PE fund briefs, week of Aug. 18, 2008

Blackpoint seeks $200M for debut fund

Newly formed Blackpoint Equity Partners is wading into the lower-middle-market buyout pond with a debut fund, Blackpoint Equity Partners. The fund is targeted at $200 million, according to a source familiar with the fund-raising.

Co-founders and General Partners Kevin Brandon and Stephen McCall established the Manhattan, N.Y.-based shop in late 2007 after leaving Seaport Capital, a private equity firm that is also targeting the lower middle market and where they had worked together since 1998. The new fund has a major institutional investor anchoring it.

The vehicle is focused on making control investments in information services, business services, media and communications services. Blackpoint Equity hopes to hold a first close early this fall and has retained placement agent Atlantic Pacific Capital to help raise the fund.

Representatives of Blackpoint declined to comment on the fund-raising.

Seaport Capital Partners III closed in 2006, having raised $78.5 million, short of its $300 million target. Seaport Capital established its fourth fund in April, seeking to raise $200 million, according to a regulatory filing. Seaport executives were unavailable for comment. —Nancy Gordon

Alinda returns to market

Infrastructure investor Alinda Capital Partners is back in fund-raising mode, just one year after closing its debut vehicle with $3 billion.

“It’s quick, but not as quick as it sounds,” says a source close to the firm. “The first fund was nearly 75% committed when it closed, so they’re mostly out of money.”

Alinda is targeting $3 billion for the new fund, and is fast approaching that figure. Don’t be surprised if it ends up closer to $5 billion, since the firm targeted $1 billion for its inaugural fund. Citigroup and PTP Securities are serving as placement agents.

Alinda was formed in 2006 by Chris Beale, former global head of project finance at Citigroup (and at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston, before that) and other members of his Citigroup team. It has offices in New York and London. —Dan Primack

Riverside halfway to $1.25B target

The Riverside Co.’s fifth fund is moving toward its $1.25 billion target, despite resistance from some limited partners to the firm’s proposed higher fees.

The firm is believed to be asking for higher fees to help sustain its expanding payroll of deal-generating and operating executives. Co-CEO Béla Szigethy declined to comment on the proposed fees. Similarly, an investment officer with The City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement, which has committed $20 million to the fund, also declined comment.

The fund, Capital Appreciation Fund V, has raised $550 million in commitments from return and new investors, confirmed spokesperson Christine Croissant. Riverside’s last general buyout fund was the 2003 Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund, which raised the $750 million. The fund generated an IRR of 17.1% as of June 30, 2007, according to data from the Oregon Public Employees’ Retirement Fund, an investor in its previous fund.

In June, the firm made its first acquisition with its fifth fund, buying ITEL Laboratories, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based independent tester for determining the fair-market replacement value of damaged products. Riverside acquires companies in the automotive, business services, food, health care, manufacturing, media and technology industries.

The firm has specialized in the smaller end of the middle market since 1988. In 2006, the firm has acquired 26 companies; in 2007, 28 deals were completed. So far this year, Riverside has finalized 19 deals. —Nancy Gordon

Primus closes sixth fund

Primus Capital Partners has closed its sixth fund with $275 million in capital commitments. The fund was targeted at $250 million.

The Cleveland-based firm makes growth equity financings, recapitalizations and management-led buyouts in the health care, business services and education industry sectors.

The firm raised $285 million for fund V, which closed in 2000.

Vista vies to raise $1.4B

Vista Equity Partners, a San Francisco-based buyout firm, is raising up to $1.4 billion for its third fund, according to a regulatory filing. Park Hill Group and Diamond Edge Capital Partners are serving as placement agents.

First Reserve collects more than $4.5B

First Reserve Corp. has secured more than $4.5 billion in capital commitments for its 12th fund, according to a July 30 regulatory filing.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm is targeting $12 billion, with a $16 billion hard cap. First Reserve focuses on private equity opportunities in the energy sector.