Highbridge launching mezz and energy funds – exclusive

The New York-based credit arm of Highbridge is set to launch its third mezzanine fund as well as a new energy opportunities strategy.

Highbridge Principal Strategies is preparing to launch its third mezzanine fund and is also soft marketing an energy credit vehicle, sources told PDI. The US-based manager, a subsidiary of Highbridge Capital Management and JPMorgan Asset Management is also seeking $1.25 billion for its European Asset Value Fund, the sources added. 

The firm closed on its $5 billion HPS Mezzanine Fund II in March 2013 and the new global vehicle is a follow-up that is expected to have a similar size target, one of the sources said. 

Highbridge considered launching an opportunistic energy credit vehicle several months ago but pulled back from the plan, sources confirmed. It is now soft marketing a vehicle dedicated to the strategy for which a large number of other credit funds are raising cash. 

A spokeswoman for Highbridge declined to comment on the fundraising. 

Highbridge’s European Asset Value Fund will concentrate on making asset-backed loans and buying undervalued portfolios of such assets from European lenders seeking to shed non-core business lines.
The London-based team behind the strategy includes managing director Justin Staadecker and portfolio manager Jon Ashley, both former Fortress Investment Group executives. 

The credit unit of the JPMorgan-controlled manager is also plotting its spin-out from the US investment bank, as reported by PDI in October. Investors have been told that it is working on a management buy-out. 

Highbridge Capital Management is based in New York and has offices in Hong Kong and London. It is majority-owned by JPMorgan Asset Management.