Landmark seeking $1.1bn

Landmark is looking to join a growing class of secondaries players that have raised funds of $1bn or more.

Secondaries firm Landmark Partners at the end of last year, launched its thirteenth private equity-focused fund, seeking as much as $1.1 billion (€919 million). The firm, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has already closed on $328 million for the new vehicle, Landmark Equity Partners XIII, LP.

Based in Simsbury, Connecticut, Landmark is a secondaries specialist, focusing specifically on private equity and real estate investments. The firm has been making secondaries investments since 1989, and has a total of $4.6 billion in committed capital. Landmark’s previous private equity fund, Landmark Equity Partners XII, is a 2004-vintage vehicle with $427 million in commitments, according to the Landmark Web site. In addition to secondaries investments, the firm also controls a fund of funds and a growth capital vehicle.

Landmark’s last high-profile deal came in December of 2004, when it acquired the third-party private-equity funds portfolio of One Equity Partners. The deal, reportedly valued at around $950 million, came soon after the merger of JP Morgan Chase and Bank One.

Most recently, Landmark teamed up with Goldman Sachs and Paul Capital Partners to back Vision Capital’s €175.9 million acquisition of the Legal & General Ventures portfolio. That transaction occurred in April 2005.

The growth of the secondaries market partly reflects the maturation of private equity as an asset class. As portfolios age and investors seek liquidity, secondaries investors have expanded to fill the growing need.

To accommodate, many groups have raised funds that have either approached the $1 billion threshold or surpassed that mark. Zug-Switzerland Partners Group in December launched an €800 million follow-up to its debut secondaries fund, which was raised less than two years earlier, and other firms, such as AXA Investment Managers, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston, have each raised vehicles exceeding the billion-dollar mark in the past two years.

Calls to Landmark were not immediately returned by press time.