Community Bank Investor May Launch Fund II Targeting $425 Mln

Firm: Carpenter  & Co.

Fund: Carpenter Community BancFund II LP

Target: $425 milion

Through its new fund Carpenter & Co. would make community bank investments in the California area, along with the Tri-State area around New York City and for the first time, the mid-Atlantic region. The proposed hard cap of the new fund would be $500 million.

Carpenter & Co stands out as one of only three U.S.-based private equity firms registered as a bank holding company, along with BankCap Partners and CapGen Financial Group. Meanwhile, Castle Creek Capital has raised $65 million toward a $250 million target for Castle Creek Capital Partners V, the newest flagship fund for the California-based firm that also invests in community banks.

Reports surfaced of a second fund from Carpenter & Co. in 2011, but the effort didn’t launch in the face of difficult economic conditions at the time.

The latest fundraising effort by Irvine, Calif.-based buyout firm would follow its $280 million Carpenter Community BancFund  LP, which held its final close in 2009 with about 18 limited partners, including adviser Hamilton Lane. Carpenter & Co controls about $4 billion in banking assets out of the first fund.

Out of 10 controlled investments, Carpenter & Co has created five banks by combining businesses and selling off underperforming parts of their portfolios.

Carpenter Community BancFund LP’s officers included bank founder Edward Carpenter, Howard Gould, John Fleming, James Jones, Arthur Hidalgo and the Golden State Investment Fund, a vehicle funded by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. according to a filing with regulators.