Florida SBA places $350m with debt managers

The $180bn pension plan committed to funds managed by Audax Group and Värde Partners in the second quarter.  

The Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) decided to invest $200 million with the Värde Fund XII and $150 million into the Audax Mezzanine Fund IV in the second quarter, according to a Q2 transaction report shared with PDI.

Both commitments are re-ups for the $180.5 billion US retirement system. Florida SBA has previously invested with the Värde Fund XI, a distressed fund that closed on $2 billion in June 2014. The pension fund also invested in the Audax Credit Opportunities Fund in 2010.

Audax Group’s private debt business, which includes mezzanine and senior loan strategies, is based in New York. The firm works on deals of up to $100 million in junior debt. The transactions normally back leveraged buyouts, acquisition financing and recapitalisations, according to the firm’s website.

Audax already closed its fourth mezzanine fund on $1.2 billion earlier this summer. The firm runs its private equity business out of Boston and has about $10 billion in total assets under management.

Värde is headquartered in Minneapolis and also handles about $10 billion. The firm’s investments include corporate credit, real estate, residential mortgages, transportation and infrastructure. Its two other primary offices are in London and Singapore. The firm also has support staff in eight other locations around the world.

Florida’s second quarter investment report also included a real estate commitment to the BlackRock Europe Property IV and five private equity investments with Tiger Iron Capital, Inflexion Private Equity, Post Oak Energy Capital, Silicon Valley Bank Capital and Asia Alternatives Management. Total alternatives commitments during the quarter amounted to about $800 million.