Brazos Private Equity Partners received a vote of confidence when the New York State Common Retirement Fund agreed to contribute $50 million in a tack-on investment to the firm’s Brazos Equity Fund LP. The investment will be applied to existing investments in the Brazos portfolio and will also go toward any new investments the firm makes.
Jeff Fronterhouse, a partner with Brazos, said, “We had taken a look at our capital and our current needs, and saw that our portfolio could still use some more time to mature before we were ready to approach the fund-raising process. We contacted a few select parties, and the Common Fund decided to invest with us.”
The Common Fund is the retirement pension fund for the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System and also serves the state’s Police and Fire Retirement System. Carl McCall serves as trustee of the fund, which has $112.5 billion of assets under management. Prior investments by the Common Fund include contributions to The Blackstone Group, Hellman & Friedman, Madison Dearborn Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, among others.
For Brazos, the $50 million tack-on investment means the firm now has $450 million at its disposal, when combined with the $200 million in capital commitments Brazos closed on in 2001, and another $200 million designated for co-investments from strategic partner Maverick Capital.
The purpose of pursuing a tack-on investment was to free the firm up to pursue additional investments, rather than put its energy toward a full-blown fund-raising initiative. “We’re currently looking at multiple opportunities that are in house… This is a great time to be investing, which is why we undertook the tack-on, so we could pursue these investments and not take time fund raising,” Fronterhouse said.
Other investors in Brazos Equity Fund LP include Aetna Private Equity Group, Mass Mutual, Mellon Ventures, Wells Fargo, First Union, FleetBoston Robertson Stephens and Morgan Stanley.