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Brown Brothers hits $517m on Fund IV

Brown Brothers’ oversubscribed fourth fund managed to generate commitments from all of its previous vehicle’s institutional investors.

Brown Brothers Harriman & Company has closed its fourth BBH Capital Partners fund on $517 million, the firm announced in a statement. The oversubscribed fund closed well over its $300 million target on 29 December.

The fund saw a strong response from both new and existing limited partners, closing after only nine months on the market. BBH managed to get re-ups from all of the institutional investors that had invested in its previous fund, which raised $206 million in 2007. Existing LPs that re-invested in the fund increased their commitment size by an average of more than 30 percent, according to the firm.

Fund IV’s LPs include public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, family offices, endowments, foundations and high net worth investors from the US, Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. Evercore Partners Private Funds Group was a placement agent for the fund.

“We had a really strong reception. The fundraising market was a little better in 2011 than it was in the last couple of years. We made a lot of headway in our fundraising in the first half of the year … which was helpful,” BBH managing director Jean-Pierre Paquin told Private Equity International. “We spent a lot of time over the last few years focused on our existing investors. So when we went to market for Fund IV, we already had verbal commitments from a lot of those investors.”

The firm has already completed its first transaction through Fund IV, financing WM Barr & Company’s acquisition of Microban International last month. Microban produces antimicrobial solutions for consumer, industrial and medical products.

BBH’s private equity business typically engages in control, minority or partnership investments in lower mid-market companies with enterprises values of up to $400 million. The firm typically invests between $10 million and $50 million of growth equity or junior debt securities per transaction.

BBH has been investing in private equity since 1989, having deployed around $2 billion in capital. The firm’s private equity practice is headed by Paquin, Jeffrey Meskin and Joseph Donlan. In addition to private equity, the firm also maintains public equity, fixed income and mutual fund businesses.