New Funds: Welsh Carson Seeks $4B for Fund IX –

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe this month launched fund raising on a new private equity vehicle that should secure the New York firm’s position as one of the largest players in the buyout arena.

WCAS IX LP has a target of $4 billion, said a source close to the firm, though by the final close the firm may raise as much as $1 billion to $2 billion more than that. The new fund will invest in the same sectors targeted by the firm’s $3.15 billion eighth fund – information services, telecommunications and health care. However, the source said Welsh Carson will scale back its investing in health care as the sector.

Welsh Carson has an investment team of 17 professionals, 8 of which were added in the past two years.

The source said most of Welsh Carson’s prior investors have already agreed to re-up with the new fund, including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Washington State Investment Board, Minnesota State Board of Investment, Virginia Retirement System and IBM Corp. In addition, Welsh Carson has hired the placement arm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to help raise money from European investors. The source said approximately 10% of Fund IX’s commitments will come from non-U.S. investors.

Last year, Welsh Carson was involved in two mega-deals – the $1.2 billion buyout of Concentra Managed Care and the $1.5 billion buyout of Centennial Cellular Corp. with investment partner The Blackstone Group.