Texas TRS sends $50m to Carlyle spin-out

Stellex Capital, a New York and London-based credit firm founded by several Carlyle alums, has scored a commitment from the Texas Teachers pension fund.  

The $125.3 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas has recently pledged to invest $50 million in Stellex Capital Partners, a debut distressed and special situations vehicle from a firm launched by former Carlyle Group executives. Stellex Capital Management, which has offices in New York and London, was founded in the summer of 2014 by Ray Whiteman and Michael Stewart, who were previously co-heads of the Carlyle Strategic Partners business, Carlyle’s distressed debt group.

Stellex is seeking $750 million for its first fund, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing in June last year. A report from Bloomberg also said the firm has a $1 billion hard-cap on the vehicle.

Stellex focuses on mid-market companies in distress, as well as special situation opportunities, aiming to deliver private equity-type returns, according to the firm’s website. The group targets most industrial and services sectors in the US and Europe. These could include aerospace, automotive, business services, consumer products, defense, energy & power, financial services, government services, infrastructure and TMT (Telecommunications, Media and Transportation) sectors.

The Houston Firefighters’ Relief & Retirement Fund also invested $30 million in the fund in April. The firm is using New York-based Sixpoint Partners as a placement agent.

Whiteman and Stewart left Carlyle to set up the new firm in 2013. Shary Moalemzadeh and Ian Jackson were then appointed to replace them as co-heads of the distressed debt unit. That group is now also raising $2 billion for its fourth Carlyle Strategic Partners fund, as PDI previously reported.