Former Citi PE Head Closes in on New Fund

Firm: Cohesive Capital Partners

Fund: Cohesive Capital Partners Fund LP

Target: $250 million

Placement Agent: None

Cohesive Capital Partners, a new firm formed by John Barber, a former managing partner of Citigroup Private Equity, expects to hold a first close of $100 million on its debut fund in the second quarter, a source familiar with the fundraising effort told Buyouts.

The firm is targeting $250 million for the fund, which, like Citi Private Equity, will specialize in co-investing in companies alongside other private equity firms. Citi Private Equity also made mezzanine investments and invested in buyout funds, but it’s unclear if Cohesive Capital will also pursue those strategies.

Barber declined to comment. He left Citigroup in January 2009 after 14 years with the company, including nine years in its private equity group, which he helped develop. Under Barber the firm raised two funds: a $400 million debut fund in 2000, followed by a $3.3 billion sophomore fund in January 2007.

Also under Barber, Citi’s PE group participated in such notable deals as the $6.3 billion buyout of investment manager Nuveen Investments Inc. with Madison Dearborn Partners, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and others in November 2007 and in the $7.3 billion buyout of Dollar General Corp. alongside Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in March 2007.

Barber began raising the fund in September 2009. No word yet on the names of any LPs that have committed to the fund.

Citigroup, meanwhile, is selling its $10 billion PE group, which oversees about $2 billion of the bank’s money, because it wants to shave off some debt, according to a Feb. 1 Bloomberg report. The group is headed by Managing Partners Todd Benson and Darren Friedman.