Firms & Funds

Catalyst Microfinance Investors has received $125 million in capital commitments, which will be used for microfinance investments in Asia and Africa. Backers include TIAA-CREF and Dutch pension fund ABP.

Conversus Capital has agreed to acquire a portfolio of private equity fund interests from CalPERS. The portfolio has a net asset value of approximately $189 million and around $25 million in unfunded commitments, as of June 30, 2007. Conversus was joined by four syndicate partners, including Oak Hill Investment Management, which also owns a stake in Conversus.

Duff & Phelps Corp. has formed a special situations M&A practice, focused on middle-market companies.

J.C. Flowers & Co. is nearing an agreement to raise $4 billion from a Chinese sovereign wealth fund, according to The Financial Times. The capital would be used to invest in distressed financial institutions.

The Jordan Co., a New York-based middle-market buyout firm, has closed its second fund with $3.6 billion in capital commitments. It already has invested around 15 percent of the fund in four companies, including one in China. Limited partners include CalSTRS, CPP Investment Board, New Jersey Investment Board, Irish National Pensions Reserves Fund, Illinois State Board of Investment, New York State Teachers Retirement System and TIAA-CREF.

Kohlberg Capital has formed a new distressed investment platform called Pagnagos Katz Situational Investing. It will be run by Steven Pagnagos, former national practice leader of Kroll Zolfo Cooper’s Corporate Advisory & Restructuring practice, and Jonathan Katz, the founding partner of Special Situation Investing. Kohlberg Capital is a publicly-traded affiliate of mid-market buyout firm Kohlberg & Co.

Roark Capital Group has closed its second fund with $1 billion in capital commitments. The Atlanta-based firm focuses on mid-market opportunities in the food, restaurant, direct marketing, specialty retail and financial services spaces. Its first fund closed in March 2005 with $413 million.

WL Ross & Co. has closed its fourth fund with $4 billion in capital commitments. The firm focuses on financially-distressed companies, and became part of Invesco in October 2006.

York Capital Management has held a $425 million first close on a private equity fund that will focus on distressed middle-market companies, according to a regulatory filing. LBO Wire reports that the minimum target is $750 million, with a $1.5 billion hard cap.