Madison Dearborn Partners

Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP) is an American private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts of privately held or publicly traded companies, or divisions of larger companies; recapitalizations of family-owned or closely held companies; balance sheet restructurings; acquisition financings; and growth capital investments in mature companies. MDP operates using an industry-focused investment approach and focuses on the following sectors: basic industries, business & government software and services, financial & transaction services, health care, and TMT services.[2] Since the founders established MDP as an independent firm in 1992, the firm has raised seven funds with aggregate capital of approximately $23 billion, and has completed investments in more than 130 companies.[3]

Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC
Privately held company
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1992 (1992)
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, United States
ProductsLeveraged buyout
Total assets$23 billion[1]
Number of employees
50+ (2007)


Madison Dearborn Partners was founded in 1992 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The founders, John A Canning Jr, Paul J. Finnegan, Samuel M. Mencoff, and Nicholas W. Alexos had previously made private equity investments for First Chicago Bank.[4] The north-east corner of First Chicago's then-headquarters was at the intersection of Madison and Dearborn Streets.

Madison Dearborn's chairman, John Canning, Jr., is also a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team and submitted an ultimately unsuccessful bid to buy the Chicago Cubs[5][6]


In 1998, the firm bought Reiman Publications, based in Greendale, Wisconsin, from Roy Reiman for $640 million. In 2002, the firm sold Reiman Publications to Reader's Digest Association.

In 2007, the firm joined forces with Michael Eisner's Tornante investment company to buy out baseball card maker The Topps Company.[7]

Madison Dearborn completed leveraged buyout transactions for a number of publicly traded and other significant companies in 2006 and 2007 including:

Bell Canada

On June 30, 2007, Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) announced that the company entered into a definitive agreement for BCE to be acquired pursuant to a plan of arrangement by an investor group led by Teachers Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and Madison Dearborn Partners. The all-cash transaction is valued at C$51.7 billion (US$48.5 billion), including C$16.9 billion (US$15.9 billion) of debt, preferred equity and minority interests. The arrangement was approved on September 21, 2007 at a Special Meeting of shareholders by more than 97% of the votes cast by holders of common and preferred shares, voting as a single class.[15]

Investment funds

MDP invests through a series of private limited partnerships and its investors include a variety of pension funds, endowments and other institutional investors:

Fund Vintage
Madison Dearborn Capital Partners 1993 $550 million
Fund II 1997 $925 million
Fund III 1999 $2.2 billion
Fund IV 2000 $4.1 billion
Fund V 2006 $6.5 billion
Fund VI 2010 $4.1 billion
Fund VII 2016 $4.4 billion


Selected portfolio


  1. Capital raised since inception in 1992
  2. "Madison Dearborn | Sectors". Madison Dearborn Partners. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  3. "Madison Dearborn | About Overview". Madison Dearborn Partners. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  4. COMPANY NEWS; Fund Venture Begun in Chicago (New York Times, 1992)
  5. Is John Canning Jr. the next John Henry? Archived 2009-09-03 at the Wayback Machine (, 2007)
  6. Brewers stakeholder in the fan business (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
  7. A Bid for Topps, the Baseball Card Company (New York Times, 2007)
  8. Equity Firm to Acquire Net Retailer (New York Times)
  9. Mutual Fund Manager Agrees to Buyout (New York Times, 2007)
  10. Hoffman, Liz, and Leslie Scism, "TIAA-CREF to buy Nuveen Investments for $6.25 billion", MarketWatch, April 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  11. Salmon, Felix, "Private equity math, Nuveen edition", Reuters, April 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  12. Primack, Dan, "Madison Dearborn's patience pays off on Nuveen Investments" Archived 2014-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, Fortune, April 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  13. Madison Dearborn part of winning $12.3B bid for Univision (Chicago Business News, Analysis & Articles, 2006)
  14. Candle Maker Accepts a Buyout Offer (New York Times, 2006)
  15. Privatization of BCE
  16. Skelly, Keenan (May 4, 2010). "Press Release". The Wall Street Journal.
  17. Madison Dearborn Partners Overview Archived 2002-06-04 at
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