Home / World Business
Sat, Feb 26, 2005 - Page 12 News List

Bill Gates and Phil Knight invest in new Oak Hill fund


Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates and Nike Inc Chairman Phil Knight invested in a new buyout fund of as much as US$2.5 billion being raised by Oak Hill Capital Partners LP, a firm started by Texas billionaire Robert Bass.

Their participation was disclosed by Oak Hill managing partner Taylor Crandall during a fund-raising pitch to the Oregon Investment Council on Thursday. Bass, Knight and Oak Hill's 32 professionals invested a combined US$500 million in the new fund, Crandall said. The size of the investment by Gates wasn't disclosed.

Bass founded Oak Hill two decades ago to invest his own money. The organization, run from Menlo Park, California, and New York, acts as a family office for Bass and Knight and manages more than US$10 billion for individuals and institutions.

Bass "wouldn't be committing that type of money if he didn't have confidence in the team," Jay Fewel, senior equities investment officer for Oregon, told the council.

The Oregon council, which has been trying to invest money with different buyout managers partly to reduce its reliance on Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, approved US$100 million for the Oak Hill fund. The council oversees more than US$46 billion of state pension assets.

Other investors in the new fund include the government of Singapore and Stanford University, Crandall, 51, told the council. Oak Hill expects to finish raising the fund around the middle of the year.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest US pension fund, also invested, said Rick Hayes, who left Calpers to join Oak Hill as a managing partner last year.

Buyout and venture capital firms worldwide may seek to raise a record US$250 billion for new funds this year as lower borrowing costs make purchases cheaper and rising stock markets make it easier to profit from sales, according to Private Equity Intelligence Ltd.

Oak Hill has gathered US$1.4 billion of pledges after four months, said Hayes, 39. While the fund-raising document says the target is US$1.75 billion, Oak Hill will probably raise as much as US$2.5 billion, Fewel said.

This story has been viewed 4361 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top