Tennessee commits $50m to Berkshire

Berkshire Partners has reportedly collected $4bn for its eighth fund and is expecting to hold a final close in early July.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System has committed $50 million to Berkshire Partners’ eighth fund, which has raised $4 billion, according to media reports, and is understood to be expecting a final close by early July.

Berkshire’s seventh fund closed on $3.1 billion in 2006. The firm invests in consumer products, retailing and related services, business services, transportation, energy, industrial manufacturing and communications.

Berkshire Partners declined to comment.

Tennessee, a $32 billion pension, received approval from the Tennessee General Assembly to invest up to 5 percent of the portfolio in private equity in 2008. The pension’s fledgling private equity programme was launched in the fall of 2009 and has made $400 million in total commitments, according to Lamar Villare, director of Private Equity for Tennessee.

Tennessee’s Board has also approved a commitment of up to $25 million to Khosla Ventures IV. Khosla Ventures III collected $750 million and targets early and mid-stage investments in information technology, clean energy, sustainable materials and other new technologies for US infrastructure.

In 2010, Tennessee hired Cambridge Associates as the consultant to its young private equity programme, which made its first commitment in the fall of 2009. The pension’s first private equity consultant was Strategic Investment Solutions.

Tennessee has previously made commitments to Oaktree Opportunities Funds VIII and VIIIb and Oaktree’s Public Private Investment Program fund. The pension has also committed to TA Associates, Hellman & Friedman and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.