Buyout Funds Look Overseas For Capital –

Overallocation. The word alone is enough to make buyout professionalsgrunt and cringe at the thought of fund raising. As public pension fundswatch their capital pools diminish, buyout firms increasingly are finding itharder to wrap up fund raising at, or above, target.

As a result, the market is seeing an increased amount of activity aimedat the European market.

“What we’ve been seeing over the last few years is investors increasinglyrealizing the economic opportunity in Europe because of the Euro, because ofthe consolidation of the economic community in Europe – there are a lot ofsynergies there,” said Loren Boston, managing director and globalhead of the private equity fund group at Salomon Smith Barney.

One example of this trend is White Williams Private EquityPartners, a New York-based firm with offices in Vienna, Prague,Bucharest, Romania and Bratislava, Slovakia, which recently announced itspreparation for a $250 million fund that will focus on Eastern Europeancompanies. Dave Williams, founder of the firm, said the idea is toinvest in companies in future European Union countries that will experiencemajor economic growth in the next few years. The fund, called theEuropean Accession Fund LP, is currently shopping around for aplacement agent that can attract investors both from the U.S. and Europe.

Also looking to Europe,