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Automation fund raises $900 million

17 December 2020

Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners raised the cash, with the fund earmarked for backing automation companies, including technology product, software and services businesses, that enhance productivity across a range of end markets and use cases.

The Fund will pursue equity investment opportunities that harness a range of technologies – from software and artificial intelligence to robotics and additive manufacturing to systems design and integration – driving automation in eComm, distribution and logistics, as well as other sectors.

THL has substantial experience investing in automation. Since 2017, the firm’s affiliated funds and co-investors have deployed approximately $2 billion of equity in four platform companies and eight add-on transactions in the sector. THL’s current automation platform companies include Autostore, Material Handling Systems and Fortna.

Jim Carlisle, managing director leading the Automation Fund said: “Automation is everywhere in the news now as a result of the pandemic, but the reality is that the return on investment from automation was already high for businesses that deployed automation pre-pandemic. We started building our thesis, network and capability years ago because the fundamental drivers of adoption — labour pressures, business resiliency, efficiency gains, throughput improvements and more — were already top of mind for business leaders across sectors.”

 
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