Perella Weinberg Partners has held a final closing of PWP Growth Equity Fund with $600 million in capital commitments, exceeding the original $400 million target and meeting the revised cap of $600 million. Barclays Capital served as a placement agent for a portion of the new fund.
PWP Growth Equity was co-founded by Partners David Ferguson and Chip Baird who have worked together for over a decade and have more than 40 years of combined experience in private equity investing. Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Baird join Perella Weinberg Partners in 2012 from Weston Presidio, a lower middle market private equity firm, where they were both partners.
“We are thrilled to announce the final close of the PWP Growth Equity fund and are especially excited about the quality and breadth of our investor base. We feel strongly about the opportunities to create value through growth in the lower middle market,” said Mr. Ferguson.
PWP Growth Equity will invest in US-based growth-oriented companies in the lower middle market. Sectors of interest include consumer, retail, services, and industrial. The fund currently has an equity interest in two portfolio companies.
“By forming partnerships with management teams, we seek to leverage our expertise and resources to help companies in the lower middle market realize their growth potential. David and I have worked together for over 10 years and we look forward to building on our record of creating value,” said Mr. Baird.
In February of 2013, the PWP Growth Equity completed its second investment in Fashion to Figure, a fast-fashion retail chain dedicated exclusively to plus-size women’s fashion and related accessories. The company has more than 25 locations across the United States and also operates an online retail business. Fashion to Figure was founded, and is currently led, by the great-grandsons of Lena H. Bryant, the businesswoman and dressmaker who invented full-sized fashion over 100 years ago. Fashion to Figure is based in New York (www.fashiontofigure.com).
In April of 2014, PWP Growth Equity completed its third investment in Youfit Health Clubs, a value-priced fitness chain. Youfit has approximately 80 clubs in 10 states. The company operates on a business model that requires no long-term contracts and caters to the average person seeking to improve their fitness. Youfit was founded in 2008 by Rick Berks, the original owner of the Planet Fitness trademark. Youfit Health Clubs is based in St. Petersburg, FL (www.youfit.com).
A third transaction, the acquisition of Trench Plate Rental Company, was completed in August of 2012 by Perella Weinberg Partners, but was completed with equity from outside of the new fund. Trench Plate is a provider of government-mandated trench safety equipment to the underground construction industry in the Western US. The company, headquartered in Downey, CA, operates 11 branches in Southern California, Northern California, Las Vegas, Reno, and Houston (www.tprco.com).
“PWP Growth Equity continues our success in identifying and supporting talented investment professionals. Chip and David have assembled an excellent team and we are very pleased that investors have enthusiastically embraced their unique investment approach,” said Terry Meguid, Co-Head of Asset Management at Perella Weinberg Partners.
PWP Growth Equity is the third strategy to be launched by Perella Weinberg Partners in the last year. In March of 2012, the firm introduced PWP Diversified Equities, a fundamental long/short equity and event-driven strategy led by Partner and Portfolio Manager, David Baker. In August of 2012, the firm launched PWP Alpha Europe, a European long/short equity strategy led by Partner and Portfolio Manager Andrew Dickson. Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Management business is comprised of eight strategies with more than $11.4 billion in assets under management and capital commitments.
Perella Weinberg was founded in 2006 and has more than 400 employees in its offices in New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Denver, Dubai, and San Francisco (www.pwpartners.com).
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP provided fund formation counsel.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-2-14