Charlesbank raises $1.5bn in ‘blink of an eye’

The Boston firm exceeded its original $1.25bn target for its seventh fund and brought in new LPs.

Mid-market firm Charlesbank Capital Partners has closed its seventh fund on its $1.5 billion hard cap, surpassing its $1.25 billion target in just five months.

The firm did not use a placement agent.

One market source described the fundraising as “blink of an eye”, while another attributed the quick fundraise to the fact the firm “stuck to its knitting” and “sat on the sidelines in 2006 to 2007 when other firms were taking risks”.

Charlesbank, which was formed in 1991, approached new investors for the seventh fund, including some that wanted to invest in the firm’s prior fund but couldn’t get in before it closed. New investors include endowments, foundations, public and corporate pensions and funds of funds.

Most of Charlesbank’s prior investors signed on for the new fund, the firm said in a statement. Its limited partners include the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management board, the University of California Regents Endowment Fund and Harvard Management Company.

Charlesbank typically makes investments that range from $50 million to $100 million, in sectors like business and information services, financial services, manufacturing and distribution, energy services, food and consumer products and media and communication

The firm’s sixth fund, which collected just under $1 billion in 2005, is almost fully invested. The firm has not yet made any investments from the seventh fund.

Charlesbank has more than $2 billion under management.