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Thomas H. Lee Partners
Type Private Ownership
Founded 1974
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Boston, Massachusetts
Industry Private equity
Products Leveraged buyout
Total assets $22 billion [1]
Employees 50+ (2007)

Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) is a private equity firm based in Boston, Massachusetts specializing in leveraged buyouts, growth capital, special situations, industry consolidations, and recapitalizations.

Founded in 1974, THL is one of the oldest private equity firms in the United States. The firm's namesake, Thomas H. Lee left the firm to form Lee Equity Partners in 2006[2]. Since inception, THL Partners has invested approximately $12 billion of equity capital in more than 100 businesses with an aggregate purchase price of more than $100 billion.


The firm has raised $22 billion since inception and is currently investing out of its $10 billion sixth fund:

  • 1984 - Fund I($66 million)
  • 1989 - Fund II ($568 million)
  • 1996 - Fund III ($1.4 billion)
  • 1998 - Fund IV ($3.4 billion)
  • 2001 - Fund V ($6.1 billion)
  • 2006 - Fund VI ($10.1 billion)

Source: Preqin (Formerly known as Private Equity Intelligence)[3]

Notable transactions sponsored by the firm include Dunkin' Donuts[4], Nielsen Company, Michael Foods[5], Houghton Mifflin[6], Fisher Scientific, Experian, TransWestern Publishing[7], Snapple Beverage[8] and ProSiebenSat.1 Media.

THL is also known for its investment in Refco a financial services company specializing in commodities and futures contracts that collapsed suddenly in October 2005, only months after its IPO. THL as the lead investor was named in a class action shareholder lawsuit against Refco, along with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and Grant Thornton.[9] Despite the issues caused by Refco, THL was able to raise $10.1 billion for its most recent private equity fund, its largest fund to date.


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