Centerview wraps up halfway to target

Centerview Partners has essentially wrapped fund-raising for its debut fund at slightly more than half its original target.

The New York-based shop, which also provides investment banking advisory services, held what will serve as a final close with $485 million in February. While the pool is not technically finished, firm executives are not actively seeking more funds, says a source familiar with the effort.

Executives at the fund declined to comment.

When Centerview hit the fund-raising market in the fall of 2007, its executives pegged the fund’s target at $850 million. That became unrealistic, as the credit crisis took hold last year and the financial markets had a meltdown in September 2008, says the source.

Firm executives are happy they raised as much as they did, all things considered, the source says.

UBS Securities helped Centerview secure commitments from such institutional investors as General Electric Co.’s pension fund and Centinela Capital Partners, a New York-based fund of funds shop.

Executives managing the fund, Centerview Capital, will invest solely in buyouts of North American-based companies in the consumer sector. Typical equity checks will range from $50 million to $100 million.

The firm has made one investment so far. In December 2007, it paid an undisclosed amount for a minority stake in The Nielsen Co., the company that provides market data to the consumer and media industries. —Bernard Vaughan