PE fund briefs, week of April 28, 2008

Madison Dearborn nears halfway mark

Madison Dearborn Partners will soon hit the half-way mark toward its goal of $10 billion, a source familiar with the firm told Buyouts, a PE Week affiliated publication.

Within the next month, the Chicago-based firm plans to close on $5 billion for Madison Dearborn Partners VI, says the source. The LBO shop will likely keep the fund open through the end of the third quarter to accommodate several long-standing limited partners that must wait a few months before they can commit to the new vehicle.

Earlier this month, the LBO shop held a first close on $3 billion. Madison Dearborn Partners started fund-raising in November. Madison Dearborn Partners closed on its fifth fund, a $6.5 billion pool, only two years ago. The biggest commitment from that fund—to cover the firm’s contribution to the $52 billion take-private of Canadian phone company BCE—is still pending.

In addition, the firm has entered a choppy fund-raising market. Public pension funds, the ones that can afford to make big-dollar commitments to mega-firms, are butting up against their allocation ceilings. Many public LPs are seeing the value of their overall portfolio, including public equities and fixed-income holdings, decrease in the bear market, shrinking the size of their allocation to alternative assets, which is typically set as a static percentage of the entire portfolio. —Jeremy Harrell

Morgan Stanley launches Indian PE

Morgan Stanley last week announced plans to start a private equity unit in India, where it already has investment banking and asset management operations. Aluri Srinivasa Rao will run the new effort, which launches May 1. Rao had resigned earlier this month as a director of life sciences investments with ICICI Venture, a unit of India-based ICICI Bank.Morgan Stanley said that it would invest in India through its Asia-dedicated private equity fund. The $1.5 billion fund closed in the third quarter of 2007.

TD scores $215M

TD Capital Private Equity has held a $215 million first close on its fourth fund of funds, as first reported last week by VentureWire. The Toronto-based firm is targeting between $250 million and $350 million. It closed on $348 million for its third fund just last year.

CVC captures $4.1B

CVC Capital Partners has raised $4.1 billion for its third Asia-Pacific fund. CVC’s first Asia-Pacific fund, launched in 2000, raised $750 million, while its second closed in April 2005 with about $1.98 billion.

The Beijing-based private equity firm invests in established companies in China, South Korea, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

It is CVC’s third Asian fund, and the biggest fund ever raised in the Asia Pacific region, underlining continued appetite for investment opportunities, the U.K.-based firm said in a statement.

Hudson Ferry delays fund-raising

Hudson Ferry Capital has postponed fund-raising for its debut vehicle, according to LBO Wire. The small-market buyout shop was formed in mid-2006, and began looking to raise $400 million. It held a $40 million first close last fall, from such LPs as MassMutual, National City, Babson Capital and CIT Group.

The New York-based firm plans to resume fund-raising once it has completed a few new deals.