July 27, 2015

The Sterling Group Hits $1.25 Billion Hard Cap For Its Fourth Private Equity Fund

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced it has closed on $1.25 billion in investor commitments for its most recent fund, Sterling Group Partners IV (“Fund IV”). Fund IV was oversubscribed and reached its hard cap in three months. Consistent with Sterling’s successful 33-year history, Fund IV primarily will target corporate carve-outs and family businesses in the industrial sector of the middle market.

The substantial majority of Fund IV’s capital was committed by returning investors. Sterling welcomes a select number of new investors. “The Sterling team is pleased by the significant demand for Fund IV and the strength of our partnership with our investors,” said Kevin Garland, a Partner with The Sterling Group, “Sterling’s hands-on, operational approach to transforming industrial businesses has generated strong returns throughout a variety of market cycles. We intend to continue to execute and improve upon this strategy in Fund IV to produce top tier results for our investors.”

Sterling targets manufacturing, distribution and industrial service businesses generally with $100 million to $500 million in total enterprise value. The firm emphasizes its strong operational approach in partnership with management teams to grow and improve industrial businesses. Sterling’s partner group of Gary Rosenthal, John Hawkins, Kevin Garland, Greg Elliott, Kent Wallace and Brian Henry collectively has 90 years working at Sterling.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel. Sterling did not utilize a placement agent.

About The Sterling Group, L.P.

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $500 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value in excess of $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.4 billion of assets under management.  Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions, American Bath Group and ProcessBarron.


Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.



November 14, 2011

Sterling Named to 2011 List of Top 20 Private Equity Firms

The 2011 HEC-DowJones Private Equity Performance Ranking lists the world’s Top PE firms in terms of aggregate performance based on all funds raised between 1998 and 2007. This ranking answers the question: “Which firm(s) generated the best performance for their investors over the past years?” The ranking draws on a comprehensive set of data on PE fund performance provided by DowJones and directly from PE Firms and uses a unique methodology to calculate the aggregate performance of a PE firm based on difference performance measures for all the funds managed by this firm. The method is able to aggregate performance across vintage years and considers relative and absolute returns. In total, we analyzed performance data from 427 PE firms and the 950 funds they raised between 1998 and 2007 with an aggregate equity volume of $1300bn.

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  1. Waterland
  2. Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
  3. Platinum Equity
  4. Hellman & Friedman
  5. TPG
  6. Astorg
  7. PAI Partners
  8. Rhone Capital
  9. Nordic Capital
  10. Onex Corporation
  11. The Sterling Group
  12. Towerbrook Capital Partners
  13. GTCR Golder Rauner
  14. Axa Private Equity
  15. Gilde Buy Out Partners
  16. BC Partners
  17. Barclays Private Equity
  18. Bain Capital
  19. The Riverside Company
  20. Apollo Management


Disclaimer: The Sterling Group, L.P. has not sought to independently verify information obtained from the sources used by HEC-DowJones to compile the rankings contained in this article. In addition, the methodology used by HEC-DowJones is subject to inherent limitations due to the confidential nature of the private equity industry, different vintage years, strategies or investment objectives of private equity firms and different performance measures used by such firms. There may be certain other limitations in the comparison of The Sterling Group, L.P. with other private equity firms in the ranking, with respect to its performance that it may not be aware of. The Sterling Group, L.P. makes no representations or warranties as to accuracy, completeness or reliability of information contained in this article.


December 06, 2010

Sterling named as one of Top 20 General Partners of 2010 by Dow Jones Private Equity News


March 16, 2010

The Sterling Group Closes $820 Million Fund III

The Sterling Group, L.P. a Houston based middle-market private equity firm focused on operational value creation, today announced the final closing of Sterling Group Partners III, L.P. (Fund III) at $820 million. Fund III, raised in 10 months and oversubscribed, closed significantly above its $600 million target. It is the successor to Sterling Group Partners II, L.P. (Fund II), a $470 million private equity fund organized in 2005. With the close of Fund III, Sterling has approximately $1.3 billion in committed capital under management.

As with previous funds, the objective of Fund III is to create superior returns by acquiring companies with significant opportunities to drive strategic and operational improvements in partnership with management. Fund III will focus on middle-market businesses in manufacturing, industrial service and distribution, typically with $100 million to $500 million in total enterprise value. The Fund will focus primarily on corporate carve outs, buy and builds, family-owned businesses and other complicated sale processes.

Lazard Freres acted as Sterling’s exclusive global placement agent for Fund III. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP acted as legal counsel.

About The Sterling Group, L.P.
Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a Houston based private equity firm targeting controlling interests in basic manufacturing, industrial services, and distribution companies. Sterling emphasizes strategic and operational value creation in partnership with management. Typical enterprise values range from $100 to $500 million. Over its nearly 30 year history, Sterling has acquired 36 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions aggregating approximately $8.6 billion in transaction value. Currently, Sterling has $1.3 billion of committed capital under management.


May 25, 2005

The Sterling Group Closes $470 Million Private Equity Fund

The Sterling Group, L.P., a Houston-based private equity firm focused on acquiring North American middle-market manufacturing, industrial service and distribution companies, today announced the final close of Sterling Group Partners II, L.P. (“Fund II”), with aggregate capital commitments of $470 million, including $20 million from the Principals of Sterling. Additionally, The Sterling Group announced the addition of two new members to the Sterling team. Gary Rosenthal, a former Principal with Sterling from 1989 to 1990, has rejoined as a Principal, and Kelly Boots has been named Chief Financial Officer.

The Sterling Group founded more than 23 years ago, is one of the oldest private equity firms in the United States. Sterling’s six Partners – Chairman Frank Hevrdejs, Billy Oehmig, Hunter Nelson, John Hawkins, Kevin Garland and Gary Rosenthal – have over a combined 80 years of experience with The Sterling Group.

The firm will use Fund II to continue to execute its strategy of partnering with management teams to drive strategic, operational and financial improvements in its portfolio companies. Historically, this has often occurred in acquisitions of spin-outs of non-core divisions of large corporations and family-owned businesses as well as buy-and-build strategies in fragmented industries.

Limited partners in Fund II include a diverse group of pension plans, fund-of-funds, university endowments, financial institutions, foundations and individuals. Lazard Freres acted as Sterling’s exclusive global placement agent for Fund II, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP acted as legal counsel.

About The Sterling Group, L.P.
The Sterling Group, founded in 1982 by the late Gordon Cain and Frank Hevrdejs, is a Houston-based private equity firm focused on acquiring middle-market manufacturing, industrial services and distribution companies between $100 million and $500 million in enterprise value. In total, the firm has made 29 platform and numerous add-on acquisitions totaling over $7 billion in transaction value. For more information, visit