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Alaska invests $250m in Oaktree’s eighth fund

The $32bn endowment has invested in Oaktree Opportunities Fund VIII, which is targeting between $4bn and $6bn.

The Alaska Permanent Fund, the state’s $32 billion oil and gas endowment, recently committed $250 million to Oaktree Capital Management’s eighth fund, which is targeting between $4 billion and $6 billion.

Alaska has not made commitments to private equity over the past few months, and even pulled back on $650 million in recommended commitments to infrastructure and private equity funds in February.

But in May the fund set aside $500 million for private equity investing in the fiscal year 2010, and gave its staff more flexibility to directly manage the private equity portfolio.

Alaska has about $3.2 billion invested in alternatives, and an allocation mandate of 6 percent to private equity. The fund also has allocation caps of 12 percent to real estate, 3 percent to infrastructure and 1 percent to distressed debt.

Oaktree has won several mandates to manage investments for various institutions. The firm, led by Howard Marks, was picked by the US Treasury as one of nine fund managers to participate in the government’s $30 billion Public-Private Investment Program to help unfreeze the credit markets. The firm is teaming up with Dubai International Capital to restructure about $1 billion of debt held by German aluminium company Almatis.

Last year, the firm entered a partnership with the Korea National Pension Service to explore investment opportunities in Korea.

Recently, Oaktree emerged as one of several bondholders of mid-market lender CIT Group who offered a $3 billion rescue package to keep the struggling bank afloat.