Bertram seals first exit from debut fund

The lower mid-market firm has sold Power Distribution for $235m after more than quadrupling the company's revenues in less than five years, says managing partner Jeff Drazan.

California-based Bertram Capital has sold Power Distribution Inc. to technology business Smiths Group for $235 million.

The deal marks the first realised investment from Bertram Growth Capital I, the lower mid-market firm’s debut fund that collected $350 million in 2007. Virginia-based Power Distribution produces power monitoring equipment for corporate data centers and was generating approximately $30 million in revenues when Bertram purchased a majority stake in the company in 2007. Bertram used “conservative debt leverage” in its investment, according to a statement, and grew the company’s revenues by more than four times before exiting.

Bertam built the business by combining “venture-like operating methodologies with private equity discipline,” managing partner Jeff Drazan said in the statement.

Bertram focuses on buyouts and providing growth capital to mid-market companies in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, technology and business services industries. The firm invests between $20 million and $90 million in companies with revenues between $20 million and $150 million.

Other platform acquisitions in Bertram’s portfolio include mobile resource management provider Procon GPS, self-publishing company Author Solutions and footwear and apparel company One Distribution.

Bertram closed its second growth fund on $500 million in September 2010, approximately $20 million of which came from the general partner, a person with knowledge of the fundraising told Private Equity International in a prior interview.

Investors in Bertram’s funds include financial institutions, university endowments and corporate pension funds from North America and Europe.

Bertram’s investments are managed by Drazan, a founding partner of Menlo Park, California-based technology investor Sierra Ventures, and brother Ken Drazan, founder and former chief executive officer of biopharmaceutical company Arginox Pharmaceuticals.