Ampersand Closes New Fund, Acquires Three Portfolio Companies

Ampersand Capital Partners has closed its oversubscribed $670 million Ampersand Continuation Fund LP and other related vehicles (together ACF).

Ampersand formed ACF to acquire the equity interests of three portfolio companies – highlighted by Confluent Medical Technologies – that were held by earlier and now mature Ampersand funds. As part of ACF’s fundraising, Ampersand provided its limited partners the option of reinvesting their proceeds or receiving full or partial liquidity and admitted new limited partners who wished to invest in the three portfolio companies.

Confluent Medical Technologies is a Scottsdale, Arizona-headquartered provider of outsourced design and manufacturing services to the medical device industry. The company’s products include Nitinol components, balloon-expandable stents and catheters, biomedical textiles, and guidewires.

Nitinol is an alloy of nickel and titanium with “shape memory” properties. A device made from Nitinol can remember its original shape and return to it when heated.  Ampersand first invested in Confluent (then Nitinol Devices & Components) in April 2011. The company changed its name to Confluent Medical Technologies in January 2017.

StepStone Group, an investor in secondaries, is the lead investor in ACF. In addition, the new fund includes a group of other secondary as well as primary investors, including many prior Ampersand limited partners that elected to reinvest. The new fund was raised less than 45 days after StepStone’s commitment and exceeded the $600 million target necessary to acquire the three portfolio companies.

“With an initial five-year term, and access to capital for additional acquisitions and secondary purchases, ACF positions Confluent’s management and investors to continue taking a long-term view of the company’s future growth opportunities,” said Rick Charpie, the founder of Ampersand and the chairman of Confluent. “As the majority investor in Confluent, we look forward to working with the company’s exceptional management team to build on Confluent’s position as a leading designer and manufacturer of complex, finished medical devices to the world’s largest OEM’s.”

“We are very pleased that ACF was so well received in the marketplace,” said Trevor Wahlbrink, a partner at Ampersand. “The strong response from current and new limited partners confirms our belief that creating ACF was a win-win opportunity for all of Ampersand’s key constituents. All of the ACF portfolio companies are high-quality assets that we know exceptionally well, and the Ampersand team remains excited about their long-term growth prospects.”

Ampersand makes majority or minority equity investments in healthcare-related companies that have from $10 million to $100 million of revenue. Ampersand is typically the first institutional investor in founder-owned businesses.  Sectors of specific interest within healthcare include laboratory services; laboratory products; contract manufacturing; pharmaceutical services; specialty pharmaceuticals; and healthcare services.

In April 2020, Ampersand closed Ampersand 2020 LP with an oversubscribed $690 million in limited partner commitments. This new fund, then Ampersand’s tenth fund since 1992, was closed after just three months of fundraising. Ampersand was founded in 1988 and has offices in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts and in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

StepStone has $72 billion of assets under management and is an active investor in private equity funds, secondary transactions, co-investments, and private debt. The firm has 19 worldwide offices and is headquartered in New York City.

Goodwin Procter provided legal services to Ampersand on this fundraise and Debevoise & Plimpton was the legal advisor to StepStone.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | November 24, 2020

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