Pennsylvania commits almost $140m across five funds

The US pension has made commitments to private equity and real estate funds including $79m to Charterhouse Capital’s ninth European buyout fund and $9 million to a sidecar vehicle associated with Battery Ventures’ eighth fund.

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System has committed up to $138 million (€86.9 million) to five private equity and real estate funds.

The $34 billion pension plan yesterday agreed in a board meeting to allocate up to €50 million to the $6 billion buyout fund, Charterhouse Capital Partners IX, as well as €20 million to Italian private equity fund Clessidra Capital Partners II.

Charterhouse Capital, which in March bought emergency alarm company the Tunstall Group from Bridgepoint for £514 million (€669 million; $1 billion), targets European companies valued between €400 million and €4 billion.

Clessidra is headed by Claudio Sposito, the former chief executive of Fininvest, holding company of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Earlier this year Clessidra made its first investment outside Italy, buying a third of timber and wood company Global Wood Holding. Clessidra raised an €820 million fund in 2005.

The Pennsylvania pension also committed up to $30 million follow-on investment to venture capital fund InterWest Partners X; $9 million to a sidecar fund being raised by US venture firm Battery Ventures, which follows a previous $25 million investment in its associated Fund VIII; and up to $15 million to Arden Real Estate Fund I. InterWest Partners raised $600 million with its ninth fund and has raised more than $2 billion since inception in 1979.

A spokesman for the pension said the investments would be funded “from cash” as part of Pennsylvania’s “long-term investment plan”. All commitments were subject to negotiations. During its meeting, the pension’s board also approved retaining Rocaton Investment Advisors as the fund’s general investment consultant, with a new contract expected to run for five years.