Nebraska backs new Beecken fund

Chicago-based healthcare specialist Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company is targeting $400m for its latest flagship fund.

The Nebraska Investment Council approved a $20 million commitment to Beecken Petty O’Keefe Fund IV, state investment officer Jeff States told Private Equity International.

The commitment represents a new relationship for Nebraska, according to States.

Beecken is targeting $400 million for its latest flagship fund, which launched earlier this year, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission documents. Lazard, Oppenheimer & Company and Stiffel, Nicolaus & Company are listed as associated brokers or dealers on the fund.

The firm typically invests in mid-market buyouts, recapitalisations and growth platforms in the healthcare sector, according to its website. The enterprise values of Beecken’s buyout and recapitalisation transactions range between $40 million and $500 million. For growth level investments, those enterprise values tend to be between $5 million and $50 million.

The firm did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, Beecken closed on a deal to acquire Southern Anesthesia and Surgical, a distributer of pharmaceuticals and surgical supplies for oral health professionals, according to a release. It is unclear whether the firm used investment capital from its latest offering, or from its $400 million 2010 vintage, for equity in the transaction.

Nebraska has committed more than $100 million to private equity or venture capital funds this year, including commitments to Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund IV and Dover Street VIII.

The Nebraska Investment Council is responsible for managing $17.6 billion in state and local retirement system assets, as well as the assets of several endowments, trusts and the state’s deferred compensation plan. The council has a 5 percent target allocation for private equity. 

In August, the council approved a plan that would allow its investment staff to re-up with private equity and real estate fund managers without having to wait for approval. Under the new protocol, such re-ups would be permitted in instances when optimal or previously agreed upon fund terms are being offered. Commitments would likely be limited to around $25 million, States told Private Equity International at the time.