The Morning Leverage: Pandas, Bamboo and Today’s Private Equity Environment

Mike Lucas for Dow Jones

Top stories in this morning’s LBO Wire:

Bamboo Finance is aiming to convince potential backers that investments with positive social and environmental impact aren’t just some fancy tax write-off; they can actually make money. Shasha Dai reports that the Luxembourg firm is seeking to raise $200 million for a second fund to invest in banks, microfinance companies and other financial institutions lending to low-income families, primarily in emerging Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Speaking of bamboo, Panda Power Funds, the power infrastructure investor and, despite its name, not an advocate for burning endangered pandas for fuel, is looking to help fill the energy gap in Loudon County, Va. The firm bought a majority stake in a planned $800 million, 750 megawatt power plant in the Virginia county, which currently imports 100% of its power from neighboring areas, Amy Or reports (subscription required).

More stories available to LBO Wire subscribers: Emerging Capital Partners begins premarketing its fourth vehicle, which is targeting $750 million…Shelf Drilling Midco seeks to raise a $450 million secured term loan, with half the proceeds earmarked to pay dividends to investors Castle Harlan, Champ Private Equity and Lime Rock Partners…and Summit Partners-backed Avast Software acquires Jumpshot, a provider of software to improve computer performance.

(LBO Wire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals, fundraisings and personnel moves involving private equity firms. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

Elsewhere on the Web:

Carlyle Group has agreed to buy real-estate fund of funds business Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management, taking over management of its $2.6 billion portfolio of investments in real estate funds, Craig Karmin reports for The Wall Street Journal.

Graphite Capital reaches a first and final close on a new 475 million U.K. pound vehicle, raising one of the largest U.K.-dedicated private equity funds since the financial crisis, Dan Dunkley reports for LBO Wire’s U.K. sister publication Private Equity News (subscription required).

European bathroom equipment maker Grohe may launch an initial public offering as early as Thursday if owners TPG Capital and the private equity arm of Credit Suisse fail to agree to a roughly $4 billion sale by then, according to Reuters.

Write to Thomas Dunford at

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