Maine readies $300 mln for PE co-investments

  • MainePERS approves up to $300 mln for co-investments
  • $12.5 bln system is committed to three co-investments to date 
  • Approves $50 mln commitment to Blackstone RE fund

The investment team will pursue co-investment opportunities alongside the $12.5 billion retirement system’s existing fund managers, with the ability to invest as much as $25 million per deal. No more than $100 million can be allocated to any single general partner, according to a copy of the motion made available by Sawyer.

MainePERS has co-invested alongside its private markets managers before, committing $33.6 million across three deals as of June 30, according to retirement system documents. Return information for those investments was not available, as they were completed within the last 24 months.

A growing number of limited partners are now pursuing co-investments in an effort to reduce fees and exert more control over their private equity portfolios. In late 2014, the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board approved a list of five private equity firms with which it can co-invest: Advent International, Blackstone Group, CVC Capital, Onex Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Other limited partners, such as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, University of Michigan Board of Regents and Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana have also pursued co-investments with greater frequency.

In addition to its new co-investment allocation, Maine also approved a $50 million commitment to Blackstone’s latest real estate fund. The firm set a $13 billion target for Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII, according to a Reuters report.

MainePERS committed $75 million to the previous Blackstone Real Estate Partners fund in February 2012. That commitment netted a 27.2 percent IRR through June 30, according to MainePERS documents.

MainePERS held a 3.6 percent allocation to private equity as of Sept. 30, according to its website, well below its 10 percent target. The retirement system had a 7.9 percent allocation on a 10 percent target to real estate.