Kohlberg targets $1.5bn for its seventh fund

The Ohio School Employees’ Retirement System this week committed $40m to Kohlberg Investors VII, a re-up for the pension.

Kohlberg & Company is trying to match its largest fundraising haul ever, targeting $1.5 billion for its seventh fund, according to a person with knowledge of the commitment.

The target for the firm’s seventh fund would equal the total from Fund VI, which closed at its hard-cap of $1.5 billion in 2008. That fund closed in March 2008 after a year in the market, and months before Lehman Brothers collapsed, sending the credit markets into a tailspin and freezing the private equity fundraising market.

It’s not clear when Kohlberg launched Fund VII. Also unclear is whether Lazard is acting as placement agent for the fund. Lazard helped the firm raise past funds.

Kohlberg declined to comment.

This week, the Ohio School Employees’ Retirement System board authorised a commitment of $40 million to the fund. That commitment is in final negotiations.

The commitment from Ohio School Employees is a re-up for the pension, which committed $40 million to the firm’s sixth fund. The pension also committed $25 million to Kohlberg V, which closed on $800 million in 2004.

Kohlberg was formed by Jerome Kohlberg, one of the three founders of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Kohlberg left KKR and formed his own firm in 1987. Kohlberg retired from the firm in 1994, according to the firm’s web site.