JF Lehman closes Fund III above target

The firm has raised $575m for its third buyout fund that will target companies in the defense, aerospace and maritime sectors.

Mid-market investor JF Lehman & Company has closed its third buyout fund on approximately $575 million, above the firm’s original $450 million target.

The fund will focus on control investments in the small and lower mid-market defense, aerospace and maritime sectors in the US and UK, typically between $25 million and $75 million. JF Lehman will target companies with enterprise values ranging between $30 million and $300 million.

Stanwich Advisors is the fund’s placement agent. A spokesperson for JF Lehman was not available for comment at press time.

The firm has come to market with increasingly ambitious fund targets since raising its $131 million first fund and $335 million second fund, which had a $275 million target.

JFL III is expected to generate 2x to 2.5x multiple of capital invested and gross internal rates of return of 30 percent to 35 percent, according to documents from the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, which was considering committing to Fund III in June.

In March, JF Lehman added three members to its operating executive board: former chairman of the Defense Business Board and chief of Naval Operations’ Executive Panel, Michael Bayer; former vice chief of staff, US Air Force, General John Corley; and former president and chief operating officer of Honeywell Defense and Space, Dean Flatt. The Board also includes retired Admiral Thomas Fargo, former commander US Pacific Command and Commander-in-Chief.

The firm was founded in 1992 by former US Naval secretary John Lehman.