Massachusetts commits $500m+ to private equity

The $40bn pension has committed to Oaktree, Charlesbank Equity, KPS, Centerbridge, Westview Capital and Xenon.

The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board has made more than $500 million in fresh private equity commitments.

The board, which manages the $40 billion Pension Reserves Investment Trust, committed up to $200 million to Oaktree Opportunities Fund VIII, which is targeting between $4 billion and $6 billion. Massachusetts PRIM will allocate to $100 million to mid-market investor Charlesbank Equity Fund VII, targeting $1.5 billion.

The pension board also allocated up to $100 million to KPS Special Situations Fund III, which closed on $1.2 billion in 2007. KPS has approached existing investors in the fund to ask for an additional $800 million to add to the fund to expand its pool of capital for new investments.

Massachusetts PRIM approved commitments of $100 million to Centerbridge Special Credit Partners, which does not have a specific target but has so far raised $467 million; $25 million to Westview Capital Partners II, which has a hard cap of $325 million and €20 million to Xenon Private Equity Fund V, a Milan-based firm that is targeting €130 million and has collected €113 million.

The pension has a long-term allocation to private equity of 10 percent and reportedly has an actual allocation of 12.2 percent.

In June, the pension paid $150 million for an LP interest in Denham Capital Management Commodity Partners V through a secondary purchase from Harvard Management Company. The fund closed on $2 billion in July for investments in oil and gas, mining, timber and power industries. The fund is the Boston-based firm’s first independently raised vehicle after spinning out of failed hedge fund Sowood Capital in 2007.

The pension in April committed $150 million to Oaktree Capital Management’s fifth “loan to own” fund, Oaktree Principal Fund V, which is targeting $5 billion.