PE fund briefs, week of June 7, 2010

Staley Capital holds first fund close

Raising a new fund over the past two years has been hard. Raising a first-time fund has been even harder. And raising a first-time fund formed just before the Lehman Brothers meltdown has been harder still.

That’s the uphill battle faced by Staley Capital, a Boston-area firm formed in August 2008 to focus on the business services space. Staley put its formal fund-raising plans on hold, and used a special purpose vehicle to invest an undisclosed amount in Chicago-based marketing agency Aspen Marketing Services.

It resumed fund-raising last year with a $100 million target, the firm recently held a $21 million first close from high-net-worth individuals. A source close to the situation says that fund-raising continues, although the source acknowledges that the target remains a long way off.

The Staley team is led by Renny Smith, a former Thomas H. Lee Partners investor who co-founded the firm’s venture arm called TH Lee Putnam Ventures. Other partners include Jay Crystal (a former associate with American Capital Strategies), Snantanu Dhaka (a former Jefferies analyst) and Amit Basak (who previously was with Insight Venture Partners and J.H. Whitney). —Dan Primack

Elbrus launches from Renaissance remnants

Elbrus Capital has been launched as a new Russian private equity firm, following last year’s purchase of Renaissance Private Equity from Renaissance Group.

The group still has about $160 million in legacy dry powder to invest. Its principals include Dmitri Krukov, former managing partner of Renaissance Private Equity, Alexander Savin, former CEO of A1 Group, and Robert Thielen, founder and managing partner of Waterland Private Equity.

GEF seeks to raise $150M

Global Environment Fund is raising $150 million for a fund solely focused on sustainable forestry in sub-Saharan Africa. The firm already has secured a $50 million commitment from CDC Group, a U.K.-based development finance organization.

HitecVision raises $429M

HitecVision, a European private equity firm focused on the oil and gas sector, has raised $420 million for its “asset solutions” fund. The capital will be used to invest in the asset-based side of the international offshore oil and gas service industry.

MVision served as placement agent.

Blackstone/GSO float debt fund
The Blackstone Group and its affiliate GSO Capital have completed a $280 million IPO of a senior floating rate term fund, which will trade on the NYSE exchange under the ticker symbol BSI.