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Peak Rock steps further into credit

The firm’s second fund consists of separate debt and equity vehicles; its first had made debt and equity investments from a single pool of capital.

Peak Rock Capital is closing in on its target for the credit fund in market alongside its second private equity fund, a move that comes as the firm made multiple hires with significant backgrounds in credit.

The Austin, Texas-based mid-market investment shop has locked down $225.07 million, just short of its $240 million goal, according to a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. That target is an increase from the $180 million outlined in the fund’s initial disclosure in December.

The firm is seeking $960 million for Peak Rock Capital II, the private equity fund sleeve, in addition to the almost quarter-billion for Credit Fund II, bringing the total to $1.2 billion. So far, the firm has raised $1.18 billion, according to SEC filings.

Investments include $100 million from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and $100 million from the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA), which committed $20 million to the credit fund and $80 million to the equity fund.

The credit and equity sleeve structure differs from that of Peak Rock Capital Fund I, which made debt and equity investments out of one concentrated pool of capital. The vehicle raised $700 million, smashing its $400 million target, according to an announcement at the time.

CalSTRS and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System both committed capital to the debut fund along with the SBA and Texas County & District Retirement System.

At the end of September, Peak Rock added six people, all of whom have a background in credit. Those hires included senior- and mid-level positions, according to a statement from the firm.

Ralph DeBernardo, the firm’s principal and head of investor relations, went to Peak Rock from Vista Equity Partners where he helped fundraise for the firm’s myriad strategies, including credit. In addition, the senior vice president for business development, Toby Stoops, joined the firm from Z Capital Partners where he focused on mid-market debt investments.

Sean Colligan, formerly of Z Capital Credit Partners where he analysed mid-market debt investments, joined Peak Rock as a principal. Yunus Jaffrey, who previously led syndicated debt investments at HIG Whitehorse Capital, was added as a vice president, as was Preston Thomas, also formerly of HIG. The sixth hire was Brendan Wolf, who started at the firm as an associate from Houlihan Lokey.

Peak Rock makes investments in companies that have revenues of $50 million to $1 billion, with capital commitments of $20 million to $150 million per transaction.

The firm participates in a variety of transaction types, including leveraged buyouts, recapitalisations, restructurings and bankruptcies, debt financings and secondary debt purchases. It targets nine different industries, including business- and tech-enabled services, metals, energy and healthcare.