Wilbur Ross raises $2.2 billion for fifth fund
(Reuters) - Wilbur Ross has raised $2.2 billion for his latest private equity fund, which invests in and restructures financially distressed companies, the billionaire investor said on Friday, ending a challenging two-year fundraising process.
Ross made a name for himself as a bankruptcy guru by snapping up out-of-favor assets in areas such as autos, steel and coal and has recently invested in small regional U.S. banks. But he had struggled of late to bring investors onboard.
The 74-year-old restructuring veteran, whose net worth was pegged by Forbes at $2.2 billion as of the end of March, had to provide assurances to investors that he will be around well into the investment period of the latest fund, which launched in 2010.
The WLR Recovery Fund V reached its final fundraising close at $2.2 billion after cutting its target from $4 billion, Ross said. He was confirming his comments in Private Equity International, which reported on the fundraising earlier.
WLR Recovery Fund V was valued at 1.08 times its investment cost as of the end of March according to one of its investors, the Oregon Investment Council. Its predecessor, WLR Recovery Fund IV, was valued at 1.21 times its cost.
The number of private equity funds seeking money from investors reached an all-time high in the second quarter, while those which completed fundraising hit a record low, according to data released by market research firm Preqin last week.
In 2006, the firm Ross founded in 2000, WL Ross & Co, was acquired by money manager Invesco Ltd. Ross retained operational control but had to give up substantial portions of the economics of his firm.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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