news in brief

HIG Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm, has opened its Paris and Hamburg sites as part of a European launch that kicked off with the opening of London offices in July. At the time of the London launch, HIG Capital closed a €600m fund dedicated to investing in small and medium-sized companies in Europe, HIG European Partners. The firm reiterated its claim that it wants to recruit more than 30 investment professionals in Europe by the end of the year.

Darwin Private Equity has held the second close of its debut fund at £122m. Darwin is a UK mid-market firm was founded in March by former investment executives from Permira and CVC Capital Partners, Jonathan Kaye, Derek Elliott and Kevin Street. The fund received a cornerstone commitment of £50m from publicly-quoted investment trust RIT Capital Partners, wihc is chaired by Lord Jacob Rothschild. Darwin is targeting investments of up to £150.

HgCapital Trust, a publicly-listed private equity investment trust managed by European buyout firm HgCapital, has reported £38.3m (€54.6m) of realisations in its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2007. Divestments included DocMorris in Germany and the combined sale of CS Group with IRIS Software.

CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) has mandated Standard Life to manage €400m for their Alternative Investment Management (AIM) Program. The mandate is focussed exclusively on European private equity and will be managed in a fund called ESP Golden Bear Europe Fund. David Currie, Chief Executive of SLIPE, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for this mandate by CalPERS. This is our fourth major segregated mandate from a North American client. Over 50% of our assets under management are now from North America. “We expect the ESP Golden Bear Europe Fund to shortly start making commitments to European private equity funds and we are looking to create a strong co-investment portfolio.” CalPERS has recently been refocusing on core direct relationships with a number of funds, while engaging new vehicles, including fund of funds, to pursue global opportunities at the smaller end of the market. ESP Golden Bear Europe Fund is the latest of five new AIM ventures in the last 18 months.

• Swiss Buyout Fund CGS Management has announced the final closing of its second fund CGS II at CHF130m (€78.7m). This new fund Pfäffikon SZ CGS Management has more than doubled its assets under management from the first fund CGS I. Investors to date include leading European Banks, Fund of Funds and family offices.