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Byron Trott’s BDT Raises $9.1 Billion for Its Latest Fund

Tom Maloney

(Bloomberg) -- BDT Capital Partners raised $9.1 billion for its third investment fund, exceeding the amount it had initially sought, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

The merchant bank’s latest fund has about 150 investors and will focus on buying stakes in family-owned businesses, said a person familiar with the strategy who asked not to be identified because the information is private. More than 90% of the investors have their own businesses or significant family office operations, and about a third are based outside the U.S., the person said.

Byron Trott founded Chicago-based BDT in 2009, after an investment-banking career that included working with Warren Buffett and the Pritzker, Walton and Koch families, as well as other prominent investors. The firm has about $25 billion under management.

So far, the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped private equity firms from raising fresh funds. On Monday, U.K.-based Hg said it would stop accepting new money after bringing in $11 billion for three buyout funds, and KKR & Co. said last week that it had raised $10 billion over the past two months. In all, private equity firms are sitting on about $1.5 trillion of capital to invest.

BDT typically seeks out opportunities that are longer-term and use less leverage than typical private equity investments, which gives its portfolio companies more flexibility to navigate the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the person said. Earlier investments include Texas-based fast-food chain Whataburger Restaurants, Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and whiskey-distiller WhistlePig. BDT has also advised on transactions involving Mars Inc. and Walmart Inc.

“Our ability to access our network and provide long-term capital with less leverage on a timely and confidential basis is a true differentiator in an owner’s eyes, especially now in these unprecedented times,” Trott, 61, said in an emailed statement.

See also: Byron Trott’s $4.7 Billion Burger Deal Comes With Texas Warning

Still, the global health crisis is causing significant financial pain, at least in the short term. For example, shares of German auto-parts manufacturer Schaeffler AG have lost more than a third of their value since BDT disclosed a 25% stake in November.

Last May, BDT said in a filing that it had raised $6.3 billion of the $9 billion it initially sought for its BDT Capital Partners Fund III. It raised $3 billion and $6.2 billion for two earlier funds.

(Updates with Walton family in third paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the number of fund investors.)

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