Firms & Funds

AIF Capital Asia has closed its third pan-Asian private equity fund, with $435 million in capital commitments. The mid-market vehicle will focus on expansion capital, buyout and special situation opportunities in Asian companies with enterprise values of between $50 million and $500 million. Berchwood Partners served as placement agent.

Argus Capital Partners has closed its second fund with €262.73 million in capital commitments. It will focus on private equity opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Bank of New York is raising up to $200 million for a new mezzanine fund (BNY Mezzanine Partners), according to a regulatory filing. It already has secured around $130 million in capital commitments.

Brait Private Equity of South Africa closed its fourth private equity fund at around $900 million (including $700m in LP commitments and $150m in leverage).

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has approved five new fund commitments: $500 million to First Reserve Fund XI, Cdn$150 million to Richardson Capital Private Equity 2; Cdn$110 million to Tricor Pacific Capital Partners IV; ¥19 billion to Carlyle Japan Partners II and $50 million to Acon-Bastion Partners II.

Diamond Castle Holdings has closed its inaugural fund with $1.825 billion in capital commitments. The firm was founded in 2004 by former members of DLJ Merchant Banking, and already has committed $670 million of the fund capital to six companies: Catamount Energy Corp, Harbor Point Ltd., Buckeye Cash Checking, NES Rentals Holdings, PRC LLC and Bonten Media Group.

EQT has closed its fifth general fund with €4.25 billion in capital commitments. The Sweden-based firm will use the vehicle to make control plays for mid-market companies in Northern Europe. MVision Private Equity Advisors served as placement agent.

EQT has closed its second Greater China fund with $545 million in capital commitments. It will focus on mid-market buyout and control opportunities in, or connected to, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Evercore Partners has completed its acquisition of Braveheart Financial Services Ltd., a U.K.-based boutique financial advisory and investment management firm, for around $63 million.

HarbourVest Partners of Boston has closed its fifth international fund-of-funds with € 2.4 billion, and a parallel emerging markets fund with € 500 million.

J.F. Lehman & Co. has closed its second fund with $335.1 million in capital commitments. The New York-based firm focuses on middle-market opportunities in the defense, aerospace and maritime industries.

The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM) has issued an RFP for managers who will invest in opportunities that will “benefit of the economic climate of” Massachusetts. This includes alternative asset managers like venture capital and buyout funds. Proposals are due by March 9.

MetLife is looking to sell a large piece of the former Travelers Life & Annuity private equity portfolio on the secondaries market, according to LBO Wire. The fund positions are expected to be sold for a total of between $300 million and $400 million.

Norwest Equity Partners plans to close its Los Angeles office at year’s end, according to LBO Wire. The report says that three of the office’s four professionals will move to Norwest’s Minneapolis base, with partner Steven Burge opting to leave.

Providence Equity Partners has raised the cap for its sixth fund to $12 billion, according to LBO Wire. The media and communications-focused buyout firm had been targeting $10 billion, but is oversubscribed.

SAM Private Equity announced that its team has agreed to buy itself out and spin off into a new independent entity called Emerald Technology Ventures. The Switzerland-based venture capital firm will continue to focus on clean-tech opportunities, with former parent company Robeco to serve as majority shareholder.

JT Partners has formed as a New York-based placement agent for private equity firms, with a focus on real estate. It is backed by Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Ramius Capital Group. The team includes: Mitchell Sikora, managing director, former executive director in the Real Estate, Leisure and Lodging Group at UBS; Peter Finley, managing director, former executive director in the Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure Group at UBS; Gena Cheng, director, former portfolio manager with ABP Investments US; and Larry Teitelbaum, director, former vice president for Real Estate Equities Institutional Sales with Deutsche Bank Securities.