’Healthy’ firm seeks Fund IV

North Castle Partners, the Connecticut ‘healthy living and aging’ specialty investment firm, has entered the market with a $300m target for a new fund.

North Castle Partners, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity firm, has launched fundraising for a new vehicle that has a target of $300 million (€237 million).

North Castle Partners IV will continue the firm’s strategy of seeking out investment opportunities in the “healthy living and aging” market – in other words, businesses that cater to the demand among an aging population for products and services that promote health.

Merrill Lynch is acting as placement agent for the fundraising effort.

North Castle, founded in 1997 by managing director Charles Baird, closed its last fund in 2001 on $175 million. That vehicle was somewhat of an add-on to a $400 million fund raised in 1999, according to a source.

North Castle has enjoyed a number of exits lately. Last year the firm reaped a 3X return on the sale of fitness club operator Equinox to The Related Companies. A year earlier North Castle sold nutrition company EAS to pharmaceutical giant Abbot Laboratories, realising a 2.5X return.

In all, North Castle has seen two exits from its third fund and two from its second fund, with further exits from both funds pending.

Prior to forming North Castle, Baird was managing director of AEA Investors where he pursued direct investments. From 1978 to 1989, Baird worked at consultant Bain & Company.

Baird has been outspoken in his belief that the US buyout market is in the midst of a bubble.

Other managing directors at the firm include James Eason, Richard Gersten, Douglas Lehrman and Louis Marinaccio.