Firms & Funds

Alvarez & Marsal has opened a Boston office. It will be staffed by former Ernst & young pros Scott Soderstrom, Andrew Carroll and Daniel Madden. The firm also has opened an office in Beijing.

Angelo Gordon & Co. is planning to raise $900 million for its fourth turnaround fund. The main vehicle will be targeted at $700 million, with a $200 million reserve fund raised for deals in excess of $75 million. In other Angelo Gordon news, the firm has hired Jeff Fienberg as a managing director and Harish Nataraj as a senior associate. Feinberg previously was a managing director with Alvarez & Marsal, while Nataraj was with Kohlberg & Co.

Apollo Investment Corp. (Nasdaq: AINV) raised $260 million via a secondary public offering of 13 million common shares at $20 per share.

Barclays Private Equity has raised €2.4 billion for its third European mid-market buyout fund. Barclays Capital provided €650 million for the fund, which follows a €1.65 billion vehicle that closed in 2005. That fund is now more than 85% invested, with more than 25% of drawn capital already returned to limited partners.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has committed $546 million to Standard Life Investments Ltd., which will invest the money in European middle-market buyout funds.

Cape Natexis has closed its new fund with €195 million in capital commitments. The firm will focus on small and mid-cap buyouts of companies in Northern Italy – particularly around the “Golden Triangle” of Lombardia, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. A small amount of capital also will be used for selective investments in China. Acanthus Advisers served as placement agent.

The Carlyle Group has closed its third European buyout fund with $7 billion in capital commitments. The firm’s first European buyout fund closed in 1998 with €1 billion, while its next one closed on €1.8 billion in 2005. It has invested €3.7 billion to date in European buyouts, and returned €7.2 billion to limited partners. As of today, Carlyle manages 55 active funds with $75.6 billion in commitments.

CDC Group has committed $70 million to Navis Asia Fund V, and $10 million to Aureos Malaysia Fund.

Friedman Fleischer & Lowe has held a $980 million first close for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. The San Francisco-based firm is targeting $1.5 billion and is using Lazard Freres as placement agent. It makes middle-market investments in the U.S. and Canada, for companies with enterprise values of between $30 million and $500 million. Its second fund closed on $750 million in 2004.

KRG Capital Partners, a Denver-based mid-market firm, held a $770 million first close on its fourth fund, according to LBO Wire. The vehicle is being marketed with a $1.9 billion cap.

Lehman Brothers and the State of New Jersey have formed a $105 million private equity fund, focused on investments that will help “drive economic growth” in New Jersey. It is called the New Jersey Direct Investment Fund, with Lehman serving as GP and the state serving as the primary LP.

Nogales Investors Management has closed its second fund with $245 million in capital commitments. The Los Angeles-based firm will continue to invest between $10 million and $30 million in middle-market companies. It was founded by former Univision president Luis Nogales, and also includes partners Mark Mickelson and Steve Sebastian (joined in July from Westar Capital).

PPM Capital, the private equity arm of Prudential, has confirmed that the spinout from its parent should close in the fourth quarter. PPM also is in the process of raising capital for its first independent fund, which is expected to conclude at around the same time as the spinout.

The Private Equity Council spent $660,000 to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007, according to a recent disclosure form. Its lobbyists focused on carried interest tax legislation, and lobbied Congress, the Treasury Department and the White House.

Saw Mill Capital has closed its first traditional fund with $270 million in capital commitments. The Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.-based firm previously operated as a “fundless sponsor,” and acquires manufacturing and service companies with enterprise values of between $25 million and $150 million.

Snow Phipps Group has closed its debut fund with $620 million in capital commitments. The New York-based firm will focus on middle-market investments, and was founded by Ian Snow and Ogden Phipps. The firm also features seven operating partners, including Jim Amos (former CEO of Mail Boxes Etc.), Paul Chellgren (former CEO of Ashland Inc.), Andrew Megibow (former COO of Ellen Tracy), Halsey Minor (former CEO of CNET Networks), Joy Schafer (former CEO of WFS Financial), Leif Soderberg (former CSO of Motorola) and Jay Twombly (former president of SPX’s Edwards Systems Tech division).

Thoma Cressey Bravo is talking to LPs about splitting into two independent operations, according to Private Equity Insider. The discussions are still in their early phase, but would result in name partners Orlando Bravo and Carl Thoma running one firm, with healthcare specialist Bryan Cressey running another.

White & Black Legal LLP has launched as an Oxford, UK-based firm focused on corporate finance, venture capital and technology law. Its managing partner is Phil Riman, who previously was lead council at 3i Group.