Neuberger Berman raises $462m to invest in brands

Part of its Specialty Strategies, the Marquee Brands Partners fund will look to acquire US and European brands.

Neuberger Berman has closed a vehicle focused on investing in brands in the US and Europe on $462 million, according to a statement from the firm.

Marquee Brands Partners, which was oversubscribed, had an initial target of $400 million. Its investor base is made up of more than 20 institutions, including public and private pensions, insurance companies and foundations from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.

The fund will invest in brands with “strong consumer awareness and opportunities for growth” in a variety of sectors including clothing, footwear, accessories, health and beauty, entertainment, food and beverage, and home products.

The vehicle has already made two acquisitions, investing in luxury Italian footwear brand Bruno Magli and British fashion brand Ben Sherman.

Marquee’s investment team, which is made up of executives from the fashion, retail and licensing industries, is led by Samuel Porat, a managing director at the firm, and Zachary Sigel, a principal. The pair also founded the fund’s operating subsidiary, Marquee Brands, alongside its management and operating executives, Michael DeVirgilio and Cory Baker.

“We believe that Marquee’s strategy of acquiring leading consumer brands with strong growth opportunities provides our investors with a potential attractive source of yield and capital appreciation,” Porat said in the statement.

“Our investors, faced with twin challenges of a volatile market and persistently low-rate environment, are seeking alternative sources of income and return and intellectual property such as consumer brands can benefit their investment portfolios.”

In January Neuberger Berman held a final close on its third global private equity co-investment fund on its $1.5 billion hard-cap. NB Strategic Co-Investment Partners III was also oversubscribed, and had an original target of $1.25 billion.

In September, NB Private Debt held a final close on $620 million, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

Neuberger Berman had $237 billion in global assets under management as of January 2016, $35 billion of which was allocated to alternative assets. Its Specialty Strategies accounted for $7.2 billion, of which $4.6 billion was allocated to asset management stakes, $1.7 billion to healthcare credit, and $861.6 million to consumer brand licensing and European merchant banking.