Berwind Secures First Close at $63M –

PHILADELPHIA – Berwind Financial Group L.P. recently held a first close on Eureka I L.P., a $63 million growth capital fund, which could raise an additional $37 million before April 2000, said Berwind Principal Christine Jones.

The Pennsylvania State Employes’ Retirement System to date is Eureka’s lone outside limited partner. The vehicle received insider commitments from Berwind Group and employees of Berwind Financial Group, and the firm might use a placement agent to attract additional investors to the fund. Ms. Jones said.

Eureka will invest between $2 million and $10 million in growth-stage companies. Berwind has no intention of taking a controlling stake in any of its portfolio companies nor will it engage in seed financings.

The fund will invest in all deals except early-stage technology companies.

“We will not invest in technology companies with market acceptance risk,” Ms. Jones said. ” We will only look at technology companies that have proven to generate revenues.”

Ms. Jones added that Eureka will closely monitor companies in the specialty manufacturing, health-care goods and services, and media and communications industries.

In part due to its association with the state, Eureka will have a Mid-Atlantic focus with nearly one-half of its investments made in Pennsylvania-based companies.

To date, Eureka has made one investment, committing $3 million in senior subordinated debt financing to Craftex Mills Inc.