US ’Hispanic’ fund raises $290m

New York private equity firm Palladium Equity has garnered its largest commitment from Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, will invest in US companies linked to the Hispanic community.

New York-based private equity firm Palladium Equity Partners held a first close on its third fund, rounding up $290 million for a vehicle with a target of $500 million.

The new fund will invest in US-based companies that have links to the Hispanic community. Typical Palladium investments will be between $15 million and $50 million in companies with sales between $25 million and $500 million.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain’s second-largest bank and the largest backer in the new fund, committed $150 million. Other investors in Fund III include the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the New York State and Local Retirement System and the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Fund.

Palladium had originally announced its intention to raise a $300 million fund back in February 2003. The firm’s most recent investment was the June 2003 acquisition of eyewear and eye care accessories supplier The Hilsinger Company, which Palladium bought alongside ICV Capital Partners and company management.