Education firm eyes $1bn fund

Leeds Equity, the New York education and training private equity firm, is speaking with investors about a new fund that, if it hits its target, would be the largest raised specifically for for-profit education companies.

Leeds Equity Partners, based in New York, is speaking with investors about targeting $1 billion (€1.74 billion) for its next fund.

The firm was founded by former Lazard Freres investment bankers Jeffrey Leeds and Robert Bernstein.

Leeds Equity’s previous fund was called Leeds Weld Equity Partners IV, which closed in 2004. The fund’s target was $500 million, although the firm has not disclosed the final amount raised for that vehicle.

For its next fund, Leeds Equity will not have as a partner William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts. Weld recently ran for the governorship of New York, and is now practicing law.

The firm counts among its advisory board members former mayor of New York City and current US presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani.

The firm also has a close relationship with General Electric. Another advisory board member is John Myers, the president of General Electric Investment Corporation.