Buyouts Reports on Altas Partners Fundraise


November 4, 2019 — Kirk Falconer, PE Hub; Buyouts

Long-term investor Altas Partners closes Fund II at $3 bln hard cap

  • Fund II is triple the size of its 2016 predecessor
  • More than 50 LPs signed on, a source said
  • Altas Partners was an early adopter of long-term investing

Altas Partners, a pioneer of long-life investing, has wrapped up its second fund at a hard cap of $3 billion, Buyouts has learned.

Altas Partners Holdings II is triple the size of its predecessor, which secured $1 billion in 2016. Prior to Fund I, the Toronto-based private equity firm invested deal-by-deal by partnering with select investors.

Fund II was backed by more than 50 limited partners, a person with knowledge of the matter told Buyouts. New and returning investors included endowments and foundations, family offices and pension plans, the source said.

Individual investors in Fund II included Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System, which committed $100 million; San Mateo County Employees’ Retirement Association, which committed $10 million; and School Employees’ Retirement System of Ohio, which committed $50 million.

Altas declined to comment on the details of its fundraising activity.

Altas was founded in 2012 by Andrew Sheiner, a former senior Onex Corp executive, to make control investments in hard-to-replicate businesses. Unlike other PE investors, which typically hold portfolio assets for three-to-five years, the firm invests with an indefinite horizon, focusing on owning assets long enough to generate maximum value.

Altas picks only one or two companies for acquisition per year, investing $250 million to $1 billion or more in each. This deliberative deal pace is reflected in the sourcing process, which averages 11 months from initial engagement to completion.

Fund II will continue this strategy, Sheiner told Buyouts in an interview.

Altas was an early adopter of long-life investing, a trend that has grown in popularity in the PE industry. A survey published this month by Dechert found 51 percent of general partners are exploring a long-hold fund, up from 32 percent last year, while 27 percent have already established a vehicle.

Sheiner said Altas will continue to differentiate itself in a potentially growing field. “Our model is to be a singularly-focused investor and owner, with one team and one strategy,” he said. “This allows us to be discerning and enjoy the flexibility to own each business for five years or 15 years, whatever is appropriate.”

Altas has made eight investments since inception. Its most recent is DuBois Chemicals, a Cincinnati-based specialty chemical solutions provider acquired in September from Jordan Company.

Altas also this year sold two portfolio companies, among them MyEyeDr, a Vienna, Virginia-based vision care practices network. It was acquired by Goldman Sachs in August, generating a return of about 3.5x, Buyouts reported.

In addition, Altas in January sold NSC Minerals, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based salt products maker. The buyer was Kissner Group, which is backed by Metalmark Capital and other investors.

Altas has been adding to its investment team of late. Recent hires include Partner David Brent, who joined in 2018 from Apollo Global Management. The firm also this year appointed Kathleen Taylor, the former CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, to the new position of chair.

Other senior team members include Managing Partner Scott Werry and Partners Christopher McElhone, Paul Nicoletti and Damon Conway.

Fund II’s close brings total commitments managed by Altas to about $7 billion.