Berkshire closes ninth fund on $5.5bn

Berkshire Fund IX is $1bn larger than the previous fund, which closed in 2011 on $4.5bn.

Berkshire Partners closed its ninth fund, Berkshire Fund IX, on $5.5 billion, the firm said.

Fund IX’s investor base consists mainly of returning limited partners, it said, and represent endowments, foundations, pension funds and financial institutions. The general partner is the largest investor in the fund.

A 17 November filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the first for that fund, indicates that the fund hadn’t received any commitments as of that date.

According to PEI Research & Analytics, LPs include the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which committed $175 million, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, which committed $50 million, Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, which committed $40 million, University of Michigan, which committed $50 million, Maine Public Employees Retirement System, which committed $60 million, and Texas County and District Retirement System, which committed $40 million.

This is $1 billion higher than Berkshire’s previous fund, Berkshire Fund VIII, which closed on $4.5 billion, above its $4 billion target, in 2011. All of the LPs mentioned above were investors in this fund as well, along with others.

An earlier fund, Berkshire Fund VII, had an internal rate of return of 16.5 percent as of 31 March, according to the Regents of the University of California.

Fund IX expects to make acquisitions of companies valued between $200 million and $2 billion by investing between $50 million and $500 million of equity per transaction, the firm said. Berkshire's current portfolio includes business services provider Access, women's retailer Aritzia, and casual dining chain Portillo's, according to its website.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges was the fund advisor. Berkshire did not use a placement agent, it said.
A spokeswoman was not available to comment.