CalPERS Commits Another $425M To Private Equity –

California State Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the $183 billion pension system, continued its investment in to private equity with a series of commitments worth as much as $425 million. In its May 16, Investment Committee meeting, the pension fund made up to $415 million in commitments to five private equity funds.

In its investment committee report, CalPERS made the following commitments:

The pension system agreed to commit 10% of the fund size up to $70 million for Audax Private Equity Fund II, managed by Boston-based The Audax Group. The buyout fund will target U.S.-based companies with revenues between $25 million and $350 million. The fund has a goal of $700 million.

CalPERS pledged to increase its commitment to Aurora Capital Partners’ Aurora Equity partners III to 20% of the fund, up to $125 million. The fund has already closed on about $675 million for the fund, which is targeted at $900 million. Aurora plans to invest the fund in middle market buyout deals in companies with enterprise values between $150 million and $1 billion. Aurora Capital Partners is based in Westwood, Calif.

The system committed up to $50 million to Lexington Middle Market Investors, managed by New York-based secondary firm Lexington Partners. The fund has a goal of $500 million and received a $150 million cornerstone commitment from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. The firm will acquire limited partner stakes in younger funds that have invested less than 50% of their committed capital.

CalPERS committed $100 million to Quadrangle Capital partners II, managed by New York-based Quadrangle Group. The fund has a goal of $1.6 billion. It held a first close this past February with $850 million and plans to have a final close by the end of Q2 2005. The fund will invest in mature and high-growth media companies in the United States and Europe. Monument Group and UBS Financial Services are advising Quadrangle.

CalPERS pledged $65 million to Weston Presidio V, a $1 billion buyout fund managed by Boston-based Weston Presidio. The fund closed in April and will make late-stage growth investments and middle-market buyout investments ranging between $10 million and $100 million.

Grove Street Advisors provided due diligence on the Audax Group and Quadrangle Group investments. Pacific Corporate Group provided due diligence on Aurora Capital Partners. The PrivateEdge Group provided due diligence on Lexington Partners. Hamilton Lane Advisors performed due diligence on Weston Presidio.