Firms & Funds

Blackstone Group has applied for a U.K. banking license.

Castle Harlan has secured around $800 million in capital commitments for its fifth fund, according to LBO Wire. A final close is expected later in the first quarter.

CBPE Capital, a U.K.-based mid-market private equity firm, has closed its eighth fund with £405 million in capital commitments. The firm began fundraising in the fourth quarter of 2008, and held a £270 million first close in April 2009. Its seventh fund closed on £360 million in 2004.

Citigroup Inc. is trying to move to London a New York lawsuit filed by U.K. private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, over that firm’s purchase of music business EMI Group.

Clearlake Capital has closed its second fund with more than $410 million in capital commitments. The New York-based turnaround firm was founded in 2006, in partnership with Reservoir Capital Group.

EDG Partners, an Atlanta-based private equity firm focused on underperforming health care companies, is raising upwards of $150 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured $10.5 million in capital commitments.

Masdar and Deutsche Bank have held a $265 million first close on a fund that will invest in expansion-stage and late-stage cleantech and renewable energy companies. Limited partners include Siemens, Japan Oil Development Co., Nippon Oil Corp., Development Bank of Japan and GE.

Mount Kellett Capital reportedly has cut approximately one-third of its Hong Kong staff, and has abandoned plans for a Beijing office. Earlier this month, the firm’s Greater China head Zhu Jianyi resigned.

Prudential Capital Partners has closed its third mezzanine fund with $965 million in capital commitments.

ShoreCap Management is raising $100 million for its second fund, which is focused on small business banks and microfinance institutions in low-income African and Asian countries. It has received a $10 million commitment from U.K. development finance institution CDC Group PLC.

South Korean tax officials are looking to impose a capital gains tax on foreign private equity firms existing South Korean deals, according to Dow Jones. The move reportedly is aimed at Lone Star Funds, which is expected to sell its stake in Korea Exchange Bank this year.

The Texas Permanent School Fund has hired two investment managers to oversee its first investments in private equity. The $22 billion system has retained Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group and NB Alternative Advisers as discretionary advisors, each with $650 million mandates.