Firms & Funds

AIG Capital Partners has closed its New Europe Fund II with €525.5 million in capital commitments. The fund’s Warsaw-based team will focus on private equity opportunities in Central and Eastern European countries like Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltics. In other AIG news, the firm said that it is opening an office in Tianjin, China. It will be its second China office, following a Shanghai satellite established in 2002.

Axiom Asia, a Singapore-based private equity firm focused on Asia, has closed its inaugural fund with $440 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Comprehensive Financial Management, while Probitas Partners served as placement agent. Axiom Asia was formed last April by former GIC Special Investment pros Chihtsung Lam, Yewhong Goh and Edmond Ng, with Marc Lau joining soon after.

Baird Capital Partners has closed its fourth middle-market fund with $300 million in capital commitments. Limited partners include American Family Mutual Insurance, Hexagon Investments LLC, Robert W. Baird & Co., Northwestern Mutual Life and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Battery Ventures is planning to raise $750 million for its eighth fund, with marketing expected to begin within weeks. The fund will invest in venture capital, growth equity and buyout deals.

Bear Stearns Merchant Banking has teamed with China-based Eagle Investment Group to form a strategic alliance focused on opportunities in the Chinese retail sector. Each firm will commit $250 million to the platform, for a total of $500 million. Eagle is run by Wong Kwong Yu, founder of Chinese electronics retailer GOME Electrical Group.

Bertelsmann AG is forming a €1 billion fund that would focus on media-related private equity opportunities, according to The Financial Times. Bertelsmann would contribute €500 million, while partners Citigroup Private Equity and Morgan Stanley Principal Investments would commit the remainder.

EMAlternatives LLC has formed as an advisory focused on private equity opportunities in the emerging markets. The Washington, D.C.-based firm’s founders include: CIO Ernest Lambers, former head of emerging markets with AlpInvest Partners; managing partners Nick Morriss and John Stephens, co-founders and former partners with Cape Point Capital; and investment committee chair Christopher Wright, former global head of private equity with Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

Eos Partners has closed its fourth mid-market buyout fund, with $600 million in capital commitments.

F&C Investments has held a €112 million first close on a new private equity fund-of-funds focused on the European middle-markets. A final close on over €200 million is expected later this year.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System has issued an RFP for alternative investment consulting services. Proposals will be accepted through May 4. The system’s current contract with Cambridge Associates expires on April 30, 2008.

Providential Holdings Inc. (OTC BB: PRVH) has formed a $100 million private equity fund focused on Vietnamese companies seeking to go public in either Vietnam or the United States. This would include state-owned enterprises that are being privatized. The fund will be called Providential Capital.

RREEF Alternative Investments, a unit of Deutsche Bank Asset Management, has closed its inaugural secondaries fund with $775 million in capital commitments. As part of the closing, RREEF has agreed to purchase a “seed portfolio” of 97 private equity fund interests from Deutsche Bank for $415 million. Going forward, the fund will acquire secondary positions in existing partnerships and portfolios of direct investments. It also will provide co-investment capital.

Unitus Inc. of Redmond, Wash. has closed its inaugural private equity fund with $23.4 million in capital commitments. The vehicle will invest in microfinance institutions in Asia and Latin America.

TCW of Los Angeles is raising up to $1 billion for its fourteenth energy and infrastructure private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured around $115 million.

Vitruvian Capital, a UK-based firm formed last year by ex-Apax pro Toby Wyles, has held a €424 million first close on its inaugural fund.

Vulcan Capital of Seattle and Bankers’ Capital Group of Atlanta have agreed to form Vulcan Bankers Group LLC, a joint venture that will identify, acquire and manage banking sector in the Southeastern United States.