Monomoy debuts with $280m fund

The KPS Special Situations spinout group led by Stephen Presser focuses on the smaller end of the market for distressed middle market companies.

New York-based mid cap distressed private equity specialist Monomoy Capital Partners has closed its $280 million debut fund, Monomoy Capital Partners LP, exceeding its target of $200 million.

The fund’s limited partners include Bear Stearns Asset Management, Horizon 21 (formerly Swiss Re), Oppenheimer and St. Paul-Travelers. About 30 percent of commitments came from European and other international institutions.

“I think we were surprised with the robustness of demand for putting money both in a smaller fund and in a fund that is doing distressed work,” says Stephen Presser, partner at Monomoy.

Presser continues: “We didn’t want to get too big because we don’t want to put ourselves in a position where our investment activities are driven by the size of our fund.”

Presser, and other Monomoy founding partners Daniel Collin, Justin Hillenbrand and Philip Von Burg left KPS Special Situations Fund in January 2005 to concentrate on the smaller end of the middle market. The firm seeks to invest between $5 million (€3.8 million) and $30 million in distressed companies with revenues of less than $200 million, both in North America and in Europe.

The firm has invested $60 million to date in six companies, including a bakery and a retail distributor to travel centers, but Presser says that the firm leans towards investing in basic manufacturing companies. In each of its investments, it seeks management control.

Sources close to the firm said that Monomoy had to turn down almost $80 million in LP demand.

MVision Private Equity Advisors acted as global placement agent and Kirkland and Ellis served as legal counsel to Monomoy.