Sterling Partners collects $650m for Fund IV

The mid-market firm is targeting growth-oriented companies in the business services, healthcare and education sectors.

Chicago-based mid-market firm Sterling Partners has raised about $650 million for its fourth mid-market buyout fund.

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Comission from May 2011 listed the target for Fund IV as $1.2 billion, though SEC documents filed last week list the target amount as $1 billion.

Sterling Partners would not comment on fundraising activity.

Fund IV has a total of 41 investors, according to the most recent filing. Last October, the New Jersey Division of Investment committed $100 million to the fund. Fund IV will target five to six platform investments per year, investing between $24 million and $200 million per investment, according to fund documents from the New Jersey Division of Investment. The principal areas of investment will be business services, healthcare and education.

Sterling closed its third mid-market fund on $1 billion in 2007, following approximately six months of marketing. Fund III saw commitments from roughly 70 limited partners, the majority of which were US-based and consist of fund of funds, pension funds, endowments and foundations.

Last month, Sterling made a $5 million follow-on investment to music education company School of Rock, which the firm first backed in 2009.

Sterling Partners has close to $5 billion of assets under management, and concentrates on growth-oriented companies. The firm was established in 1983 in Northbrook, Illinois and has offices in Baltimore, Maryland and Miami.