Ex PNC Equity Partners closes fourth fund on $600m

Incline Equity Partners, which spun out of PNC Financial Services in 2011, closed its fourth fund after three months of marketing.

Growth investor Incline Equity Partners closed its fourth fund on $601 million, above its $450 million target, after only three months of marketing, according to its placement agent Sixpoint Partners.

Incline Equity Partners IV is the largest fund the Pittsburgh-based firm has ever raised. As of September, the firm had invested about $520 million since inception in 2001, according to a presentation on the fund to Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System.

Incline was not immediately available to comment.

The fund will follow the same strategy as its predecessor, consisting of making control-oriented equity investments in lower mid-market companies with enterprise values between $50 million and $200 million, primarily in the United States. Investments will be between $20 million and $50 million each.

The Pittsburgh-based firm closed on Incline Equity Partners III on $301 million in 2013. Since 2001, when it was still PNC Equity Partners, Incline has generated a net internal rate of return of 16.5 percent and a net 1.67X multiple on invested capital, according to PSERS and as of 30 June.

A note from PSERS' private equity consultant Portfolio Advisors dated 29 August noted that the intent of the firm was to start charging management fees on the new fund only once Fund III is fully invested, which it anticipated at the time to take place in the first few months of 2017.

Incline spun out of PNC Financial Services in 2011. Its third fund was the first one it raised after spinning out. PSERS has been investing with Incline since its inception. It has committed a total of $176 million in its first three funds, while it committed $100 million to the latest vehicle.