Sun Capital plans smaller fund

December 8, 2011, 1:12 AM UTC

Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners is beginning to talk to investors about plans for its sixth fund, Fortune has learned.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based firm plans to target $3 billion, with formal fundraising to kick off just after Labor Day 2012 and a final close slated for early 2013. That’s just half of what Sun raised for its fifth fund in early 2007, even though the firm later cut the fund size back to $5 billion upon request of its limited partners.

The smaller number this time around seems to have been prompted by Sun’s (relatively) slow pace of deal-making. It historically has raised a new fund every two to three years, but still has more than $1 billion in dry powder available in the 2007 vehicle. A smaller target also should help Sun appease investors who have complained that the firm grew too big too fast.

Expect Sun to maintain its 25% carried interest structure on the new fund, which is considered a premium to the industry standard of 20%.

Sun’s recent deals include an acquisition of British clothing retailer Alexon and of frozen food company Contessa Premium Food. It also is trying to maintain ownership of restaurant chain Friendly’s, which went bankrupt on Sun’s watch.

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