SF Commits To Australia, Media Funds

The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System recently approved nearly $60 million worth of private equity commitments to an Australian buyout fund and a media equity fund, among others, in an effort to meet its target allocation to the asset class.

A commitment of up to A$20 million ($18.4 million) went to CHAMP Private Equity’s latest buyout fund, Champ III LP. The firm, the Australian affiliate of Castle Harlan, is seeking A$1.5 billion for the fund, earmarked for mid-market buyouts in and around Australia. Industries of interest include health care, education, financial services, mining and food.

The city retirement system also pledged up to $20 million to ABRY Partners’s ABRY Senior Equity Investors III LP, earmarked for providing senior equity and mezzanine capital to companies in media, communications, business and information services.

San Francisco also committed up to $20 million to the sixth venture capital fund of Polaris Venture Partners.

The city retirement system plans on committing a total of $275 million to private equity funds in 2010, with a focus on small and mid-market buyout funds, venture capital funds, special situations (distressed and secondary funds) and Asian investments.

The $13.7 billion retirement system has a target allocation of 14 percent to alternatives, with a range of 10 percent to 18 percent. As of December, it had an actual allocation of 12.1 percent, according to a spokesperson.