Firms & Funds

3i Group said that the value of its assets under management rose 37 percent for the year ending in March. Its return-on-investment was 18.6 percent, compared to 26.8 percent the prior year.

American Capital Strategies has committed $300 million to help form Core Business Credit, a commercial finance company that will provide asset-based financing to middle market companies in the U.S. Core Business Credit also has secured a $125 million senior credit facility from Autobahn Funding Co.

Apollo Management is planning to raise a $1 billion European real estate debt fund, after hiring a team of debt specialists from Stoneleigh Capital.

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holdings announced plans to diversify its holdings by selling off certain existing local assets and making new investments in foreign companies, including in the North American service sectors.

Baring Private Equity Asia has raised nearly $1.52 billion for its fourth fund, which will focus on mid-market growth opportunities throughout Asia. Approximately 30 percent of the fund has already been invested.

The Blackstone Group announced the formation of Blackstone Altius Advisors, an event-driven fund focused on opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. It will be led by Aaron Nieman, who previously was with S.A.C. Capital Management as a managing director in the Canvas Capital Management division. The deal also includes chief operating officer Christopher Pesce, who previously was global head of prime brokerage at Bank of America.

Capital International has raised $2.25 billion for its fifth private equity fund focused on emerging markets. It already has committed approximately 25 percent of the fund in six investments.

The Carlyle Group announced an agreement with China’s Shangdong Province to enhance trade cooperation and stimulate investment in the province. The deal involves Carlyle committing to put resources and capital into the province in exchange for government recommendations for investment opportunities.

CB Richard Ellis has raised $2.1 billion for its fifth real estate private equity fund. The vehicle is expected to have $6.4 billion in purchasing power, including leverage.

DBG Eastern Europe has re-branded itself as Arx Equity Partners as it raises a new fund independent from former parent Deutsche Bank.

Fortress Investment Group reported a $69 million net loss in Q1, compared with a $62.1 million net profit in Q1 2007.

Greenhill & Co. has formed a private equity fund placement group. It will be run by Christopher Kirsten, who previously ran the private fund marketing group at Lehman Brothers. Also joining are Lehman vets Patrick Dunleavy, Neil Banta, Dave Brown and Meghan Kelly.

Investcorp is considering the formation of a $1 billion distressed debt fund.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has formed a team to invest in infrastructure assets on a global basis. It is being run by former Lazard infrastructure chief George Bilicic.

The Korea Teachers’ Pension Corp. has retained Goldman Sachs Asset Management to manage 300 billion won ($290.6m), via overseas investments and strategic partnerships. The commitment lasts through 2011, with Goldman beating out 15 other asset managers.

Legatum and Omidyar Network have each committed $20 million to Unitus Equity Fund II, a nonprofit microfinance fund focused on the poor in developing nations.

Lime Rock Partners has closed its fifth fund with $1.4 billion in capital commitments. The firm focuses on private equity investments in the global energy sector.

Morgan Stanley has raised $4 billion for a new infrastructure private equity fund.

NewSpring Capital is raising up to $150 million for its second healthcare buyout fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured at least $55 million.

Oaktree Capital Management has raised $10.6 billion for its eighth fund (OCM Opportunities Fund VIII), according to LBO Wire. The Los Angeles-based distressed firm has not yet made a capital call on the new vehicle, but has fully invested its $3.5 billion predecessor.

Onex Corp. reported C$45 million in Q1 profits, down from C$149 million in Q1 2007.

Partners Group, a Switzerland-based alternative asset manager, has opened an office in Beijing. It will be run by partner Linda Cai.

Performance Equity Management is looking to raise between $700 million and $800 million for its second fund-of-funds, according to VentureWire. Performance Equity Management was formed in 2005, as an independent spinout by the private equity team at GM Investment Management. Its debut fund closed on $650 million in 2006.

Pfingsten Partners has closed its fourth fund with $525 million in capital commitments. The Chicago-based firm focuses on middle-market opportunities in the manufacturing, distribution and business service sectors.

PPM Capital has changed its name to Silverfleet Capital, six months after spinning out from Prudential PLC. The European firm remains responsible for managing approximately €700 million of existing investments on behalf of Prudential’s UK Life Fund, alongside a newly-raised independent fund.

Rodman & Renshaw Group has agreed to acquire the operating assets of COSCO Capital Management, a private I-bank focused on the oil and gas sectors. No financial terms were disclosed.

Sirius Group of Singapore is targeting S$30 million (US$22m) for a new fund that will invest in growth and expansion-stage companies in Singapore. It has held a S$15 million first close.

Tygris Commercial Finance Group, a new mid-market lender, has formed with over $1.75 billion in equity commitments. Leading the deal were Aquiline Capital Partners, New Mountain Capital and TPG Capital. Diamond Castle Holdings and Hamilton Lane also participated. In related news, Tygris has agreed to acquire equipment finance company US Express Leasing Inc. from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, and mid-market healthcare equipment finance company MarCap LLC. No financial terms for either acquisition were disclosed.