DALLAS, Texas – July 8, 2005 – Insight Equity, based in Southlake, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth), has closed its first leveraged buyout fund. Limited partner investors, consisting primarily of academic endowments and trusts, have contributed $250M in capital to the fund. With general partner capital and partner co-investment, Insight Equity will have in excess of $300M of available capital.
The private equity firm is led by partners Ted Beneski, CEO & Managing Partner; Ross Gatlin, CRO & Managing Director; and Victor Vescovo, COO & Managing Director. The managing group began their working relationship in 1994 in the Dallas office of Bain & Company which Beneski co-founded in 1990.
Insight Equity is seeking to invest in strategically viable, middle market companies which are under performing due to operating problems. The firm’s target acquisitions will typically have enterprise values of $50-500M, have sustainable market positions, and be participants in asset intensive industries with considerable manufacturing or distribution activity. Industries of particular interest to Insight Equity include basic manufacturing, automotive, transportation, energy, consumer goods, defense and aerospace.
“We’re all very proud of the investor capital we were able to attract to Insight Equity in a very short period of time”, said Ted Beneski, Managing Partner. “With fundraising behind us, we are now turning our full attention toward tracking down attractive investment opportunities.” Other key members of the Insight Equity team include Conner Searcy, Principal; Robert Strauss, Sr. Associate; Brandon Bethea, Associate; Eliot Kerlin, Associate and Felicia Carr, Private Equity Coordinator.
“Insight Equity’s team is very strong and very deep”, said Ross Gatlin, Managing Director. “The mix of skills within the group covers the waterfront from restructuring, commercial and investment banking to strategy consulting and private equity, as well as ‘hands-on’ operating roles with some of the most successful firms ever.”
Insight Equity has made several investments on a pre-fund basis including Direct Fuels and Vision-Ease Lens. Direct Fuels is a $350M specialty refining and fuel terminal operation based in Texas. Vision-Ease is a $125M manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses for eyeglasses with operations in Minnesota and Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Here at Insight Equity, we literally take operating positions in the companies we buy for a 3-9 month period after acquisition” said Victor Vescovo, Managing Director. “We prefer to be ‘on the field’ as members of the management team as we collaboratively help our portfolio companies restore healthy levels of cash flow.
Insight Equity intends to make 3-5 acquisitions of North America based companies over the next 18 months. The firm’s policy is to pay market level finders fees for proprietary opportunities.