Hellman & Friedman poised to close on $8.4B

Hellman & Friedman is preparing to close on its sixth fund, Hellman & Friedman VI, having raised about $8.4 billion in commitments, including $250 million from the firm. The target for the fund was $8 billion.

Several limited partners confirmed that the closing was imminent. The firm declined comment.

Among returning LPs is the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System, which agreed to invest $20 million. Previous backers include Bell Atlantic Corp., Chase Capital Partners, Columbia University, the New York State Comptroller’s Office and the Virginia Retirement System.

The firm raised $3.5 billion for fund V in 2004.

Hellman & Friedman, with offices in San Francisco, London and New York, raised its first fund in 1987, three years after inception. It prefers writing equity checks in the range of $200 million to $750 million in media, telecommunications, financial services, technology and marketing industries. The firm doesn’t take fees from portfolio companies, except when participating in club deals.

High-profile deals sponsored by Hellman & Friedman include its $225 million minority-stake investment in advertising giant Young & Rubicam, and the take-private of Internet advertising company DoubleClick Inc., which it bought in a deal that also involved JMI Equity.

The firm made a splash in 2004 buying Texas Genco Holdings for $3.7 billion as part of a consortium that included The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and TPG. The consortium sold Texas Genco for $8.3 billion, generating a large windfall, after a hold period of under two years. —Mark Cecil