PE fund briefs, week of Dec. 21, 2009

Elevation Partners denies fund-raising

Elevation Partners is denying a report in Fortune magazine that it is in the midst of raising its second fund.

Kevin Albert, head of investor relations for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm, told PE Week that a new fund-raising is “likely sometime next year,” but that reports of a current effort have been incorrectly extrapolated from last month’s hiring of ex-eBay executive Rajiv Dutta (see page 3 for a Q&A with Dutta).

Elevation raised $1.8 billion for its debut fund in 2008, which was about 66% called as of June 30, according to a report from the Washington State Investment Board. —Dan Primack

Cartesian wants to raise second fund in Q2

Cartesian Capital Group, which specializes in private equity investing in the aftermath of crises, will most likely return to the fund-raising circuit in the second quarter of 2010, probably with a target of $1 billion, according to Managing Partner Peter Yu.

The firm closed its debut fund, Pangaea One, with $1.05 billion in capital commitments in 2007. Although the first fund did not use a placement agent, no decision has been made on whether or not one will be used for the next fund, Yu said.

Over the past year, Cartesian Capital has made investments in the hard-hit automotive and financial services sectors, including an investment in the creation of Cartesian Iris, a catastrophe reinsurance trust.

Last month, portfolio company ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services Inc., a contract research organization and provider of integrated clinical development outsourcing solutions, completed its global platform by incorporating its subsidiaries in more than 30 countries, including the recently acquired Paramax International (Beijing) Inc., a specialized contract research organization in China. Over the past 12 months, ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services has also made strategic acquisitions in France, Spain and Germany.

Yu, based in New York, and the former senior management team of AIG Capital Partners, founded the firm in 2006. While at AIG, Yu and his team led more than 50 investments in 24 countries and managed more than $5 billion for institutional investors. —Nancy Gordon

Marlin Equity reels in $650M

Marlin Equity Partners
has closed its third mid-market buyout fund with $650 million in capital commitments. The firm had been targeting $450 million, with Probitas Partners serving as placement agent.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based firm previously raised a $300 million fund in 2007.

Earth Capital holds first close

London-based Earth Capital Partners has held a first close on its debut renewable energy infrastructure fund, which will support solar, biogas and biomass projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

The firm has reportedly signed a pension fund as cornerstone investor of the new fund.

The total fund target is about $1.1 billion although ECP did not give a figure for the first close.

Glide eyes $70M for European deals

Gilde Healthcare Partners is raising upwards of about $70 million for a growth equity fund that would focus on European health care companies. It has already closed on an undisclosed amount of capital commitments.