Quadrangle kaput? Not exactly

November 22, 2010, 8:47 PM UTC

“Quadrangle Kaput”

That’s the headline in this morning’s NY Post, although the story isn’t nearly so dire.

As the paper reports, private equity firm Quadrangle Group has indefinitely postponed any new fundraising (it’s long been out of dry powder for new investments), and any future fund is unlikely to follow past structures (perhaps an evergreen effort?). It also is planning to hire some new folks, with certain existing staffers choosing to move on.

Among those leaving is managing principal Andrew Frey, while firm co-founder Josh Steiner is expected to take “a lesser role.” No official word on the fate of Quadrangle’s Hong Kong staffers, but don’t expect the office to remain open for too much longer.

A source familiar with the situation tells me that Quadrangle heard the following message from limited partners, when approached about a new fund over the summer: “The earliest you’ll get to a first close is late 2011, and we’d likely participate in the second close. Plus, you’ve got to chance your name and resolve the situation with Steve Rattner. If you don’t, our investment committee will never bite.”

The source also tells me that the Post overreached in saying that Quadrangle is seeking “a buyer.” Instead, it’s seeking a minority partner from the asset management world, and remains confident that a deal could be struck within the next few weeks.

Don’t expect that partner to be Carlyle Group, however. Its name snuck into the Post story, but the two sides have not held discussions. Moreover, it would be very odd for Carlyle to voluntarily reignite its relationship to the New York public pension scandal.

Expect some announcements from the firm before year-end, including on personnel and business strategy.