Utah buyout fund draws $250m

Sorenson Capital, based in Salt Lake City, will invest in small- to mid-sized companies in the Western US with the help of a former American football star.

Sorenson Capital, a new middle-market buyout firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, today announced a final close on its debut private equity fund, drawing total capital commitments of $250 million (€209 million).


The fund garnered commitments from institutions including funds of funds Adams Street Partners and Wilshire Private Markets Group; pension giant CalPERS; and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.


Sorenson Capital’s general partners are Ron Mika, a former Bain Capital managing director; Richard Lawson, the former president of Found, an e-commerce services provider; Tim Layton, former president of Medeco Security Locks; Fraser Bullock, the chief operating officer of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics; and Steve Young, the former star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers football team.


The firm was seeded with an investment from the Sorenson family, heirs to the medical device fortune built by James LeVoy Sorenson. Another key backer is Robert Gay, a Bain Capital managing director.


In a statement, Mika said his firm would seek companies in the West with revenues of between $30 million and $300 million. The firm will make buyout as well as growth-equity investments.


Sorenson Capital currently has 15 investment professionals, according to the statement, and plans to grow to 20 to 25 within a year.


Salt Lake City is home to a small number of venture capital firms, as the area has a vibrant software and technology economy, but Sorenson Capital is the first major buyout firm, and has the largest fund raised to date.