|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Products||private equity funds|
|Total assets||$7.2 billion|
JLL Partners is an American private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout transactions and leveraged recapitalizations of middle-market companies. The firm is headquartered in New York City and was founded in 1987. JLL invests in various industries including food and consumer products, automotive parts, health care, media and telecommunications, commodity and specialty chemicals, building products, transportation, and industrial manufacturing and distribution. The company tends to focus on companies requiring an operational turnaround.
JLL traces its roots back to Gilliam Joseph & Littlejohn, a merchant bank founded in 1987 by William J. Gilliam, Peter A. Joseph and Angus C. Littlejohn Jr. The three founders met in the mid-1980s at the Quadrex Corporation, a small New York brokerage. They initially leased their office space from Bennett S. LeBow, a 1980s corporate raider and fellow Drexel Burnham Lambert client. At Quadrex, Gilliam, the youngest of the three, managed the mergers and acquisitions unit, and the other two reported to him. After a series of successful investments, the three decided to leave Quadrex and set up their own small private equity firm. In 1988, Paul S. Levy, formerly a managing director, at Drexel Burnham Lambert who focused on corporate restructurings and exchange offers, was recruited to join the firm, which was renamed Gilliam Joseph Littlejohn & Levy. Levy helped his new partners secure $150 million of capital for buyout transactions from his former firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert.
JLL experienced an early success with the leveraged buyout of Rexene Corp, a Texas-based chemical company, which made the partners multi-millionaires. Gilliam would eventually set up his own small investment firm Gilliam & Company to focus on investments in chemicals and plastics and would serve as chairman of Rexene. In 1991, Gilliam, faced a similar falling out with the board of Rexene and abruptly resigned.
JLL's investment funds have experienced mixed results. According to data from Private Equity Intelligence, JLL Partners Fund III and V have proven to be top-performing for their respective vintage years, however funds I and IV were slightly below the median for their vintage years and the returns on fund II were in the bottom quartile of 1994 vintage funds.
In 1996, Angus Littlejohn resigned from Joseph Littlejohn & Levy to form a new private investment firm, Littlejohn & Co. The following year, in 1998, Peter Joseph left and joined Palladium Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity firm with a specialization in investments in the U.S. Hispanic market and also in Mexico, Spain, and Brazil, founded the prior year.
In 2002, after a lengthy and difficult fund-raising process, the rechristened "JLL Partners" was able to close a new private equity fund, JLL Partners Fund IV LP., with $750 million of investor commitments, representing a 25% decrease from its previous fund.
Since its founding, JLL has raised six private equity funds with investor commitments totaling $7.2 billion:
- 1989 — Joseph Littlejohn & Levy Fund I ($221 million)
- 1994 — Joseph Littlejohn & Levy Fund II ($400 million)
- 1998 — JLL Partners Fund III ($1.0 billion, first fund raised after departure of Joseph and Littlejohn)
- 2002 — JLL Partners Fund IV ($751 million)
- 2005 — JLL Partners Fund V ($1.5 billion)
- 2008 — JLL Partners Fund VI ($3.3 billion, currently in fundraising)
- Allegheny International (1988)
- Motor Coach Industries (1999)
- Lancer Industries, subsequently merged and renamed Fairfield Manufacturing (1986)
- Foodbrands America Inc. (1995)
- Ornda Healthcorp (1991)
- Motor Wheel Corporation, subsequently merged and renamed Hayes Lemmerz International
- J.G. Wentworth (2005)
- Iasis Healthcare
- Funds raised since inception
- Alison Leigh Cowan (22 January 1989). "Divorce, Wall Street Style". The Wall Street Journal.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh "Market Place; Chairman's Role In Rexene Feuds." New York Times, February 4, 1991
- PrivateEquityCentral.net, "JLL Partners Gets Back in the Action", November 29, 2002
- Carey, David "JLL Partners Closes 4th Fund." The Daily Deal, November 18, 2002
- "Bid Approved By Allegheny." Reuters, November 18, 1988
- "GRUPO DINA PLANS TO SELL 61% STAKE IN MOTOR COACH UNIT." New York Times, June 16, 1999
- Freudenheim, Milt. "Ornda Healthcorp in 2d Merger in Two Weeks." New York Times, December 3, 1993
- "Motor Wheel Plans to Merge With Hayes Wheels." Bloomberg L.P., March 30, 1996
- "HAYES WHEELS TO ACQUIRE 77% OF LEMMERZ." New York Times, December 10, 1996
- Rosenbush, Steve. "Wentworth's pocket of gold." BusinessWeek, July 7, 2006
- "JOSEPH LITTLEJOHN AND IASIS TO ACQUIRE 15 HOSPITALS." New York Times, August 18, 1999