Thomas H. Lee Partners

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Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
TypePrivate limited partnership
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1974; 49 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 based in Boston. Investing in middle market growth companies across financial technology, services, healthcare, technology, & business solutions.[2]


Founded in 1974 by its namesake Thomas H. Lee, Thomas H. Lee Partners, often referenced as THL,[3] has raised approximately $34 billion of equity capital, investing in more than 160 companies, and has completed more than 500 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $210 billion.[4] In 2021, Private Equity International ranked THL Partners 82nd of the top 300 private equity firms based on funds raised.[5]

THL’s Management Committee includes 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 firm and formed Lee Equity Partners in 2006.[7]


The firm has raised over $30 billion since inception and is currently investing out of its $5.6 billion ninth fund:

  • 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)

Source: Thomas H. Lee website

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


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.[17] THL has since settled all claims by Refco’s brokerage customers, bankruptcy trustee and shareholders.[18]

Art Van[edit]

In March 2020, the THL-owned furniture retailer Art Van Furniture filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[19] The company was forced to end its going-out-of-business sales two days after they were approved due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. While Art Van wanted to pay employee wages and health care obligations, the company as a debtor-in-possession could not choose to pay employees at the expense of creditors without a court order. THL subsequently established a 'Hardship Fund' for former employees.[20]

THL seeded the fund with an initial donation of $1 million and also pledged to match up to another $1 million in outside donations. In March 2021, THL funded its full matching commitment, resulting in relief payments of approximately $1,200 per former employee.[21]


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.[22] In July 2020, THL Credit changed its name to First Eagle Alternative Capital BDC, Inc.[23]

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.[24]


  1. ^ PEI 300 - Top 50, Private Equity International, May 2012.
  2. ^ "Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". 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. ^ [1] Press Release
  9. ^ Thomas H. Lee Partners and Fidelity National Financial Complete Acquisition of Ceridian
  10. ^ Parent of Dunkin' Donuts Sold For $2.4 Billion to Equity Firms (New York Times, 2005
  11. ^ Vivendi Confirms Houghton Mifflin Sale,(New York Times, 2002)
  12. ^ Michael FoodsMichael Foods To Be Bought For $1 Billion (New York Times, 2003)
  13. ^ Thomas H. Lee In Snapple Deal (New York Times, 1992)
  14. ^ Press Release: Warner Chilcott Acquired for $3.1 Billion
  15. ^ Press release: Investor Group Led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners to Purchase Warner Music Group and Create one of the World's Largest Independent Music Companies
  16. ^ Press release: Recapitalization of West Corporation by an Investor Group Led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Quadrangle Group
  17. ^ Refco bankruptcy trustee sues Thomas H. Lee Partners, New York Times, August 9, 2007.
  18. ^ March 04, Susan Beck |; AM, 2011 at 12:00. "Thomas H. Lee Reaches $145 Million Settlement with Refco Trustee and Brokerage Customers". The American Lawyer. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  19. ^ Reindl, JC (2020-03-05). "Art Van Furniture to close its stores, begin liquidation sales". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  20. ^ "Bankruptcy Claimed Their Jobs, and Now They're Out for Payback". 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  21. ^ "Ex-Art Van manager on company's bankruptcy, closure". Detroit Free Press. March 16, 2021.
  22. ^ THL Credit. THL Credit (2013-06-30). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  23. ^ "THL Credit Rebrands as First Eagle Alternative Capital BDC". ABFJournal. July 24, 2020.
  24. ^ TH Lee. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.

External links[edit]