CalSTRS made 11 private equity commitments totaling nearly $1.6 billion since April 1, according to a document just released by the $142.2 billion pension fund.
The California State Teachers' Retirement System, Sacramento, committed $800 million to First Reserve XI, a $7.8 billion energy infrastructure fund; $160 million to New Enterprise Associates 12; up to $150 million to EnCap Energy Capital Fund VI; $150 million to Centerbridge Capital Partners; $70 million to Onex Partners II; up to $67.5 million to Cortec Group Fund IV; up to €45 million ($57.6 million) to Hg Renewable Power Partners; $50 million to Bain Capital IX Co-investment Fund; and $50 million to The Triton Fund II. CalSTRS also made commitments to two co-investments: $15 million to Mobile Storage Group and $12.5 million to INGECO.
In addition, CalSTRS staff recommended continuing exclusion of tobacco companies from the pension fund's equity and debt benchmarks, but noted the fund may revisit that decision given a July 6 Florida Supreme Court ruling reversing $145 billion in punitive damages against tobacco companies. That ruling substantially reduces the litigation risk to the tobacco industry in U.S. courts, staff wrote in a memo to the board. However, it added that some observers think the Florida ruling, which also found that tobacco products were defective, addictive and cause disease, might spur a new round of domestic lawsuits. Also, recent lawsuits in at least 35 countries outside the United States may pose new survival tests for the tobacco industry, the memo said. "Estimating the impact of these non-U.S. cases is very difficult," it added.
Officials at Pension Consulting Alliance support the staff decision, which will be reviewed at CalSTRS' Sept. 7 investment committee meeting.