Firms & Funds

Alchemy Partners may try to raise £1 billion for a new distressed fund, according to a Financial Times interview with firm head Jon Moulton. It had raised a £300 million distressed fund in March 2007.

Aramid Capital Partners, a British firm that finances film and television projects with investors from Future Capital Partners, Screen Capital International and Stonehenge Capital, is seeking $350 million for a new fund, according to industry reports.

Arx Equity Partners has held an €83 million first close on its third fund, which will focus on mid-market opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Baird Capital Partners is raising upwards of $400 million for its fifth fund, according to a regulatory filing. The Milwaukee-based firm closed its fourth fund in 2006 with $300 million.

Beechbrook Capital has received a $75 million commitment for its debut mezzanine fund, from FRM Capital Advisors. London-based Beechbrook plans to hold a second close next year.

Bridgepoint has closed its fourth European buyout fund, with EUR 4.8 billion in capital commitments.

Close Brothers has opened a Zurich office. It will be run by Jarg Glesti, who previously was with BNP Paribas.

Darby Overseas Investments, a private equity firm owned by Franklin Templeton Investments, has raised Rs 6.3 Billion ($147 Million) for a private equity fund that invests in Indian retail companies.

EQT Partners has opened a new office in Warsaw. It will be led by new partner Piotr Czapski, who previously was on the board of Polish telecom operator Netsia SA and, before that, led McKinsey & Co.’s business tech practice in Eastern Europe.

Guggenheim Aviation Partners has launched an office in Singapore, and hired Stephen Barnes as director of marketing in Asia. Barnes previously was treasurer of Singapore Airlines.

Hellman & Friedman will not lower the size of its latest fund in the market, which has a target of $10 billion, LBOWire reported. The firm’s seventh fund has an $11 bilion hard cap and it plans to hold a first close in January.

Hermes Focus Asset Management, the public equities arm of U.K.-based fund manager Hermes, is looking to launch a new “cross over” fund. The new effort would be headquartered in Germany, and would target large minority PIPE deals and take-private bids of public companies.

Intermediate Capital Group, a UK-based listed mezzanine and leveraged loan firm, has closed its second Asia-Pacific fund with $1 billion in capital commitments.

Invesco is raising up to $500 million for its fifth international private equity fund-of-funds, according to a regulatory filing.

Jefferies Capital Partners is targeting $800 million for its fifth fund, according to LBO Wire.

KCPII, a £500 million UK-based buyout fund backed by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, has been sized. Administrators Smith & Williamson have named centE Investors as the new fund manager.

Kirkland & Ellis is setting up a private equity funds practice in Asia. The effort will be run out of Hong Kong, with partner Justin Dolling relocating from London and partner Albert Cho relocating from New York.

Private Equity Investors Inc. is raising up to $250 million for its fifth secondaries fund, according to a regulatory filing. So far, it has secured over $112 million in capital commitments.

Riverwood Capital (f.k.a. Bigwood Capital) is seeking $1.25 billion for its first institutional fund, according to LBO Wire. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm focuses on growth equity opportunities in tech hardware and hardware-related companies. It is run by Michael Marks, former KKR partner and Flextronics CEO.

Tenaska Capital Management has closed its second fund with $2.4 billion in capital commitments. The Omaha, Neb.-based firm focuses on private equity opportunities in the U.S. energy industry. Greenhill & Co. served as fund placement agent.

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) has opened a 20-person office in London.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System has approved a $25 million commitment to the Yucaipa American Alliance Fund II.

Vicente Capital Partners has closed its first growth equity fund with $150 million in capital commitments. The Los Angeles-based firm will invest between $5 million and $15 million in companies that have between $2 million and $25 million in revenue and up to $5 million of EBITDA. Vicente was previously known as Kline Hawkes & Co., although Frank Kline is not part of the new effort.