ABS Capital Partners Markets Fund IV –

BALTIMORE – Navigating through treacherous fund-raising waters, ABS Capital Partners is in the midst of marketing its fourth investment vehicle. The overall fund is being offered with a target capitalization of $700 million, but is broken up into three sections so as to facilitate the involvement of a diverse group of investors.

“We’ve set it up differently than our past funds to accommodate different strategic investors, but it’s the same private equity fund,” said Donald Hebb, managing partner with ABS Capital Partners.

The general vehicle has a maximum capitalization of $600 million and will be filled by U.S.-based institutional investors. At the time of a June 30 Securities & Exchange Commission filing, the venture had raised $292.1 million from 59 accredited investors. That figure has now been raised to $369.2 million, according to Charles Dieveney, chief financial officer with ABS Capital Partners.

The other two offerings are both targeted at $50 million, with one being sold to overseas investors and the other acting as a side fund for individual investors.

So far, ABS Capital Partners IV Offshore LP has pulled in $14.5 million, while the ABS Capital Partners IV-A LP has garnered $10.1 million.

Hebb said that all contributions will be managed by the same team and that a final close is expected by year end.

The firm will maintain its investment strategy of engaging in venture capital transactions, leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations for a broad range of companies. Thus far, it has made one investment out of the new fund. The firm would not disclose any details of transaction.

Following On

Although ABS Capital’s third fund is thoroughly committed, it still has a bit of powder left with which to make follow-on investments. Most recently, the company participated in a $45 million Series D deal for Reston, Va.-based Workscape Inc. ABS had also participated on the company’s $15 million Series C round in December 1999.

In a company press release announcing the Series D transaction, Workspace cited its recent Web-based human resource product launch as a cause for investor excitement. What it did not mention, however, was that the company decided to pull its S-1 registration filing Nov. 16 without giving any specific rationale.

In his letter to the SEC, Workspace Chief Executive James Carlson simply said that its withdrawal was “consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors.”

Other investors on the Series D deal included DaimlerChrysler Corp.; America Online Inc.; Sun Microsystems Inc.; HLM Management Co.; Coleman, Swenson, Hoffman & Booth and existing investors E.M. Warburg Pincus.