TorQuest closes Fund III on C$535m

The Toronto-based firm led by managing partners Brent Belzberg (pictured) and Eric Berke launched its third fund in 2011 with a C$550m target.

Toronto-based TorQuest Partners has closed its third fund on C$535 million (€389 million; $516 million).

TorQuest launched Fund III in 2011 with a C$550 million target and C$650 million hard-cap. The firm held a first close on C$372 million in July 2012.

Fund III will invest using the same strategy as TorQuest’s prior funds, backing mid-market companies in North America with enterprise values between C$40 million and $250 million. TorQuest will invest primarily in Canada, making equity investments ranging in size from C$15 million to more than C$100 million. 

Limited partners in Fund III include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Bank of Nova Scotia, according to Private Equity International’s Research and Analytics division. 

Greenhill and Company acted as a placement agent for Fund III. 

Last month, TorQuest sold powdered drink, teas and sweeteners company Associated Brands to TreeHouse Foods for C$187 million. The firm first invested in the company in 2005. 

TorQuest’s second fund closed on C$550 million in 2006 and has invested in eight companies and 28 add-on acquisitions including visual merchandising system provider Array Marketing Group and disaster restoration service supplier FirstOnSite. 

TorQuest’s debut fund, a 2002 vintage, collected C$183 million and generated a 62 percent IRR and a 2.9x return multiple, according to the firm’s website.

Fundraising in Canada nearly doubled during the first six months of 2013, reaching C$3.7 billion, according to data from Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and Thomson Reuters. However, Canadian buyouts have fallen 25 percent year-on-year, dropping to C$4.6 billion during the first half of the year. 

Founded in 2002, TorQuest is led by managing partners Brent Belzberg and Eric Berke. The firm has a portfolio of seven companies and more than C$1 billion under management.

Chelsea Stevenson contributed to this report.