Wisconsin commits $380m to private equity

The $83.8bn retirement system’s second quarter commitments focused heavily on mid-market funds.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has invested $380 million in private equity across eight funds, with its largest commitment of $100 million going to American Securities Partners VI. American’s sixth fund is targeting $3 billion, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

American typically invests $100 million to $1 billion in mid-market companies without a sector or regional focus, according to its website. As of 30 June, the New York-based firm had raised approximately $2 billion, according to SEC filings.

The investment board, which oversees investments made by the state’s $83.8 billion pension system, reviewed commitments made over the second quarter at its 17 August meeting. In addition to American, the pension system committed $65 million to EQT Fund VI, targeting €4.25 billion for mid-market control-oriented investments in businesses in Sweden, Germany, Norway and Denmark, as well as secondary activity in Central Europe.

Chequers Capital, a French mid-market firm, received $50 million for its eighth fund, which closed on its €850 million hard-cap in June. Waterland Private Equity Fund V, another fund focusing on mid-market European buyouts, also received $50 million from Wisconsin.

SWIB made a $40 million commitment to Berkshire Partners VIII. The firm held a July closing on $4.5 billion for mid-market companies with acquisition values between $200 million and $2 billion. The board also made a $25 million commitment to ABRY Partners VII, which reportedly exceeded its $1.6 billion target focusing on the media, communications, information services and business sectors earlier this year.

The board made two $25 million commitments to funds raised by venture capital firms DAG Ventures and FirstMark Capital. Wisconsin considers venture capital a component of its private equity portfolio, according to pension documents.

Wisconsin has a 6 percent target allocation to private equity and debt. At the end of the first quarter, the retirement system had committed $13.6 billion to the asset class.