Paul Capital Holds First Close

Paul Capital Partners, which is seeking $800 million for Paul Capital Partners VIII, held a first close with $104 million, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The San Francisco-based secondary firm will dedicate the fund to purchasing limited partnership interests in buyout, mezzanine partnership and venture capital funds and portfolios.

Paul Capital Partners launched the fund last year and was planning for a final close by the end of the second quarter. The firm declined to comment on the filing, citing advice from legal counsel.

The document lists the Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation as a limited partner in the fund. Past limited partners in Paul Capital Partners funds include AT&T Investment Management Corp., BancBoston Investments, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Howard Hughes Medical Institute, J.F. Shea Co., QP Investments and Rice University.

The firm is looking to expand its limited partner base with a focus on state pensions.

Paul is raising its latest fund as the secondary market sees a flurry of fund-raising activity. Goldman Sachs is reportedly raising a secondary fund of more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, Landmark Partners is close to closing on $600 million and Pantheon Ventures is seeking $600 million. Secondary private equity investors raised more than $4.2 billion for new funds in 2003 and more than $5 billion in 2002, according to Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of PE Week).