Landmark Partners Shelves Hybrid Fund

UPDATE: The story has been updated to include comment from the firm.

Landmark Partners has shelved fundraising efforts for its new hybrid secondaries fund, a source close to the situation said.

The Simsbury, Conn.-based secondaries firm launched Hybrid Secondary Fund LP earlier this year to invest in private equity funds which are less than 50% funded. The fund had a $400 million target. Merrill Lynch acted as its placement agent.

The effort, which launched earlier this year, hadn’t held closes on any capital. Despite market enthusiasm for the secondary funds, commitments to the first-time hybrid fund were not easy to come by. The firm decided to focus on raising its larger traditional secondary fund, tabling the hybrid fund until 2010, the source said.

To date, Landmark Partners’ fourteenth traditional secondary fund has closed in $1.25 billion in commitments from 103 investors, according to a regulatory filing. The firm plans meet the fund’s $2 billion target early in the first quarter of 2010. Merrill Lynch is serving as placement agent on Landmark Equity Partners XIV LP.

Landmark has begun to deploy the fund, with 10% put to work already. Like many long-time investors in the secondary stakes of private equity funds, Landmark Partners believes pricing on stakes in the market is not low enough to buy aggressively. The firm’s activity has focused on traditional secondaries but included structured transactions, in which the firm forms a joint venture with a sellers looking to manage asset allocation. The firm agrees to take on the unfunded portion of the seller’s commitment in exchange for a preferred position in portfolio cash flows.

The firm contacted me with the following statement:

Landmark has postponed its hybrid investment strategy and is currently focused on the deployment of secondary capital into mature secondary transactions. Landmark believes there is currently a significant opportunity to work with institutional investors to help them achieve their unique portfolio objectives and solve asset allocation constraints.

Currently, Landmark is actively pursuing traditional secondary transactions in mature private equity portfolios and a variety of structured transactions with other institutional investors.

Previously: Landmark Partners Analyzes Denominator Issues
Hungry For Secondary Funds? Here’s Who Is In Market