Olympus deals take Fund V to 80% invested

The firm has made 10 investments from its $1.5bn fifth fund, the last two of which have benefitted from a ‘very, very strong debt market’, according to Olympus partner David Cardenas.

Olympus Partners has deployed more than 80 percent of its $1.5 billion fifth fund following a pair of investments this month.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based mid-market firm has acquired event hospitality company Centerplate and Waddington North America, which makes plastic foodservice disposable products. The deals are the ninth and 10th investments from Olympus Growth Fund V, the firm’s largest-ever vehicle. Olympus’ previous fund closed in 2003 on $757.5 million.

“The last 12 months have been pretty active for us,” partner at Olympus David Cardenas told Private Equity International. “We’ve found [deals] that we liked and that we were able to execute against.”

Olympus did not comment on how soon it would come to market with Fund VI or the expected size of the vehicle.

Olympus’ two most recent deals have coincided with what Cardenas called a “very, very strong debt market, certainly from mid-summer on and particularly just in the last few weeks”.

The firm’s other announced acquisition of 2012 came in January when it acquired Pizza Hut franchisee NPC International from Merrill-Lynch Global Private Equity Group. NPC operates 1,216 Pizza Hut stores in the US.

Olympus has a long history of investing in the foodservice industry, having previously backed companies including Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy's and Chili's. The firm focuses on providing equity capital for buyouts and companies in need of expansion capital, typically investing between $20 million and $300 million per deal.

Founded in 1988, Olympus targets businesses in the consumer products, healthcare services, financial services, foodservice and business services sectors. The firm manages more than $3 billion on behalf of corporate pension funds, endowment funds and state retirement systems. Limited partners in Fund V include the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and the Virginia Retirement System.

As of 30 June 2012, Cambridge Associates has Fund V generating a 20.9 percent net internal rate of return, according to a market source outside of Cambridge.