May 15, 2013 / 8:01 PM / in 5 years

BUYOUTS-Miami entrepreneur seeks $250 mln for debut cybersecurity

* Manny Medina sold Terremark to Verizon in $2 bln deal

* Has $50 mln lined up from family, friends

* Greenhill hired to help raise fund

By Steve Gelsi

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters-BUYOUTS) - Miami-based entrepreneur Manuel “Manny” Medina of Medina Capital has lined up an estimated $50 million from family and friends as part of an effort to raise $250 million for a debut private equity fund, a source said. It has been about two years since Medina sold his information technology company Terremark Worldwide to Verizon Communications Inc. in a deal valued at $2 billion.

Medina Capital Fund LP lists its minimum investment accepted from outside investors at $100,000, and its sales compensation recipient as Greenhill & Co Inc, according to a Form D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm disclosed a fund target of $250 million, with no sales yet reported as of April 18, according to the filing, which includes the note that “final size of the fund may be higher or lower than the target.” Medina did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Within the next two weeks a commitment of about $50 million from family and friends is expected to close with contributions from C-suite executives in the IT arena who had worked with Terremark in the past, according to the source.

Taking a tack toward IT and security, Medina Capital has already made investments in Prolexic, a specialist in thwarting hacker attacks, and Catbird, a self-described pioneer in security and compliance for virtual, cloud and physical networks. Medina Capital invests $10 million to $20 million per portfolio company, according to its Web site. It plans to hold majority equity interests in its target companies or a significant minority interest with typical minority investor protective provisions and board appointment rights.

Members of the Medina Capital team include Nelson Fonseca, Barry Field, Rene Rodriguez, Adam Smith and Randy Rowland - all veterans of Terremark. The firm’s advisory board includes Guillermo Amore, who worked for 33 years at GTE Corp.; Gary Denman, Robert Dickinson, Antonio Fernandez, Joseph Wright and Arthur Money.

Medina emigrated to the United States from Cuba at a young age and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in accounting at Florida Atlantic University, according to a profile in the Miami Herald. His son, Manuel Medina Jr., is a Nashville musician and bass player for the Kip Moore band, which has a hit record, Somethin’ Bout a Truck.

The elder Medina founded Terremark in 1980 and sold the specialist in cloud computing and IT infrastructure to Verizon in 2011. Publicly traded on the Nasdaq at the time of the sale, the company currently operates under the name Verizon Terremark.

Medina spent the first month after the transaction traveling, thanking major shareholders, analysts, customers and suppliers and telling them that “contrary to rumors, I was not retiring, but that I would be disappearing for a while,” according to the profile. He headed down to the Florida Keys with his children and grandchildren and decided to start investing in IT-related companies.

“We are looking for established companies with a unique business model or technology that we can help with capital and strategy,” he told the newspaper. Medina stressed that his experience at Terremark working across international borders, growing product lines, and building relationships with people in government would be “very helpful for the right company at the right stage.”

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