New York commits more than $1 bln, eyes debt and credit funds

  • New commitments to debt funds by GSO, Vista
  • $194.2 bln pension system backs EQT’s new mega fund
  • Continues allocations to Israeli VC funds

New York State Common Retirement Fund disclosed more than $1 billion of commitments to private equity and venture capital funds, including $400 million for new debt and credit-related strategies.

The fund, overseen by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, allocated $200 million each to new credit funds managed by GSO Capital Partners and Vista Equity Partners, a monthly investment disclosure shows. Both commitments closed in December.

Vista’s new credit fund, Vista Opportunistic Credit Fund I, will make new loans to software companies in addition to acquiring existing loans on the secondary market. It’s unclear how the opportunistic fund, which appears to be the firm’s first for this strategy, is distinct from its existing credit strategy.

The firm closed Vista Credit Opportunities Fund II on $935 million last year. The firm’s credit platform has more than $1.2 billion of assets under management.

Vista’s target for the fund was not disclosed. The firm could not be reached for comment.

New York’s $200 million allocation to GSO, which operates as Blackstone Group’s credit arm, will go to a co-investment vehicle that will invest in liquidity-strapped companies alongside GSO Capital Solutions Fund III. GSO closed Fund III on its $7 billion hard cap earlier this month.

New York’s largest recent commitment went to EQT’s eighth flagship fund, which held a final close on its hard cap of 10.75 billion euros ($13.2 billion) in February. The retirement system allocated 300 million euros to the new buyout fund, which will acquire controlling stakes of healthcare, services and technology, media and telecom companies.

The system also committed $350 million to TPG’s latest growth-equity fund, which will provide expansionary capital to growing businesses. TPG Growth IV held a final close on $3.7 billion in late December.

New York continued its recent string of allocations to Israeli venture capital funds, as well, committing $10 million to JVP VIII through a separate account it formed with investment management firm Hamilton Lane last year.

New York State Common Retirement Fund managed $194.2 billion of assets as of Dec. 31. The retirement system held 7.6 percent of its assets in PE.

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New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York on October 18, 2010.   Photo courtesy Reuters/Brendan McDermid