Fairbanks Investment Fund targets $200m

The firm’s first institutional fund will target European consumer products companies that are expanding into non-Western European markets.

The Fairbanks Investment Fund is targeting $200 million for its debut European institutional investor fund, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission documents. 

Fairbanks, which launched in 2000 out of the Fairbanks family office, will focus on investments in the European mid-market consumer products sector, according to investor relations partner Paul Nussbaum. More specifically, the firm will target companies seeking to expand beyond Western Europe. 

The firm held a $20 million first close on the fund on 30 October, all of which came from the firm’s partners, he said. The sizable GP commitment, and subsequent first close, was due to what the firm considers to be an extremely robust deal pipeline, he added.

The third installment of Europe’s Basel Accords has increased liquidity requirements for banks, forcing institutions out of the private equity business. The accords have opened up the market for private equity firms to provide expansion capital to mid-market businesses, he said. 

“It’s a shame banks have been forced out of this, because this is real bread and butter business,” he said. “These are friendly deals, it’s all consumer product related. So it’s pretty straightforward.”

As the firm continues to fundraise, it will likely target limited partners with emerging manager programmes, Nussbaum said. 

The firm completed its first investment through the European fund the day after its first close, investing $12 million in equity in a fruit syrup manufacturer that has traditionally marketed its products in Western Europe. 

Fairbanks Investment Fund raised approximately $110 million across two funds prior to its most recent vehicle, Nussbaum said. The previous funds were marketed exclusively to high net-worth individuals and family offices. 

Prior to launching Fairbanks Investment Funds, firm founder Shannon Fairbanks was a banking regulator during the Reagan Administration, Nussbaum said. She later became involved with European private equity through her association billionaire Robert Bass, who went on to found Oak Hill Capital Partners.