Jan 3, 2024 - Business

L Catterton vet raises $425 million fund for consumer-focused private equity

Illustration of a barcode with a dollar sign shaped laser on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When Matt Leeds stepped down as a partner with L Catterton at the end of 2022, his bet was that there's still white space in the crowd of consumer-focused private equity.

Driving the news: Investors agreed, with Forward Consumer Partners raising $425 million for its debut fund after only six months in market.

What he's saying: "You have really powerful consumer-focused brands like Catterton and Roark and Sycamore that have scaled up, and then a lot of growth equity and venture capital," Leeds tells Axios. "That's left opportunity for control-style investing for smaller, enduring companies."

Details: FCP plans to create a concentrated fund portfolio of between five to seven companies — a strategy that Leeds believes contributed to the fundraising success — with a focus on CPG companies that have low volatility.

  • That means no restaurants, beauty brands, or celeb brands.
  • But it will do food, personal care products, and bring celebs into companies. Actor Zac Efron, for example, is on FCP's advisory board after Leeds brought him into Catterton portfolio company Kodiak Cakes.
  • The fund also has a small allocation for incubating what Leeds refers to as "faster moving" consumer goods. The first such effort is a craft cocktail brand in partnership with NYC restaurant Via Carota.

The bottom line: Expect to see a large crop of new firms in 2024, particularly from veterans of firms that have sized up in recent years.

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