ve been able to build on that need and provide a value proposition.”
This article was published in Opalesque's Private Equity Strategies our monthly research update on the global private equity landscape including all sectors and market caps.