Firms & Funds

Arsenal Capital Partners has opened an office in Shanghai, which is its first full-time presence in mainland China. Its first staffer is Steve Li, who previously was a senior executive with Arch Chemicals Inc.

The Blackstone Group has agreed to acquire GSO Capital Partners, for approximately $930 million. The cash and stock deal will be partially financed via Blackstone’s buy-back of $500 million in shares.

Blum Capital Partners has held a $1 billion first close on its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. The San Francisco-based firm has an upper target of $2.4 billion, and is using Triago as its placement agent.

Bridgepoint Capital has closed on approximately €2 billion for its fourth buyout fund, according to LBO Wire. The fund has a €4 billion target and €5 billion cap, with a final close expected sometime in Q2.

Cadent Energy Partners, a Rye Brook, N.Y.-based private equity firm focused on energy opportunities, has raised $231 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. Limited partners include CommonFund, University of Chicago and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CalPERS has agreed to acquire a 9.9 percent ownership position in tech-focused private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. No financial terms were disclosed, although the New York Times reported a price tag of approximately $275 million. CalPERS also committed to making additional commitments as a limited partner in Silver Lake funds. Evercore Partners served as financial advisor to Silver Lake on the deal, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted as legal advisor.

Challenger Equity Partners is raising its debut fund with a $200 million target, according to LBO Wire. The Dallas-based firm will focus on small buyouts and is run by Douglas Wheat.

Charlesbank Capital Partners has acquired a position in StoneCastle Partners, an asset management firm that invests in small and mid-sized banks. No financial terms were disclosed.

Crestview Partners of New York has raised $1.7 billion for its second fund, which is expected to hold a final close later this year with more than $2 billion.

Drum Capital has closed its second distressed and corporate turnaround fund-of-funds with $435 million in capital commitments. Champlain Advisors served as placement agent.

Fort Washington Capital Partners of Cincinnati is raising $400 million for its sixth fund of funds, according to a regulatory filing.

GenNx360 Capital Partners has closed its debut fund with more than $500 million in capital commitments. The New York-based firm plans to focus on underperforming B2B industrial companies with between $250 million and $1 billion in revenue. Its general partners are: Lloyd Trotter, who will retire next month as vice chairman of General Electric; Arthur Harper, former president and CEO of GE Equipment Services; and Ronald Blaylock, founder of Blaylock & Company.

Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based middle-market private equity firm, has raised $100 million for an annex fund to Gryphon Partners III, which closed in 2006 with $415 million. The move will help Gryphon delay its next fundraising drive until late 2008 or early 2009.

Horsley Bridge Partners of San Francisco is raising $1.75 billion for its ninth private equity fund-of-funds, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured around $973 million in commitments, including $375 million from foreign investors.

Lincoln International, a mid-market investment bank, has opened a London office. It already opertes offices in Chicago, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Vienna.

Morgan Stanley

has acquired a minority stake in NGEN Partners, a venture capital firm focused on cleantech opportunities. No financial terms were disclosed.

Oaktree Capital Management has acquired a minority stake in MTS Health Partners, a New York-based health care merchant bank. No financial terms were disclosed.

Pfingsten Partners is raising up to $400 million for its fourth private equity fund, according to a regulatory filing. The Deerfield, Ill.-based firm raised $285 million for its third fund back in 2003.

Quadrangle Debt Recovery Advisors has spun off from private equity firm Quadrangle Group, and has renamed itself Monarch Alternative Capital.

Sorenson Capital has closed its second fund with around $400 million in capital commitments. The Lehi, Utah-based firm’s debut fund closed on $250 million in May 2004, and invested in such companies as Omniture, MITY Enterprises, Provo Craft and Kiddie Kandids.

Stony Lane Partners

is targeting $750 million for its debut fund, according to LBO Wire. UBS is serving as placement agent. The firm was formed by Heico Acquisitions CEO Michael Heisley, and plans to make control deals for middle-market industrial companies in need of turnarounds.

Temasek Holdings Ltd., an investment arm of the Singapore government, said in a regulatory filing that it currently holds a 9.4 percent stake in Merrill Lynch. Late last month, Merrill said it would sell a 9.9 percent stake to Temasek for $4.4 billion, plus an option to purchase an additional $600 million in stock.

Yellowstone Capital Partners of Houston is targeting $50 million for its second alternative and renewable energy fund.