Partners eye $1.2B

Partners Group says that it may raise up to $1.2 billion this year for a new secondary fund. The Zug, Switzerland-based private equity firm has completely invested its previous secondary fund, which it closed in 2004 with $607 million.

The firm has held a first close of $363 million on fund II, which has a hard cap of $1.2 billion. Partners Group expects to have a final close on the fund before mid-year. Alfred Gantner, the firm’s founding partner and executive chairman, says he expects the fund-raising to go quickly. He also expects a significant portion of the fund to be taken up by existing investors.

So far, only one LP has confirmed its commitment to fund II. The San Bernadino County Employees’ Retirement System approved a $40 million investment in the fund in mid-March.

LPs in the fund I include BP, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, MetLife and New York Life, among U.S. insurance companies and state pension funds. The firm is focused on European secondary transactions with a preference for buyout assets.