Fund News In Brief

Bank Hapoalim and its investment banking subsidiary Poalim Capital Markets have set up a fund to invest in technology companies that focus on developing products for the financial sector, Reuters reported. Over the next three to five years, the fund will allocate about 80 million shekels ($21.3 million) for investment in financial technology companies. Poalim Capital Markets has experience in private equity, venture capital funds and investments in technology companies and will lead the investment activities of the project.

European buyout house BC Partners has reached a final close on BC European Capital IX at the fund’s hard cap of €6.5 billion ($8.62 billion). There was strong demand from both existing and new investors leading to a 60 percent increase in the firm’s investor base and a fund size 14 percent larger than the preceding fund.

Chinese brokerages are lobbying the government to allow them to launch buyout funds and make alternative investments as the country’s securities regulator plans to reinvigorate the struggling sector, Reuters reported. In recent meetings with the China Securities Regulatory Commission, major brokerages have proposed that the watchdog expand their business scope, loosen capital rules and give them more power in marketing and pricing initial public offerings, a CSRC document distributed to brokerages and seen by Reuters showed.

Guinness Asset Management announced that its Guinness EIS Fund 3 was now open for investment. This fund will invest in British sustainable infrastructure companies through the tax-efficient EIS structure, the firm said. Specific details of the fund were not released.

China-focused private equity firm HAO Capital is reported be launching its third U.S. dollar fund this year, Reuters reported. Founder and partner Elaine Wong, who previously worked at the Carlyle Group, said two thirds of HAO Capital’s second dollar fund had been invested, and added that she expects two portfolio companies to conduct IPOs in China this year, Reuters wrote.

Swedish private equity firm IK Investment Partners is more than half way to raising the full €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) it is seeking for its seventh fund, Reuters reported. The firm is near to announcing a first close for the fund. IK, which manages €5.7 billion in four active private equity funds, intends to invest the fund in manufacturing, health care and service industries. Its last fund launch, in 2007, also raised €1.7 billion.

Indian real estate fund Indiareit Fund Advisors is planning to raise a $500 million offshore fund to invest in Indian development products, Reuters reported. Indiareit Fund Advisors is a unit of drugmaker Piramal Healthcare.

L Capital Management, the buyout fund formed by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Group, has closed its new fund, L Capital 3 FCPR, with €400 million ($527 million). The Paris-based private equity firm said its original fundraising target was €350 million. L Capital 3 will invest in mid-market European lifestyle brands and selective retail companies, the firm said.

Private equity firm NewGate Capital Partners and its partner, White Challis Redevelopment, have launched the NewGate White Challis Urban Redevelopment Fund, the firms announced. The fund is designed to enable redevelopment of underutilized historic properties in central and southeast Florida. The size of the fund was not disclosed.

Aje Saigal, a consultant at the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. sovereign wealth fund, is setting up Nuvest Capital, a fund that will target capital growth of 4 to 5 percent per year above inflation, according to a fund document seen by Reuters. GIC is seeding Nuvest Capital, which will manage the global multi-asset Nuvest Global Fund with an emphasis on emerging markets, Reuters wrote. The Singapore-based fund will be launched in early July, sources told Reuters.

UK-based Palio Capital Partners is fundraising for its maiden fund, which will provide senior debt and mezzanine loans to businesses with an enterprise value of between £10 million ($15.8 million) and £100 million. The European Investment Fund has already pledged a cornerstone investment to Palio’s Superflex Fund I LP, taking the fund a third of the way to its first close of £100 million.

PZU, a Polish insurer, is in talks with private equity firms to set up PZU International, a 13 billion zloty ($4.1 billion) investment vehicle for foreign acquisitions, Andrzej Klesyk, the company’s chief executive, Reuters reported, citing the Rzeczpospolita daily. PZU’s commitment, estimated at 6 billion to 7 billion zlotys, is to represent 40 percent to 45 percent of the project’s equity, Reuters wrote.

Thoma Bravo has raised $1.25 billion for its newest fund, Thoma Bravo Fund X, the firm announced. peHub reported on fundraising efforts for the new fund last October. Thoma Bravo completed its first platform acquisition for Fund X in January when it acquired Telestream, a provider of live and on-demand digital video tools. More recently, the firm led an investment group that took private Blue Coat Systems, a provider of Web security and WAN optimization technology.