Illinois To Invest $600M in PE

The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois adopted a plan earlier this month that will commit about $600 million to private equity.

The board said that the total amount invested will “depend on market conditions.” But of the $600 million in private equity allocation, half is earmarked for buyouts; $225 million is reserved for venture capital; special situations are allocated $50 million; and subordinated debt is due to receive $25 million.

The retirement system also agreed – at its board meetings May 19 and May 20 in Springfield, Ill. – to commit to three private equity funds.

* The board committed $45 million to Chicago-based Banc Funds’ Banc Fund VII. The fund will make buyout investments in U.S. sub-regional financial services firms. Banc Funds’ last fund, Banc Fund VI, closed in 2002 with $320 million, according to Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of PE Week).

* The board also committed $25 million to Wind Point Partners VI, a buyout fund managed by Southfield, Mich.-based buyout firm Wind Point Partners. The fund will target middle market companies. The firm closed Wind Point Partners V in 2001 with $476 million.

* It also committed $20 million to early-stage venture fund Granite Ventures’ second fund, Granite Ventures II. The first Granite Ventures fund closed in 2001 with $150 million.

Other private equity firms that the system has been a limited partner in include buyout firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Sandler Capital Management and Veronis Suhler & Associates and venture capital firms Frontenac Co., according to Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of PE Week).