PE fund briefs, week of June 29, 2009

GSO revs up sidecar fund


Blackstone Group’s subsidiary, GSO Capital Partners, hopes to raise an overseas sidecar fund, which, in conjunction with its lead vehicle, could give the firm $1 billion in new dry powder to invest in a variety of debt facilities, according to regulatory filings.

The sidecar vehicle, GSO Liquidity Overseas Sidecar, has a target of $500 million. Fund-raising for the fund kicked off in October 2008.

A Blackstone spokesperson did not return calls for comment.

The new sidecar fund, which had raised $29.2 million in capital commitments from eight accredited investors, according to the latest regulatory filing, is a companion piece to GSO Liquidity Overseas Partners, a $500 million-targeted fund that was launched in September 2007. The fund-raising status of the main fund could not be determined by press time.

Both funds, the sidecar and the lead vehicle, seek limited partner commitments of no less than $5 million apiece, though that amount can be waived at the discretion of the general partner. Neither fund has employed the use of a placement agent, according to regulatory filings for both pools.

Founded in 2005, GSO Capital invests in public and private securities, including leveraged loans, distressed investments, special situations, capital structure arbitrage, relative value, mezzanine securities and private equity.

Blackstone acquired GSO Capital in March 2008 in a transaction valued at $635 million. The deal also included an agreement to pay an additional $310 million over the following five years if GSO Capital met earnings targets. At the time, GSO Capital had about $10 billion in assets under management, according to a regulatory filing. That number has since doubled to about $20.2 billion in assets under management as of March 31, according to Blackstone’s website. —Ari Nathanson

Centerbridge raises $467.1M

Centerbridge Partners, the secretive buyout firm that joined some of the largest firms in their buyout of BankUnited last month, has raised $467.1 million for a fund called Centerbridge Special Credit Partners.

The New York-based firm, run by Jeffrey Aronson and Mark Gallogly, raised an undisclosed amount for its first buyout fund, called Centerbridge Partners, which closed in 2006.

The firm’s latest special credit fund has 37 investors and is using Park Hill as a placement agent. The target is not disclosed. —Erin Griffith

Oak Hill closes just shy of $4B target

Oak Hill Capital Partners
has closed its third fund with $3.8 billion in capital commitments, according to LBO Wire. The middle-market buyout firm began fund-raising 18 months ago with a $4 billion target and $5.5 billion hard cap.

Stamford, Conn.-based Oak Hill Capital closed its second fund in 2005 with $2.5 billion and had a 7.1% IRR as of year-end 2008, according to limited partner California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Pathway moves ahead with $290M

Pathway Capital Management, a private equity fund of funds based in Irving, Calif., has raised $290 million from 12 investors for its 2008 fund, which has a $500 million target. The fund, called Pathway Private Equity Fund 2008, commits to funds that have an average size of $300 million.

Merit eyes $600M

Merit Capital Partners is targeting $600 million for its sixth mezzanine debt fund, according to LBO Wire. The Chicago-based firm closed its fifth mezzanine fund in 2004 with $455 million in commitments.