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Micross Solutions
Insight Equity's First Fund Closes at $250M
July 08, 2005

By Luisa Beltran, Editor

Insight Equity Holdings LLC has closed its first buyout fund with $250 million in committed capital. Investors in the fund, which closed July 1, include academic endowments and trusts, said Ross Gatlin, Insight Equity's chief restructuring officer. Southlake, Texas-based Insight has hand-picked several investors who can provide more money to fund any larger transactions, Gatlin added, so the firm will have more than $300 million available to invest.

Insight Equity had its first investor meeting in October and finished in June. With a first-time fund, the firm faced some marketing concerns, Gatlin said. An overcrowded private equity marketplace made it harder to stand out, he said. "There are clearly challenges to closing what many people perceive as a first-time fund," he said. "You have to have a pristine track record and a highly differentiated strategy."

Insight Equity isn't technically a first timer, though, Gatlin added. In 1999, he and Ted Beneski, Insight's CEO, left Bain & Co. to co-found Carlyle Management, the turnaround unit of Carlyle Group. In 2002, Beneski, Gatlin and COO Victor Vescovo founded Insight Equity. Insight has already invested in Direct Fuels, a regional fuel distributor, and Vision-Ease Lens, a maker of polycarbonate and glass eyewear lenses.

Over the next 18 months, the firm plans to make three to five more buys of North American companies, according to a statement. Insight typically invests $20 million to $50 million in companies in such sectors as basic manufacturing, automotive, transportation and energy, Gatlin said.

UBS was placement agent, and Hunton & Williams LLP was counsel.