Confirming media speculation, investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said Monday that its unit Goldman Sachs Asset Management has raised its fifth dedicated private equity secondaries fund, GS Vintage Fund V, with about $5.5 billion in capital commitments.

It was reported earlier that Goldman Sachs would receive $5.5 billion in investor commitments for a new fund to buy private-equity investments at a discount on the secondary market. Secondary private equity investments often sell for steep discounts when cash-strapped investors try to build cash.

The fund's primary focus is on acquiring portfolios of private equity assets, including limited partnership interests in private equity funds. It also aims at providing liquidity and capital solutions to limited partners and general partners. Limited partners in GS Vintage Fund V include existing and new institutional and private investors across geographies, the company said.

Last year, Goldman reportedly led one of the largest secondary-fund purchases by agreeing to pay about $1.5 billion for a portfolio of existing private-equity holdings, divested as part of the breakup of Dutch bank ABN Amro. The company has previously raised four funds totaling about $6 billion in the secondary-buyout area.

The GS Vintage Funds, according to the company, will evaluate opportunities ranging from $1 million to over $1 billion in size, across all private equity strategies and geographies. As one of the largest investors in the secondary market for private equity, the GS Vintage Funds hopes to draw on Goldman Sachs' global sourcing network, due diligence capabilities, risk management expertise, and extensive private equity relationships.

The company said that the GS Vintage Fund V is the latest fund raised by the Alternative Investments & Manager Selection, or AIMS, Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The Group provides investors diversified and customized portfolio solutions, across traditional long-only managers, hedge funds, and private equity funds around the world. It has over 200 professionals worldwide.

The private equity strategies of the AIMS Group so far represent more than $32 billion of capital commitments across private equity fund-of-funds, secondary market funds and co-investment vehicles.

Goldman Sachs last year received $10 billion in government rescue to remain in business. It was reported last month that the company was ready to repay the money by the middle of April and was seeking the nod of the regulators for the same.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal said the investment bank might make a multi billion dollar offering of its shares as part of its effort to repay $10 billion of government loan.

On April 8, the company's chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein hit the headlines when he called for certain basic standards in compensation in the industry. At that time, he said all pools of capital, including large hedge funds and private equity funds, should be subject to some degree of regulation.

GS closed Thursday's regular trade at $124.33, up $9.58 or 8.35%, on 25.61 million shares.

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