ABRY Partners ties string to $1.6 billion offer

April 28, 2011, 11:05 PM UTC

ABRY Partners is targeting $1.6 billion for its seventh private equity fund, according to a document filed today with the SEC. The Boston-based firm focuses on investments in the media, communications, business and information services sectors. Recent portfolio additions include iTradeNetwork Inc., RCN Corp. and York Risk Services Group.

As I first reported last month in the Term Sheet email, ABRY is playing some hardball with this fundraise.

The firm is telling prospective investors that they have a much better chance of getting allocations if they also commit to a senior debt fund that ABRY is raising simultaneously (target of $1.3 billion). Not only does this apply to new investors, but also to existing ABRY private equity investors who didn’t have a corresponding piece of the firm’s earlier senior debt or mezzanine funds (or who were overweighted on equity).

I wouldn’t say that ABRY has formally stapled the two funds, but it certainly is making more than a casual allusion to quid pro quo. Some prospective LPs have reacted poorly to the proposal, but ABRY is popular enough that it probably can afford some bruised egos and lost investors…

Credit Suisse is helping to place the senior debt fund, but is not listed on private equity fund documents.