Berkshire raises $4.5 billion buyout fund

July 21, 2011, 12:37 AM UTC

Private equity firm Berkshire Partners has raised $4.5 billion for its eighth fund, Fortune has learned. It had gone out in late January with a $4 billion target, and held a final close within the past few weeks.

The Boston-based firm has basically finished investing its seventh fund, a $3.1 billion vehicle raised in 2006.

“There are a number of deals that Berkshire could of, or wanted to, put more money into in the past few years but were unable to because of the fund size,” says a source familiar with the firm. “This new fund provides more flexibility, letting Berkshire buy bigger pieces of companies that they otherwise would have had to invest less in or partner on.”

The new fund’s first deal is a $2.1 billion acquisition of Husky International, an Ontario-based provider of injection molding equipment and services for the plastics industry. Overall, the firm does not expect to change its investment strategy, which is to invest between $50 million and $400 million in companies within the consumer/retail, business services, industrial manufacturing, transportation and telecom markets.

There also are no major personnel changes, except that managing director Carl Ferenbach will transition into an “advisory director” role in early 2012.