The ease of the larger fundraising market isn't the only thing the firm has going for it, however. TowerBrook can also point to the success of its previous fund, which closed on $3.5 billion in 2013 and boasted an IRR of 33.8% as of the end of 3Q 2017, according to the PitchBook Platform, ranking in the upper quartile of its peer benchmark:
Top-performing 2013 US buyout funds of between $1B and $5B
That stands in opposition, though, to the firm's previous buyout vehicles: TowerBrook's second and third flagship funds have respective IRRs of 9.8% and 9.7%, per PitchBook data, both ranking in the bottom half of their benchmarks.
While TowerBrook completed just eight investments during 2017, the firm still had a busy year. In March, women's apparel retailer J. Jill, which TowerBrook had backed since 2015, conducted a public offering on the NYSE. The IPO was somewhat disappointing, though, as the company sold 11.7 million shares for $13 each, below an initial range of $14 to $16. Today, the company's stock is trading right around $8 per share.
Last summer also offered TowerBrook a front-row seat to the ongoing carnage in the retail sector. In July, portfolio company True Religion filed for bankruptcy in hopes of slicing a reported $350 million from its existing debt load. TowerBrook had backed the seller of jeans and other fashion apparel since 2013, when firm and company teamed on a take-private buyout worth some $824 million.
TowerBrook has been a steady presence in the middle market over the past decade, conducting between seven and 17 deals each year since the start of 2008, according to the PitchBook Platform. Over that span, about 53% of the firm's investments have been based in the US, with another 39% in Europe. The B2B sector has claimed more than 40% of TowerBrook's deals, with IT (16%), B2C (14%) and financial services (13%) all chasing second place.
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