Bond manager PIMCO has claimed $122 million of pre-commitments for a fund which will invest in the equity tranche of collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), and is due to launch on March 31.

According to PIMCO’s incoming head of portfolio management for Australia, Robert Mead, the fund will be a “;pure alternative play”; designed to provide investors with equity-like returns as they wait for their private equity allocations to be drawn down. The fund will include investments in the equity tranches of between 30 and 50 CDOs issued worldwide. It’s Australian launch will be Pimco’s first release of the fund anywhere in the world, which Mead said reflected Australian institutions’ strong appetite for absolute returns. Meanwhile, in a sign of private equity’s growing influence on credit markets, Mead revealed PIMCO now maintains a global “;LBO list”;, covering the 12 companies the manager predicts are most likely to be a buy-out target at any particular time. Mead said the list allowed PIMCO to get a headstart on modelling credit scenarios for those companies, to help determine whether the manager should go long its debt, or short via credit default swaps, in the event of the company being subject to a private equity takeover.

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