Ohio SERS makes $80m bet on mid-market buyout

The $9bn School Employees' Retirement System approved commitments of up to $40m a piece to Francisco Partners and Mason Wells, two mid-market buyout shops.

The School Employees’ Retirement System of Ohio has agreed to commit up to $80 million to Francisco Partners and Mason Wells, two US-based mid-market buyout shops.

The pension, which has an actual allocation to private equity of 7.4 percent, authorised commitments of up to $40 million a piece to each fund, pending legal negotiations.

Mason Wells, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is targeting $250 million for its third buyout fund. The firm targets companies with revenues of $25 million to $250 million in sectors including engineered products and services, outsourced business services and specialty paper and packaging.

The firm’s second fund closed on $300 million in 2006.

Francisco Partners is raising $2 billion for its third buyout fund and has already collected $1 billion. The firm is using Lazard Freres as its placement agent.

Francisco pursues investments in technology-related companies with enterprise value from $25 million to $2 billion. The firm has invested more than $4 billion of equity in more than 50 tech-based companies.

Ohio School Employees’ pension, which about $9 billion in assets, has a 10 percent target to private equity and about $676 million in private equity assets.