By Steve Gelsi
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Tuesday it raised $9.7 billion in commitments for its private-equity fund West Street Capital Partners VIII LP, its largest buyout fund since 2007.
Managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the fund aims to spend about $300 million per investment in five major categories: financial and business services, healthcare, consumer, technology and climate transition.
“With widespread disruption taking place across industries driven by technological, industrial and geopolitical changes, we see many opportunities to identify leading companies and support their growth through an uncertain macro environment,” said Julian Salisbury, global co-head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
West Street Capital Partners VIII surpassed the $7 billion raised for the West Street Capital Partners VII private-equity fund in 2017.
However, Fund VIII trailed the roughly $20 billion Goldman Sachs /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS -0.76% drew in 2007 for GS Capital Partners VI LP, one of the largest private-equity funds ever at the time.
The new fund will work across the U.S., Europe and Asia to be the “preferred buyer and partner for companies looking to grow their businesses, improve performance and expand into new markets,” the firm said.
Goldman said the fund has already invested in several companies, including European specialty pharmacy company Norgine, Japanese road-paving company Nippo Corp., global-contract-research organization Parexel and MDVIP, a healthcare company based in the U.S.
While other major banks spun out their private-equity practices in the wake of financial crises, Goldman Sachs has kept the business in-house and today ranks as one of the largest private-equity investors on Wall Street.
The business sits within several of the largest stables in the broader Goldman Sachs organization and is often been seen as a black box, because investor profits from the firm’s big private-equity funds are not publicly disclosed.
Salisbury and co-head Luke Sarsfield run Goldman’s asset management, which has about $2.5 trillion in assets under supervision.
About $445 billion of that $2.5 trillion is in alternatives, including West Street Capital Partners VIII and other buyout funds as well as large secondary private-equity funds. The asset management group has also launched West Street Strategic Solutions Fund I LP, an opportunistic credit fund that’s raised about $16 billion, as well as its Petershill unit, which invests in minority stakes in other private-equity firms.
Speaking Sept. 13 at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference, Salisbury said market volatility and jitters around a recession continue to challenge the financial sector.
“Some of our business are doing better in an environment like this. Some are having a more challenging period of time,” Salisbury said. “One of the benefits we have as a diversified business is that in the round, we’re performing well through this environment.”