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Firms & Funds

French insurer AXA is considering a sale of its private equity unit, Reuters reported. The unit has roughly €20 billion ($27.3 billion) under management. A sale would likely be a response to tougher capital requirement rules aimed at bolstering the financial industry, Reuters wrote. A review of the unit is in a “preliminary stage,” Reuters said.

European private equity firm BeCapital has raised €150 million ($202 million) for its first fund, which will focus on expansion capital investments in cleantech companies. The fund closed well above the €100 million initial target. Launched by BeCitizen, Cobepa and La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild, BeCapital attracted interest mostly from European families with well diversified industrial and geographical backgrounds.

The private equity unit of Citic Securities, China’s biggest listed brokerage, has launched its third private equity fund, aiming to raise 12 billion yuan ($1.9 billion), two people with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters. Citic Private Equity Funds Management Co. also aims to raise 5 billion yuan for its mezzanine fund and has so far raised 3 billion yuan, one of the sources said.

The Comvest Group, the Florida-based private equity firm, beat its $500 million target for its fourth fund, nabbing $580 million for Comvest Investment Partners IV. The capital commitments in Comvest IV are from a diverse group of institutional investors, including U.S. state and city pension plans, insurance companies, college endowments, European government pension plans and global private equity funds of funds.

Stamford, Conn.-based Daniel R. Frank, in conjunction with MM Dillon & Co., has launched Sea Dragon Healthcare Partners LP, a new health care fund that will invest in U.S.-based companies with a focus on medical devices and technology, diagnostics imaging and specialty pharmaceuticals. The fund has already secured approximately $15 million in seed round funding from internal sources and close associates and has closed on its first investment, GlucoTec Inc.The Gores Group, of Los Angeles, has retained Evergreen Capital Partners and its principals, John A. Janitz and Dominick J. Schiano, to provide strategic and operational advisory services to the firm on an exclusive basis.

H.I.G. Capital has acquired certain assets of Dallas-based CLO manager WhiteHorse Capital. Terms of the deal were not released. The new company, H.I.G. WhiteHorse, will provide senior, second lien, uni-tranche, mezzanine and subordinated debt for refinancings, growth capital, acquisitions and balance sheet recaps.

Investec Specialist Bank has provided a €15 million loan ($20 million) to F&C European Capital Partners LP, a private equity fund of funds focusing on European mid-market buyout, mezzanine and co-investments. The loan will fund F&C European Capital Partners LP fund, which closed in June 2008 with commitments of €173 million. The funding will enable F&C to introduce a moderate amount of gearing to the fund and also enable it to manage the investment inflows and outflows and smooth potential future draw downs.

Chicago-based mortgage lending specialist Innovative Capital Advisors has partnered with Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate, a full-service real estate firm, to launch ICA Real Estate Equity Fund I, a $50 million investment fund seeking commercial real estate acquisition and investment opportunities. The fund is being managed by Peter Mavrogenes, senior managing director and CEO of ICA, and Tim Blum, executive vice president of HSA Commercial. Both are finance and real estate veterans and principal investors in the fund’s first installment.

Mid-market firm J.F. Lehman & Co. held a final close of its new fund, JFL Equity Investors III LP, with commitments of $575.5 million, the firm announced. The fund closed above its original target of $450 million. Based in New York, the firm focuses on the defense, aerospace and maritime industries.

Lightyear Capital LLC, the financial services specialist founded by former Paine Webber Group Inc. CEO Don Marron, is closing in on its $800 million fundraising target for its third buyout fund, with about $653.8 million from third parties and some $700 million altogether including personal commitments from its executives, a source said.

Newsummit Pharmaceutical Group, a China-based biomedical development company backed by Sequoia Capital, has partnered with an Northeastern Ohio economic development spinoff called the Cleveland Bio Fund. Together, the two will invest $100 million in medical device startups looking to enter the Chinese market.

Onex Corp.’s ONCAP raised a third fund. The listed investment firm closed its third fund with C$800 million ($762 million) committed. The fund will consist of $520 million in outside capital and $280 million that is being contributed from Onex. In June, ONCAP III completed its first transaction with the acquisition of Hopkins Manufacturing Corp.Quercus Asset Selection Sarl, the Luxembourg-based management company of the Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, a leading investor in the Italian photovoltaic market, has entered into a joint venture agreement with the British Foresight Group to boost its investments in the Italian renewable energy market.

RCP Advisors

said its seventh fund-of-funds came in at $300 million. Chicago-based RCP, a fund-of-funds firm, focuses on lower mid-market buyouts with funds between $100 million and $1 billion in committed capital.

Summit Partners is expected to close its latest growth equity fund at $2.5 billion in a week, several sources told peHub. Boston-based Summit began fundraising for the fund in March with a $3 billion target. The firm decided to reduce the size of the pool long ago, one person said. Summit has enough dry powder from a current fund that it felt it had enough capital, the source said.