Crestview announces first deal, $1.4bn from LPs

Crestview Partners, the new firm launched by Goldman Sachs veterans Barry Volpert and Thomas Murphy, has yet to formally announce a final close for its debut fund, but in statement announcing its first deal, the firm said it had amassed $1.4bn in commitments.

An official close on Crestview Partners’ inaugural fund has yet to be made public, but in a press release announcing the firm’s first deal, Crestview indicated it has amassed $1.4 billion of capital commitments. The group had reportedly set a target of $1.25 billion on the debut fund, Crestview Capital Partners LP.

Crestview was launched last year by Goldman Sachs veterans Barry Volpert and Thomas Murphy Jr. Volpert was an 18-year veteran at Goldman, having last served as the head of its European Merchant Banking Division and co-COO of its global Principal Investment Area. Murphy, meanwhile, was the co-founder and head of its Financial Sponsors Group, which managed Goldman’s global investment-banking activities with other private equity groups.

Crestview also brought on board former Goldman vice chairman Robert Hurst as a senior advisor, and filled out its executive roster with ex-AMFM CEO and Marcus Cable founder Jeffrey Marcus. Wing Keith, who last served as COO at Oak Hill Capital Management, also joined Crestview, where she serves in the same capacity.

According to a report issued by Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), which committed to invest $150 million in the Crestview fund, the firm’s core focus is on contrarian investments and special situations.

Other investors in the new Crestview fund, based on filings submitted to the Securities & Exchange Commission, include Amherst College and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The firm’s first investment demonstrates its focus on contrarian plays. Crestview, along with co-sponsor MidOcean Partners, acquired the Puerto Rican cable assets that had previously belonged to a joint venture between Adelphia Communications and ML Media Partners. The assets had been operating under bankruptcy protection since the fourth quarter of 2002. According to a press release issued by the buyers in June, the firms paid $520 million for the company.

Calls to Crestview were not returned by press time.