Washington commits $150m to Littlejohn

Littlejohn’s fourth fund, which is targeting $1.3bn, invests in mid-market firms that are underperforming or financially distressed.

The $74 billion Washington State Investment Board is considering committing up to $150 million to Littlejohn’s fourth fund, which is targeting $1.3 billion.

The pension committee last week approved a commitment of up to $150 million, subject to final negotiations of terms and conditions, confirmed a spokesperson. The talks include negotiations over fees, the spokesperson said.

Other large public pension funds have made recent commitments to Fund IV. The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System committed $75 million earlier this month, and the Maryland Retirement System committed $25 million to the fund last September.

Littlejohn acquires distressed companies with revenues ranging from $150 million to $800 million, according to the firm's website.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm currently manages three funds with committed capital of $1.6 billion. Littlejohn’s Fund III was closed in 2005 with $650 million in committed capital. The firm raised an additional $200 million for that fund in 2007, after receiving approval from its limited partners to broaden its mandate to include non-control investments. The firm’s third fund was marketed predominantly to LPs that had invested in its previous fund, including public and corporate pensions, endowments, insurance companies and funds of funds.

Littlejohn Fund II closed in 2000 on $530 million; the firm’s first fund closed in 1997 on $205 million.

Littlejohn was founded in 1996 by Angus Littlejohn following his split from the New York-based private equity firm he co-founded in 1988, Joseph Littlejohn & Levy, which is now known as JLL Partners.