Firm & Fund Briefs

Leveraged buyout firms paid investment banks $8.4 billion during the first half of 2007, according to data compiled by Freeman & Co. and Buyouts‘ parent company Thomson Financial. Blackstone Group led the pack of folks paying huge sums to Wall Street with $685.4 million in the first six months of 2007. The current figure puts the buyout industry on pace to exceed last year’s $12.8 billion total.

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have been hired by Apollo Management to advise on its expected initial public offering.

Aureos Capital has teamed with the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. to form a lending arm to help nurture environmentally sustainable and health-improving businesses in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Arbor Private Investment, an investment firm focused on the food and beverage sector, has raised $170 million for its second buyout fund, Arbor Investments II, significantly exceeding the size of it preceding fund, which raised $42 million.

China Environment Fund, the Chinese clean technology-focused venture capital firm, is back in the market raising $150 million in its third fund.

The New York Times reported that Blackstone Group executives will essentially pay no taxes on their individual IPO gains, because the executives will receive good will deductions that typically are passed on to regular shareholders.

Clearwater Capital Partners, the New York-based, Asian focused private equity firm has reached final close on Clearwater Capital Partners Fund III with US$900 million of committed capital. The fund was significantly oversubscribed, according to the group. Clearwater’s investment strategy is focused on special situation investments and distressed or otherwise undervalued assets and securities located in Asia excluding Japan.

The New York-based, Citigroup spin out Court Square Capital Partners closed Court Square Capital II at $3.13 billion. That surpasses a $2.5 billion target making it one of the largest funds ever raised by an investment bank spin out.

Energy Investors Funds, a private equity firm focused on the independent power and electric utility industry in the US, has closed a $1.35 billion fund the has reported. The fund will invest in the development and construction projects as well as buy stakes in existing ones.

Galen Partners, the US private equity firm that specializes in healthcare investing, has closed its fifth fund, Galen Partners V, on $250 million. The fund will continue in the footsteps of it predecessors, investing in healthcare information technology/outsourcing, medical devices and specialty pharmaceutical companies.

H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm that provides capital to small and medium-sized companies, has closed H.I.G. European Partners, a dedicated European investment fund,at its hard cap of €600 Million. With this fund, the firm plans to significantly expand its investment activities in Europe, and has established affiliate offices in London, Paris and Hamburg.

Fang Fenglei, chairman of Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, is planning to launch a $790 million buyout fund in China, according to Bloomberg. It is unclear whether or not he’ll he able to obtain regulatory approval.

Northgate Capital is raising up to $200 million for its fifth general fund-of-funds, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured around $57 million in capital commitments from LPs like The Broad Foundation. The Danville, Calif.-based firm also features dedicated VC, buyout and emerging markets funds-of-funds.

Pacific Equity Partners of Australia is raising up to US$2.27 billion for its fourth fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured more than $963 million. The firm focuses on buyouts and late-stage growth financings in Australia and New Zealand.

The London Stock Exchange will launch a dedicated new market for issuers of specialist funds. The Specialist Fund Market will meet demand from both issuers and institutional and other professional investors for a quotation on a regulated market in London that provides sufficient flexibility for specialist vehicles such as single strategy hedge funds and private equity vehicles. This will satisfy a market need which will exist between AIM and the Main Market once the FSA’s new Unitary Regime is introduced.

The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board allocated $15 million to the GF Capital Private Equity Fund, the debut fund of New York-based GF Capital Management.

The Riverside Co. has announced the close of its third European fund, topping off at €315 million. Riverside Europe Fund III exceeding the targeted amount of €250 million. Riverside is a New York-based small-cap buyout specialist.

Ventizz Capital Partners, a German private equity firm, is seeking €350 million for its fourth fund. It will invest in small and medium-sized companies based in Germany and other German speaking countries.