DENVER – Meritage Private Equity Fund LP backs early-stage, high growth telecommunications companies in the United States, with a focus on communication networks and services companies.
Founded in 1998 by Jack Tankersley and Laura Beller, Meritage Private Equity Fund closed in December 1999 on $76 million, bringing the firm’s total capital under management to $340 million, of which $60 million has been invested to date.
The fund will seek to invest in 12 to 14 communications-based companies, each with billion dollar market potential, Tankersley said.
Meritage hopes to benefit from the rapidly growing communications industry, which is being fueled by deregulation, an explosive worldwide demand for data providers, industry consolidation and technological developments.
The firm’s affiliate funds include Meritage Private Equity Parallel Fund and the Meritage Entrepreneurs Fund.
Tankersely and Beller had worked together for more than 15 years at The Centennial Funds, which was co-founded by Tankersely in 1981. They are joined by Principals John Garrett, a former law partner with Brownstein Hyatt & Farber and Tracy Kerr, a former partner of the Wallach Co., a local investment banking firm. James Allen and David Solomon are the firm’s investment directors, who have experience in the communications industry.
The fund’s limited partners include banks, insurance companies, pension funds, university endowments and high-net-worth individuals.
Following are a sample of Meritage Private Equity Fund’s portfolio companies:
CompleTel (Denver) is a European facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC).
Co-investors included Madison Dearborn Partners Inc. and DeGeorge Holdings.
Diginet Americas Inc. (Washington, D.C.) operates wireless broadband networks in Latin Americs.
Co-investors included Alta Communications, Goldman, Sachs & Co., OneLiberty Ventures and Norwest Equity Capital.
Gabriel Communications (St. Louis) is a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) with offices in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Co-investors included Goldman, Sachs & Co., OneLiberty Ventures, Norwest Equity Partners, Chase Ventures, J.H. Whitney, The Centennial Funds and Telecom Partners.
InFlow (Denver) is a data center operator serving the business-to-business e-commerce market.
Co-investors included First Union Capital and G.E. Capital Corp.
Open Acccess Broadband Networks (Denver) is a start-up that provides broadband services to residential markets.
There were no co-investors.
Mertiage Private Equity Fund L.P. is located at 1600 Wynkoop Street, Suite 300, Denver, Colo. 80202, tel: (303) 352-2040, fax: (303) 352-2050. Its Web site is www.meritage.net.