Firms & Funds

Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG) has agreed to acquire private equity fund-of-funds manager Pantheon Ventures from Russell Investments. The deal is valued at $775 million in cash, plus the possibility of additional earn-outs over the next five years. Russell Investments had purchased Pantheon in 2003.

Arcapita, a Bahrain-based Islamic investment house with offices in Atlanta, posted a $159 million second-quarter loss, Reuters reported. The loss was attributed to a slump in placement fee income and decreased asset valuations.

ATP, manager of Denmark’s $112 billion pension system, plans to increase its private equity and hedge fund allocations.

Bank of Communications, China’s fifth-largest lender, plans to raise between $250 million and $500 million for a China-focused private equity fund.

Blackstone Group plans to reopen its Germany office this fall, according to The Wall Street Journal. It will be led by Axel Herberg, CEO of German packaging company Gerresheimer AG, who will formally join Blackstone in June.

Clarity Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, is raising up to $650 million for its second China-focused fund, according to a regulatory filing. Clarity’s first China fund closed in 2007 with $220 million in capital commitments.

Evercore Partners (NYSE: EVR) has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Trilantic Capital Partners, a private equity firm formed last year by the former principals of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking. As part of the deal, Evercore has committed up to $50 million for Trilantic’s next fund. The deal will not affect Evercore’s existing private equity vehicles, which will continue to be managed independent of Trilantic.

FedCap Partners, a Reston, Va.-based private equity firm focused on the Federal contracting industry, has held a first close on $15.5 million for its debut fund. According to a regulatory filing, the fund target is $30 million.

Foundation Energy Company is seeking $100 million in capital for its third fund, according to an SEC filing. The firm, based in Dallas, has raised $23 million in commitments to date. The firm’s second fund was closed in 2007.

Greycroft Partners has secured $115 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing. The listed target is $128 million. The New York-based firm was launched in 2006 by Alan Patricof, and focuses on early-stage digital media companies. It originally raised $55 million for its debut fund, but later expanded the size to $75 million, following the additions of partners Dana Settle (former venture partner with Mayfield Fund) and Drew Lipsher (former Universal Music Group exec).

Insight Equity, a Dallas-based private equity firm focused on the middle markets, announced that it has closed its second fund at $525 million, including $90 million for mezzanine investing. peHUB previously reported that the original target was $750 million.

Invision Capital is raising up to $50 million for its debut fund, according to a regulatory filing. The Chicago-based firm plans to focus on buyout investments in the lower middle-markets. Invision’s principals include: Robert Castillo, a founder partner of Valor Equity Partners; Thomas Harrison, a co-founder of Diamond Creek Capital; and John Devaney, also a co-founder of Diamond Creek Capital. The firm already has secured more than $15 million in commitments.

Jesup & Lamont Inc. (Amex: JLI) has agreed to merge with Tri-Artisan Capital Partners, a New York-based merchant bank focused on private equity and M&A advisory services. Under terms of the agreement, Tri-Artisan shareholders would receive around $9.25 million worth of Jesup & Lamont common stock and $15.74 million of convertible preferred stock. The deal’s close is predicated on an equity capital raise.

Merlin Nexus (fka Merlin BioMed) is raising its fourth fund with a $75 million target, according to VentureWire. The New York-based firm raised around $43 million in 2008 for its third fund, which invests in both public and late-stage private companies.

Nataxis said that it is in talks to sell its French private equity business to AXA for around €507 million.

New York Common Retirement Fund reported a 22.3 percent rate of return through Dec. 31, 2009, which is the end of the Fund’s third fiscal quarter.

New York Life Capital Partners is raising upwards of $1 billion for its third mezzanine fund, according to a regulatory filing. Southridge Investment Group is listed as a placement agent. NYLCP closed its second mezz fund in 2006, with $800 million in capital commitments. It manages more than $6.8 billion in total assets, including direct private equity, mezzanine and limited partner stakes in third-party PE funds

The Public School Employees Retirement System of Pennsylvania (PSERS) announced that a 4.09 percent gain in investment performance for the fourth quarter of 2009, and 12.06 percent gain for the year. The system’s private markets performance for the quarter was 7.00 percent and -9.62 percent for the year.

Quadrangle Group will no longer manage approximately $5 billion in personal assets of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Instead, the team managing Bloomberg’s monies will spin out into an independent organization, with Quadrangle refocusing on its core private equity business.

Religare Enterprises Ltd., an Indian financial services group, agreed to take a controlling stake in private equity firm Northgate Capital, as part of a $1 billion plan to build a global asset management business.

RLH Equity Partners has agreed to partner with Jim Morley to seek portfolio company acquisitions in the consumer durables space. Morley and RLH previously worked together on both Igloo Products and Enviroworks.

Temasek Holdings, a state-owned investment house in Singapore, said that it is selling up a new multi-billon dollar investment firm that will be led by chief strategist Charles Ong. Few additional details were disclosed.

TVM Capital has launched a Shari’a-compliant growth equity fund focused on health care companies in the MENA region. It already has $40 million in founding commitments from Saudi Health Investment Co., the International Finance Corporation and GE Healthcare. The fund is led by managing director Marios Fotiadis, who previously was a general partner with TVM in Munich and Boston. Other investment pros include Youssef Haidar, formerly managing director with Unifund Capital.