Firm & Funds

Accel-KKR has opened an Atlanta office, which will be run by managing director Rob Palumbo. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm was formed in 2000 by Accel Partners and KKR, and focused on private equity opportunities in the technology market.

The Carlyle Group reportedly is planning to raise a $1 billion private equity fund focused on the Middle East. It has retained Korn Ferry to recruit a senior fund manager.

Conduit Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on the independent electric power industry in Latin America and the Caribbean, has closed its third fund with $393 million in capital commitments.

Doughty Hanson & Co. has closed its second European real estate private equity fund with €560 million in capital commitments.

GI Partners, a private equity firm with offices in London and Menlo Park, has closed its second fund with $1.45 billion in capital commitments. Lazard served as fund placement agent.

Granahan McCourt Acquisition Corp., a Hopewell, N.J.-based blank check acquisition company focused on the telecom and media sectors, has filed to raise around $265.23 million via an IPO of common stock. It plans to trade on the Amex under ticker symbol GHN.U, with Deutsche Bank Securities serving as sole underwriter. Company management includes several members of Granahan McCourt Capital, while directors include former CIA director George Tenet and Palisades Ventures founder Paul D’Addario.

Lazard has shuttered its Lazard European Private Equity Partners effort. The two-year old middle-market group had yet to make a deal, after receiving a €50 million commitment from Lazard. Ex-staffers include Graham Keniston-Cooper, Alex Cooper-Evans and Victor Vadaneaux.

The Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association has selected Morgan Stanley AIP as the discretionary manager of a new $250 million private equity co-investment fund. LACERA will serve as the fund’s primary limited partner, although both Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley AIP team members also have committed capital.

The New Mexico State Investment Council has ended its venture capital consulting contract with Fort Washington Capital Partners. The state agency told the paper that it had terminated Fort Washington, while the Cincinnati-based firm said that it had resigned. Neither side offered an explanation.

Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS) has launched a dedicated private equity fund administration team in Dublin, Ireland.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) has approved four follow-on fund commitments and one first-time commitment. They are: $100 million for HarbourVest Partners VIII; $60 million for First Reserve Fund XI; $50 million for Berkshire Fund VII; $50 million for Lime Rock Partners IV; and $25 million to Brait IV (new).

PODH Private Equity Ltd. of Switzerland has closed its third fund-of-fund with €296 million in capital commitments. The vehicle will primarily back European middle-market buyout funds, and also make some direct investments.

VCM Capital Partners and Golding Capital Partners have closed their second joint, Europe-focused mezzanine fund-of-funds with €238 million in capital commitments.