Landmark Puts Hybrid Secondary Fund On Hold

Landmark Partners has temporarily shelved fundraising efforts for its new hybrid secondaries fund, a source close to the situation has told Buyouts.

The Simsbury, Conn.-based secondaries investor launched Hybrid Secondary Fund LP earlier this year to invest in buyout funds which are less than 50 percent funded. The fund had a $400 million target and Merrill Lynch was acting as its placement agent.

The effort, which launched earlier this year, had yet to hold a close. Despite considerable market enthusiasm for secondary funds, the firm has decided to focus its energies on raising its larger traditional secondary fund in the near term, tabling the hybrid fund until 2010, the source said.

Ian Charles, a principal at Landmark Partners, said: “Landmark has postponed its hybrid investment strategy and is currently focused on the deployment of secondary capital into mature secondary transactions. Landmark believes there is currently a significant opportunity to work with institutional investors to help them achieve their unique portfolio objectives and solve asset allocation constraints.” He declined to comment on the fundraising status of the firm’s traditional secondary fund.

To date, Landmark Partners’s fourteenth traditional secondary fund has closed on $1.25 billion in commitments from 103 investors, according to a regulatory filing. The firm expects to meet the fund’s $2 billion target early in the first quarter of 2010. As with the hybrid fund, Merrill Lynch is serving as placement agent on Landmark Equity Partners XIV LP.

Landmark has begun to deploy the fund, with 10 percent put to work already. Like many long-time investors in the secondary stakes of private equity funds, Landmark Partners believes pricing on stakes in the market is not low enough to buy aggressively. Charles said the firm’s activity has focused on traditional secondaries but included a variety of structured transactions with other institutional investors. Some of these deals include joint ventures with a sellers looking to manage their asset allocation. In this situation, the firm agrees to take on the unfunded portion of the seller’s commitment in exchange for a preferred position in portfolio cash flows.