Oaktree secures close to $3B

Oaktree Capital Management has raised nearly half its target for its latest distressed debt fund. The Los Angeles-based firm has closed on $2.9 billion as of June 4 for OCM Opportunities Fund VIII, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week).

Oaktree Capital hopes to raise $6 billion for the vehicle, which targets the securities of distressed companies with market capitalizations of at least $2.5 billion.

The fund-raising effort was launched in June 2009, and the vehicle was among the most popular with limited partners for the remainder of that year. Supporters include the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., which committed $250 million; the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, which pledged $30 million; the Oklahoma Police & Pension Retirement System, which committed $7.5 million; and the Washington State Investment Board, which committed $250 million.

OCM Opportunities Fund VIII is the largest distressed debt-focused vehicle currently in the fund-raising market, according to London-based data provider Preqin. There are 54 distressed private equity funds globally seeking to raise $45.3 billion in capital commitments, Preqin recently reported.

Oaktree Capital’s previous fund, OCM Opportunities VIIb, raise $10.6 billion and closed June 2008, making it the largest distressed debt fund ever raised, according to Dow Jones. —Bernard Vaughan