CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In a move to ramp up its investment team in advance of the launch of its second fund, Carousel Capital Partners tapped Brian Bailey, most recently an associate at Fortsmann Little, to be the firm’s third managing director, said Nelson Schwab III, the firm’s managing director. Bailey assumes the position that had been held by Reid Leggett, who left Carousel in December 1999.
Schwab said Carousel would likely begin raising funds for its sophomore effort sometime this summer. While the firm has yet to decide on the fund’s size, Schwab added it would probably be in the $200 million range. The firm’s freshman vehicle, Carousel Capital Partners I closed on $163 million in 1996. To date the fund has backed 12 companies for a total of $112 million, with an average deal size ranging between $5 million and $30 million.
Carousel focuses on telecommunications, health-care, education and business services companies, with a bias towards backing businesses in the Southeast. The firm engages in late-stage venture capital and leveraged buyouts, with a primary focus on providing growth capital to middle market companies, Schwab said.
Bailey’s responsibilities will be typical for a partner at a private equity shop, Schwab said. “He will be responsible for monitoring existing portfolio companies, generating deal flow and making investments,” he added. Bailey said his investments would not concentrate exclusively on one area of Carousel’s focus, adding he will do deals in all the industry sectors the firm targets.
Schwab said Carousel was impressed with Bailey because of the network of contacts generated by his background of private equity investing in telecommunications companies while at Fortsmann Little and The Carlyle Group. Bailey was a principal at Caryle from 1996 to 1999 and worked at Fortsmann Little from 1999 to 2000. Bailey, who is originally from North Carolina, said he was eager to return to his home state and have a hand in directing the development of a young, growing firm towards becoming a major player in the telecommunications sector.
Bailey is also quite familiar with Carousel’s other managing director, Erskine Bowles, who is also a general partner at Fortsmann Little. After graduating from Stanford Business School, Bailey in 1992 joined Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., the investment bank founded by Bowles in 1975. In 1994, Bailey followed Bowles to Washington and the Clinton Administration, where he worked at the Small Business Administration and eventually held the position of special assistant to the President. Bowles, who held a number of different roles in the Clinton Administration, served as White House Chief of Staff from November 1996 to November 1998.
Carousel’s investment team now numbers seven professionals: Bailey, Bowles and Schwab, the three managing directors, three vice-presidents and one analyst. Schwab said the firm does not need to make any additional hires to manage the upcoming fund.