PE fund briefs, week of June 15, 2009

Atlantic Street eyes $100M for second fund

Atlantic Street Capital is poised to begin fund-raising for its sophomore special situations fund with a target of $100 million, possibly kicking off the marketing effort later this month. The Stamford, Conn.-based shop is aiming to hold a first close near the end of the year.

The firm closed its preceding fund, Atlantic Street Capital I, in early 2008 with $45 million in commitments. Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners was the sole backer of Atlantic Street’s first fund. The firm had hoped to raise an additional $25 million for its debut fund in the second half of last year. But when the fund-raising market collapsed, Atlantic Street Capital decided instead to close fund I and focus on doing some deals and adding staff, said a source familiar with the situation.

Atlantic Street Capital takes controlling equity positions in lower mid-market companies requiring significant operational improvements. It usually invests $5 million to $15 million of equity in companies with annual revenue of between $30 million and $250 million in the consumer products, services, manufacturing, distribution and logistics sectors. Its first three investments were in food production and distribution.

Peter Shabecoff founded Atlantic Street Capital in June 2006. Prior to that, he was a partner at North Castle Partners, a mid-market buyout firm based in Greenwich, Conn., from 1999 to 2006. —Nancy Gordon

Pittsburgh firm shopping for placement agents

PNC Equity Partners is looking for a placement agent to help prep its third fund, according to a source with knowledge of the firm’s plans.

The firm is in the earliest stages of planning the fund, which its executives expect to bring to the market in the fourth quarter of 2010 or first quarter of 2011, the source said.

Executives at the firm declined to comment.

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based shop, which is the private equity affiliate of PNC Financial Services Group, closed its last fund, PNC Equity Partners II, in August 2007 at $272 million. While it did not hire a placement agent for its previous fund, the source said that the firm is considering using one for its third fund to help it expand its base of limited partners.

Executives at the firm have not decided on a target for the new fund, but expect it to be larger than fund II. —Bernard Vaughan

First Vanguard plans $100M movie fund

First Vanguard, a Hong Kong-based asset manager, plans to form a $100 million fund with film producer Raymond Wong, to invest in movies and TV programs targeting the Chinese market.

Wong, whose recent movie “Ip Man,” a biography of martial arts star Bruce Lee, won the top prize at this year’s Hong Kong film awards, will serve the fund as investment adviser, First Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Richard Yin told Reuters.

First Vanguard, which was founded in 2004, currently manages an Asia-focused private equity fund and a fund that invests in regional real estate. The firm declined to disclose the value of the assets it manages.

The firm is in the midst of raising money for a China-focused fund that will invest in water and environmental projects in partnership with China’s Zhongzhi Enterprise Group. —Reuters