Vestor Rakes In $55M Final Close –

SANTA FE, N.M. – Vestor Partners saw a final close in mid-October that raked in $55 million on its debut buyout fund, said David Chase, a managing general director at the firm.

The fund is unusual in that its 75 limited partners are comprised only of wealthy individuals. Commitments to the fund ranged in size from $500,000 to $6 million. Mr. Chase declined to name L.P.s.

Vestor spent about a year fund raising, and partners at the firm contributed an additional $6 million to the closing.

On September 30, Vestor acquired three linen supply plants for $20 million from Nasdaq-listed Unitog Co., said Robert Oliver, a principal at Vestor.

The three plants are being run by NuCentury Textile Services Co., a platform company created by Vestor to acquire other similar plants.

General partners at Vestor provided $5.75 million in equity, while NuCentury management and lender NationsCredit Commercial Corp. provided $1 million and $250,000 in equity, respectively. NationsCredit provided the balance of debt in the form of a term loan and a revolving loan that has yet to be utilized.

NuCentury rents linen to the restaurant and hospitality industry. The company had approximately $20 million in sales for the lagging 12 months, Mr. Oliver said. The three plants are located in Long Beach, Calif., Toledo, Ohio, and Deluth, Minn.

A year ago, Vestor formed CLI Holdings as a platform to acquire lighting fixture companies for an undisclosed amount. Mr. Chase said that his firm has just signed a letter of intent to buy a San Francisco manufacturer of ergonomic products, which he declined to discuss.

Vestor was launched in 1997 with the marriage of Vestor Corp., a merchant bank, and Beacon Management Co., a financial advising firm. The firm focuses mostly on manufacturing and distribution companies in the Southwest with annual sales between $10 million and $100 million, Mr. Chase said. The firm prefers to invest equity in companies amounting to between $6 million and $10 million.

Vestor has eight principals located in offices in Santa Fe, N.M., Cleveland, Houston, and Carefree, Ariz.