Firms & Funds

American Beacon Advisors is raising up to $250 million for its third private equity fund-of-funds, according to a regulatory filing. The vehicle is called American Private Equity Partners III, and so far has secured over $13 million in capital commitments. Foreside Fund Services is serving as a placement agent. The Fort Worth, Texas-based firm’s second fund of funds closed on $145.7 million in July 2006.

Antin Infrastructure Partners said that it hopes to secure more than €600 million for its debut fund by the end of Q1 2009, including an existing €300 million cornerstone commitment from BNP Paribas. The overall fund target is €1 billion.

The Blackstone Group has scaled back the size of a planned Asia-focused hedge fund, according to The Wall Street Journal. The vehicle was originally expected to be between $500 million and $1 billion, but will now be sized at around $200 million.

CalPERS publicly disclosed three new private equity fund commitments: $500 million to Blackstone Capital Partners VI, $100 million to Aisling Capital III and €150 million to Candover 2008.

Calvert Street Capital Corp. has withdrawn registration for a $65 million IPO, which it had filed for in November 2007. The firm provides equity and debt financing to mid-sized companies, and had planned to trade on the Nasdaq.

The CapStreet Group, a Houston-based private equity firm focused on the lower middle-markets, has secured more than $80 million for a first close on its third fund. It is targeting a total of $200 million.

Climate Change Capital said that it plans to invest 5 billion yuan ($732m) in Chinese environmental projects over the next two to three years, including industrial waste management and clean technology efforts.

Crown Capital Partners has raised C$250 million for a new fund that will make private equity and debt investments in mid-market Canadian companies.  

EQT Partners has raised €1.2 billion for an infrastructure fund that will focus on opportunities in Northern and Eastern Europe. Limited partners include Investor AB, AP4, Skandia, Pantheon Ventures and Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co.

Evercore Partners has launched a wealth management group, led by former U.S. Trust chairman and CEO Jeff Maurer.

Hastings Equity Partners is raising up to $100 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured around $56 million in capital commitments. The Waltham, Mass.-based firm focuses on buyouts of small-cap and mid-cap companies.

Ladder Capital Finance has been formed as a specialty finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry. It has raised approximately $1 billion in equity and debt, co-led by Towerbrook Capital Partners and GI Partners. (A previous version of this item incorrectly referred to Global Infrastructure Partners.)

MerchantBridge and UBS AG have formed a 50/50 joint venture to make private equity investments in the Middle East. Each firm has committed an initial $40 million, and hopes to raise a total of $500 million.

MKS Partners, a Japanese private equity firm formed in 1982, has decided to stop investment and sell its three existing portfolio companies.

Nordic Capital has closed its seventh fund with €4.3 billion in capital commitments. It will focus on mid-cap and large-cap buyouts in the Nordic market and other parts of Europe.

Nova Capital Management Ltd., a UK-based buyer of direct secondaries, is raising €300 million for its first official fund, according to LBO Wire. It had previously raised capital on an individual deal basis, since its 2002 formation.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Britain’s second-largest pension scheme, is considering a sharp boost in its alternative asset allocation. Its current exposure to the asset class – in which it includes both private equity and commodities – is currently at 8%, but the revised target could be as high as 30 percent.

Vanterra Capital has held a $152 million first close on its debut fund-of-funds, and expects to hit its $300 million target early next year. The New York-based firm focuses on opportunities in the lower middle-markets, and is managed by Shad Azimi (former principal with New York Life Capital Partners), Alan Quasha (CEO of Quadrant Management) and Jason Young (managing director of Quadrant Management).