Firms & Funds

Activa Capital of France has closed its second buyout fund with €315 million in capital commitments. The firm has a generalist strategy, with a particular interest in businesses within the following sectors: food and consumer goods, healthcare/pharma and business/support services.

AlixPartners, a Southfield, Mich.-based corporate restructuring and consulting firm, has opened its first Chinese office in Shanghai.

European Capital has opened a Frankfurt office, which will focus on mezzanine opportunities. It is the firm’s third European office, following London and Paris, and will be led by managing director Robert von Finckenstein.

The Carlyle Group and MHI Hospitality Corp. (AMEX: MDH) have entered into a joint venture to source, underwrite, acquire, develop and operate hotel assets and/or hotel portfolios. Carlyle has committed up to $100 million in equity capital, while Perseus Realty Capital acted as agent and arranger. Under terms of the agreement, MHI will identify potential investment opportunities in excess of $30 million, and the joint venture partners will jointly agree on an investment’s suitability prior to capital commitment.

Citi has agreed to acquire Bisys Group Inc. (NYSE: BSG) for $1.45 billion. Bisys shareholders would receive $11.85 per share in cash, plus a $0.15 special dividend. Citi said that it would retain Bisys’ investment services division, which includes its fund services and alternative investment services businesses. It plans to sell the Bisys retirement and insurance services division to J.C. Flowers & Co.Daiwa Securities Group Inc. has acquired just over a 20% equity interest in Sagent Advisors Inc., a New York-based boutique investment bank. The deal was valued at $52 million, with Daiwa to transfer its New York-based M&A team to Sagent. In addition, Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. Ltd.—a joint venture between Daiwa Securities Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.—has formed a business alliance with Sagent, which will add a focus on Japanese-related transactions.

Doughty Hanson & Co. has closed its fifth fund with €3.125 billion in capital commitments, including €125 million from the general partners. Limited partners include: Allianz Private Equity, HarbourVest Partners, Ilmarinen Insurance, JP Morgan Asset Management, Morley Fund Management, Partners Group, Pantheon Ventures, the State of Michigan public employee pension fund, the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) and Verizon Investment Management.

Fortress Investment Group has held a $2.84 billion first close for a new private equity fund focused on opportunities in North America and Western Europe. The fund has a total cap of $5 billion, which will include $1 billion from Fortress management.

The Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund has made the following fund commitments: $50 million to Silver Lake Partners III; $20 million to Technology Partners Fund VIII; $8.5 million to Horsley Bridge Growth VII; $50 million to Lehman Brothers Fund XVIII; and $30 million to Oaktree Capital Management Opportunities Fund VII.

Leucadia Capital Partners has launched as a provider of private equity investment management and advisory services. Its three principals previously were with Pacific Corporate Group. They are Monte Brem, Tom Keck and Jose Fernandez. Its initial clients are the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Kuwait Investment Authority.

PAI Partners reportedly is pre-marketing a fifth fund that may target €6 billion. Its current fund was capped two years ago at €2.7 billion. UBS will serve as placement agent.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement Board has approved commitments to the following funds: $40 million to Battery Ventures VIII; $25 million to SB Energy Partners I; $50 million to Asia Alternatives Capital Partner; $25 million to Highland Consumer Fund; and $30 million to Energy Spectrum Partners V. It also has extended interview invitations to CID Greater China Fund II, Founders Fund II and W Capital Fund II.

Riordan, Lewis & Haden has closed its latest fund with $265 million in capital commitments. The Los Angeles-based private equity firm was founded 25 years ago and focuses on high-growth mid-market companies.

The Riverside Company has formed an investor relations and fundraising team that will be led by Christine Croissant, who has spent the past six years with Riverside as director of marketing and communications. Joining her will be Avi Turetsky, assistant director of fundraising and IR, formerly a sell-side M&A advisor with Goldsmith Agio Helms; and Pam Koberg, IR coordinator, former client services manager with Elevation Group. In related news, Leslie Hardin has resigned as the firm’s chief administrative officer. Riverside also has promoted Graham Hearns to director of marketing and communications, and Anita Begovic to marketing coordinator.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has opened an office in Beijing, which will focus on M&A, private equity and capital market transactions. The office will be led by new hire Douglas Markel, who previously was an M&A partner with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Stonehenge Growth Capital has raised $200 million for a junior debt fund that will support privately held lower-middle-market businesses.

Velocity Financial Group Inc. has launched as a specialty finance company focused on middle-market and venture-backed technology companies. Its initial capitalization is approximately $400 million, with American Capital Strategies serving as lead sponsor and investor. Velocity was co-founded by former Comdisco executives Frank Cirone and Jan Haas.