Private equity’s next big player

FORTUNE — Marlin Equity Partners is about to join the private equity big-time.

The Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based firm yesterday submitted an SEC filing that reflects a $1.6 billion target for its fourth fund. Not only is that nearly triple the $660 million that Marlin raised for its third fund in 2009, but it’s 25 times larger than the firm’s $64 million debut fund in 2005.

More importantly, $1.6 billion may ultimately be just a baseline. Sources tell me that LP subscriptions are due tomorrow, and that the fund has more than $3 billion in interest. Don’t be surprised if the cap gets raised substantially.

For the uninitiated, Marlin mostly focuses on distressed or special situations for mid-market companies. Often in sectors that are largely ignored by other turnaround PE firms, such as technology.

Seems most LPs aren’t too concerned that the large fund size increase could have an adverse effect on returns, particularly as Marlin begins bumping up more often against larger rivals like Gores Group. Or that the deal team is relatively young, particularly with star partner Nick Kaiser said to have taken on more of an operational role alongside managing partner David McGovern.

Marlin, of course, did not return requests for comment. Credit Suisse is serving as placement agent.

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