Since the start of 2003, five Tampa Bay area firms raised $227 million in first-time private equity funds, according to a new report from PitchBook.
The list includes the $47 million WRB Serra Partners Fund I that closed in October 2017, the most recent first-time fund in the area identified by PitchBook.
The financial data and software company looked at geographic trends for private equity funds over the past decade-and-a-half, developing an interactive map that shows where first-time funding was raised.
Private equity owns 23 percent of middle-market companies and 10 percent of larger businesses in the United States, according to Tim Fazio, co-founder and managing partner at Greenwich, Connecticut-based Atlas Holdings.
Unlike the popular perception that private equity firms pile debt on the companies they buy, often forcing them into bankruptcy, “PE firms often bail out failing companies, applying capital and expertise and repositioning them to thrive,” Fazio wrote in a post on the peHubBlogger network.
New York is the king of private equity debuts and California ranks second in terms of most new private funds, PitchBook said. In Florida, Tampa Bay is second only to Miami for first-time funds.
Nationally, most first-time funds were raised before the financial crisis of the last decade. That was also the case in Tampa Bay, with four of the first-time funds closing between 2006 and 2008.
Here’s a closer look at the funds PitchBook highlighted.
HealthEdge Investment Partners raised $60 million for its first fund in 2006. The Tampa company, which focuses exclusively on the healthcare industry, has since raised two additional funds.
Supply Chain Equity Partners raised $50 million in 2007. The private equity firm focused on the distribution and logistics industry and moved to Tampa from Ohio in 2015.
Quintic Fund I raised $10 million in 2007. The fund was established by Quintic Capital LLC in Oldsmar, a private equity firm specializing in growth capital financings, recapitalizations, and management-led buyouts. Quintic Capital is now out of business, according to PitchBook.
Mangrove Equity Partners in Tampa raised $60 million in 2008. Mangrove is a lower middle-market private equity firm that sponsors owners and operators in management buyouts and management buy-ins, majority recapitalizations, family succession recaps and industry consolidations.
WRB Serra Partners Fund I was launched in 2017 by WRB Serra, a Tampa-based private equity firm that invests in renewable energy, energy efficiency and water infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean.