Wash. State OKs $275M For Private Equity –

The Washington State Investment Board approved an additional $275 million for two private equity funds in mid-November.

In its general board meeting on Nov. 17, the pension system approved the following private equity funds for investment:

The board approved up to $175 million for Nordic Capital’s Nordic Capital VI. The Stockholm, Sweden-based buyout firm’s last fund, Nordic Capital V, closed in 2003 with more than $1.8 billion in commitments. Nordic Capital focuses on buyouts and turnarounds in the Nordic and central European region. The firm was founded in 1989 and has satellite offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Helsinki, Finland.

The board also approved up to $100 million for Avenue Capital Group’s Avenue Special Situations IV. The New York-based firm is reportedly planning on closing the fund this year with $1 billion in commitments. Avenue Special Situations III closed in 2002 with $470 million. Avenue Capital typically invests in debt obligations and other financially distressed companies.

The Washington State Investment Board is also a limited partner, to the tune of $100 million, in Oaktree Capital Management’s recently closed $1.77 billion OCM Opportunities Fund VI. The pension fund is also an investor in Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.’s $5.4 billion KKR European Fund II and Elevation Partners’ $1.8 billion inaugural fund, both of which closed earlier this year.

The Washington State Investment Board has approximately $63 billion under management with $7.5 billion, or about 12%, invested in private equity. It has committed $15.27 billion to private equity since its program began, and plans to commit another $6.5 billion over the next five years. It recently has made commitments to new funds from Elevation Partners, Warburg Pincus and JPMorgan Partners.