American Securities closes distressed fund

American Securities Opportunities Fund, an affiliate of American Securities, has beat its target for its second fund focusing on distressed investing.

American Securities Opportunities Fund has closed its second investment vehicle on $753 million, surpassing its original $500 million target.

Fund II focuses on investing in public and private companies in distress “or trading at distressed levels due to deterioration in operating performance or anticipated liquidity problems,” American Securities said in a statement. The firm has already deployed over $150 million of capital from the fund, whose limited partners include the $9 billion Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System and the $12.5 billion Louisiana Teachers’ Retirement System.

American Securities Opportunities Fund did not use a placement agent for the fundraise, which took approximately 15 months, according to a spokesperson for the firm. American Securities' first opportunities fund collected about $300 million in 2006.

The American Securities Opportunities Fund team is led by managing directors Anthony Grillo, Lawrence First and Daniel Clare. Grillo rejoined the firm in 2005 to establish the opportunities fund after leaving to work as a senior managing director and partner at The Blackstone Group.

American Securities is also currently raising its sixth buyout fund, which was launched last year with a $3 billion target. The firm bills itself as one of the oldest private equity firms in existence. The firm started out in 1947 as a family office investment shop founded by William Rosenwald, an heir to the Sears, Roebuck fortune. The firm did “bootstrap” investments that eventually came to be known as leveraged buyouts.