Market at a glance: Onex leads recent buyout fund-raising efforts

As professional tennis players do battle on the red clay of Roland Garros for the 2008 French Open tournament, several firms have served up fund-raising aces during the recent fortnight allowing buyout and mezzanine firms to hold serve and raise about $133.6 billion year-to-date.

Onex Corp. collected more than $2.4 billion for its third private equity fund. The Toronto-based company wants to attack the net as it seeks upwards of $4.5 billion for Onex Partners III. Credit Suisse is serving as placement agent.

Denham Capital Management also cracked a forehand to close its fifth fund at the hard cap of $2 billion. Denham Commodity Partners Fund V skidded past its $1.75 billion target, as more than 90% of existing limited partners participated.

The Boston-based private equity firm, which focuses on the energy and commodities sector, typically targets investments in the $50 million to $250 million range. Denham Capital has about $4.3 billion in invested and committed capital.

Deal activity

On the deal of the buyout market, activity bounced back from a week earlier when only three LBO transactions closed. The most recent week included 17 control-stake deals, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week).

There were only two transactions with disclosed prices that combined for about $1.8 billion (see chart).

Billion-dollar deals have been scarce so far this year, but the most recent week featured one such transaction. Bain Capital Partners acquired Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc., which offers employer-sponsored child care, early education and work/life solutions services, for $1.3 billion.

Aurora Capital Group’s acquisition of industrial inorganics maker NuCO2 Inc. for $471.9 million was the only other deal with a price tag. Year-to-date deal volume ended at about $55.6 billion. —Eamon Beltran