Jump to content

Thomas H. Lee Partners

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
Company typePrivate
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1974; 50 years ago (1974)
FounderThomas H. Lee
Headquarters100 Federal Street
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
ProductsLeveraged buyout, growth capital
AUM$16.9 billion[1]
Number of employees
100+ (2022)

Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. is an American private equity firm headquartered in Boston. The firm focuses on investing in middle market growth companies across various sectors, including financial technology, services, healthcare, technology, and business solutions.[2]


Thomas H. Lee Partners was founded in 1974 by Thomas H. Lee, often referred to as THL.[3] As of 2022, THL had raised approximately $34 billion of equity capital, investmenting in more than 160 companies. The firm's portfolio includes over 500 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $210 billion.[4] In 2022, Private Equity International ranked THL Partners 82nd among the top 300 private equity firms based on funds raised in 2021.[5]

The firm's Management Committee consists of Co-CEOs Todd Abbrecht and Scott Sperling, Chairman Tony DiNovi, and Managing Director Tom Hagerty.[6] The firm's namesake, Thomas H. Lee, left the company and formed Lee Equity Partners in 2006.[7]


Throughout its history, Thomas H. Lee Partners has raised over $36 billion. The firm has launched various funds, such as:

  • 1984 - Fund I ($66 million)
  • 1989 - Fund II ($568 million)
  • 1996 - Fund III ($1.4 billion)
  • 1998 - Fund IV ($3.5 billion)
  • 2001 - Fund V ($6.1 billion)
  • 2006 - Fund VI ($8.1 billion)
  • 2016 - Fund VII ($2.6 billion)
  • 2019 - Fund VIII ($3.59 billion)
  • 2022 - Fund IX ($5.6 billion)

Other Funds[edit]

  • 2019 – Continuation Fund I ($867 million)
  • 2020 – Continuation Fund II ($916 million)
  • 2021 – Automation Fund ($900 million)

Notable transactions sponsored by THL include AbacusNext,[8] Aramark,[9][10] AutoStore,[11] Brooks Automation,[12] Ceridian,[13] CSafe,[14] Dunkin' Brands,[15] Experian,[16] Fidelity National Information Services,[17] FourKites, Hightower Advisors,[18] HomeSide Lending, Houghton Mifflin,[19] Syneos Health, Michael Foods,[20] The Nielsen Company,[21] ProSiebenSat.1, Smile Doctors, Snapple,[22] Warner Chilcott,[23] Warner Music Group,[24] and West Corporation.[25]


In 2004, THL completed a leveraged buyout acquisition of Refco, a financial services company specializing in commodities and futures contracts, which collapsed suddenly in October 2005 only months after its IPO. Refco's collapse cost investors more than $1 billion and sparked multiple suits for negligence against the firm. THL in turn sued Refco's auditors and former executives claiming they hid the fraud which caused Refco's collapse.[26] THL has since settled all claims by Refco’s brokerage customers, bankruptcy trustee and shareholders.[27]

Art Van Bankruptcy[edit]

In March 2020, Art Van Furniture, a furniture retailer owned by THL, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[28] The company's going-out-of-business sales, approved two days before the filing, had to be suspended due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As a debtor-in-possession, Art Van could not prioritize paying employees over other creditors without a court order. To support the affected employees,[29] THL established a 'Hardship Fund' and contributed an initial donation of $1 million. Additionally, THL pledged to match up to another $1 million in outside donations. In March 2021, THL fulfilled its matching commitment, leading to relief payments of approximately $1,200 per former Art Van employee.[30]


THL's past affiliates include:

THL Credit Advisors acquired in 2020 by First Eagle Investment Managed, provided junior debt to middle-market companies seeking capital for growth, acquisition, recapitalization and/or change of control.[31] In July 2020, THL Credit changed its name to First Eagle Alternative Capital BDC, Inc.[32]

TH Lee Putnam Ventures is a technology-focused private equity firm affiliated with THL and Putnam Investments, a leading global money management firm. TH Lee Putnam Ventures manages $1.1 billion in capital commitments and has invested approximately $850 million in more than 43 companies since the firm's formation in 1999.[33]


  1. ^ PEI 300 - Top 50, Private Equity International, May 2012.
  2. ^ "Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". investing.businessweek.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. ^ Thomas H. Lee forms new venture: Lee Equity Partners (MarketWatch, 2006)
  4. ^ "Inriver Announces Growth Investment from Thomas H. Lee Partners". Bloomberg L.P. May 19, 2022.
  5. ^ "PEI 300 Top private equity firms". Private Equity International. February 2, 2022.
  6. ^ "TH Lee raising Fund VIII with Todd Abbrecht as first head of PE". PE Hub. December 15, 2017.
  7. ^ Thomas H. Lee forms new venture: Lee Equity Partners (MarketWatch, 2006)
  8. ^ Warren, Zach (11 March 2021). "AbacusNext Announces Sale to New Investor as It Continues Cloud Focus". Legaltech News. Law.com. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  9. ^ [1] Press Release
  10. ^ "Thomas H. Lee Partners in group acquiring Aramark". www.bizjournals.com. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  11. ^ "SoftBank to take 40% stake in warehouse robotics firm AutoStore for $2.8 bln". Reuters. 5 April 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  12. ^ "Brooks Automation to sell automation unit for $3 bln, scraps separation plans". 20 September 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  13. ^ Beltran, Luisa (26 April 2018). "THL to make more than 2x on Ceridian HCM IPO". PE Hub. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  14. ^ Pringle, Sarah (19 November 2018). "THL's CSafe attracts private equity interest". PE Hub. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  15. ^ Parent of Dunkin' Donuts Sold For $2.4 Billion to Equity Firms (New York Times, 2005
  16. ^ "Experian Investors Reap Substantial Returns". Los Angeles Times. 15 November 1996. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  17. ^ Bills, Steve (10 June 2013). "THLee In Fourth Deal With William Foley's Fidelity National". Buyouts. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  18. ^ Kreutzer, Laura (3 December 2020). "Thomas H. Lee Partners Buys Time With Secondary Deal for Hightower". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  19. ^ Vivendi Confirms Houghton Mifflin Sale,(New York Times, 2002)
  20. ^ Michael FoodsMichael Foods To Be Bought For $1 Billion (New York Times, 2003)
  21. ^ Davies, Megan (22 January 2009). "Buyout firm THL writes down $524 million investments: letter". Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  22. ^ Thomas H. Lee In Snapple Deal (New York Times, 1992)
  23. ^ Gelsi, Steve (28 May 2013). "Warner Chilcott Deal Promises 4x Return For Sponsors". Buyouts. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  24. ^ Marshall, Elizabeth Dilts (25 February 2023). "Thomas H. Lee, Billionaire Investor Who Helped Acquire Warner Music From Time Warner, Dies at 78". Billboard. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  25. ^ "Investor Group Buys West Corp". Reuters. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  26. ^ Refco bankruptcy trustee sues Thomas H. Lee Partners, New York Times, August 9, 2007.
  27. ^ Beck, Susan (4 March 2011). "Thomas H. Lee Reaches $145 Million Settlement with Refco Trustee and Brokerage Customers". The American Lawyer. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  28. ^ Reindl, JC (2020-03-05). "Art Van Furniture to close its stores, begin liquidation sales". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  29. ^ "Bankruptcy Claimed Their Jobs, and Now They're Out for Payback". Bloomberg.com. 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  30. ^ "Ex-Art Van manager on company's bankruptcy, closure". Detroit Free Press. March 16, 2021.
  31. ^ THL Credit. THL Credit (2013-06-30). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  32. ^ "THL Credit Rebrands as First Eagle Alternative Capital BDC". ABFJournal. July 24, 2020.
  33. ^ TH Lee. Thlpv.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.

External links[edit]