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CalPERS makes $718m in commitments

The $253 billion California pension fund made a fresh round of commitments to record-setting healthcare- and life science-focussed VC funds in addition to CVC and KKR.

The California Public Employees Retirement System, the US’ largest public pension, has committed $718 million (€451 million) to four funds, including two venture capital funds.

CalPERS’ investment managers committed $75 million to Clarus Lifesciences II, which recently closed on $660 million, surpassing its $600 million target. CalPERs also committed $125 million to Essex Woodlands Health Ventures Fund VIII, which recently closed on $734 million. The two funds were the largest venture funds closed in the first quarter of 2008, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association.

On the private equity side, CalPERS invested $150 million in CVC Capital Partners’ third Asia-Pacific fund,  which closed today on a record $4.1 billion and will target investments of between $160 million and $200 million. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ third European fund, targeting €8 billion and looking to invest in the leveraged build-up and buyout of two to four businesses, garnered a €250 million commitment.

Clarus Ventures was founded in 2005 by six former MPM Capital general partners; it targets  investments with promising preclinical compounds to later-stage products in clinical trials or commercial launch. Essex Woodlands was founded in 1985 by Jim Currie and makes late-stage healthcare investments.