HRJ closes $195m special situations FoF

The San Francisco-based firm co-founded by American football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott has fully committed its latest fund.

HRJ Capital has closed a $195 million (€123 million) fund of funds focusing on distressed and turnaround private equity funds, more evidence that as the US economy shows signs of slowing, investors are searching for profits from overleveraged businesses and stalled debt markets.

The San Francisco-based firm, founded in 1999 by former NFL ‘49ers stars Ronnie Lott and Harris Barton, has fully committed HRJ Special Opportunities Fund I over a variety of US and international private equity firms, according to a statement from HRJ.

LPs for the fund included endowments, foundations, pension plans, family offices, investment advisors and high net worth individuals, with a significant portion of investors located outside the US.

HRJ, which manages more than $2.3 billion, could not be reached for comment. Formerly known as Champion Ventures, HRJ initially invested solely in venture funds but has expanded into private equity and hedge funds in recent years. Just last month, HRJ closed a real estate fund of funds on $155 million.
The firm joins a heavy hitting lineup of private equity firms looking to capitalise on credit market dislocation. Earlier this month, the Carlyle Group closed a $1.35 billion distressed credit vehicle, while media reports citing unnamed sources say buyout firms including Apollo Management, TPG and The Blackstone Group are looking to buy $12.5 billion of leveraged loans from Citigroup at a discount, as well as portions of Deutsche Bank’s LBO loan portfolio.