PE fund briefs, week of Nov. 19, 2007

Onex posts loss, plans $3.4B fund

Onex Corp. (TO: OCX), Canada’s largest buyout firm, announced that next year it will begin raising its third buyout fund with a $4.5 billion target. The Toronto-based firm’s second fund, a $3.4 billion vehicle raised last year, is currently 75% committed.

The publicly traded private equity firm last week reported a third-quarter loss, due in part to a weaker U.S. dollar and several acquisition expenses, sending its shares lower. Onex, which invests in industries such as aerospace, electronics and cosmetics, reported a loss of about $80 million, compared to a profit of $32 million during the same period last year.

In late September, the Canadian dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time in more than 30 years. The drop in the U.S. dollar “was certainly felt on our cash balances,” said Onex Vice President of Finance Don Lewtas during an earnings conference call last week.

Carousel closes fund III

Carousel Capital has closed its third fund with $210 million in capital commitments. The Charlotte, N.C.-based firm raised more than $120 million for its second fund, which closed in 2002.

The firm says it raised the fund from institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, foundations and financial services companies. In addition, the firm says that more than 60 CEOs from the Southeast have also invested in the new fund.

Carousel, founded in 1996, acquires small-market profitable companies based in the Southeastern U.S.

Columbian PE fund launched

The Global Emerging Markets Group and Fiduciaria Bogota S.A. have agreed to jointly raise and sponsor a $220 million private equity fund.

The GEM-Fidubogota Colombia Private Equity Fund will acquire control and minority positions in small-and-mid-sized companies based in Columbia.

Juan Pablo Ospina will serve as fund manager and oversee day-to-day operations. Ospina is the former director general of SEAF Columbia, where he structured one of the first private equity funds in the South American country.

Global Emerging Markets Group, founded in 1991, is a $2.7 billion alternative investment group that focuses on emerging markets worldwide. Fidubogota, founded in 1991, is the $4 billion trust services and asset management subsidiary of Banco de Bogota, which is part of Grupo Aval, the largest financial group in Colombia.

EnerCap holds first close

EnerCap Capital Partners, a Czech private equity firm, has held a $110 million first close on its first fund, which will focus on renewable energy projects in Central and Southeastern Europe.

Limited partners include the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development. It plans to hold a $150 million final close early next year.

EnerCap plans to make one investment by the end of 2007, and at least two additional investments by mid-2008.

EnerCap Partner Ewan Gibb said that wind energy is expected to contribute significantly to the renewable energy mix in Central and South-Eastern Europe, following a similar growth pattern seen in Western Europe. —PE Week staff