CalPERS is doing some serious profit taking.
The big California pension fund is selling about a half-billion dollars worth of shares in two private equity firms, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CalPERS plans to sell as many as 12.7 million shares in Carlyle Group LP, according to a filing Monday. That would cash CalPERS out of its entire 4 percent stake in Carlyle.
A month ago, Apollo Global Management LLC disclosed that CalPERS is planning to sell 6.5 million shares, representing about one-fifth of its Apollo stake. Another big Apollo investor, the government of Abu Dhabi, also plans to unload 6.5 million shares.
CalPERS declined comment Tuesday, but it looks like the pension fund will sell the shares at a significant profit. Based on Tuesday's closing market prices, the shares are worth a combined $505 million.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System has been investing for years in various funds managed by Carlyle and Apollo, and more recently made investments in the two companies themselves.
The two firms sold stock to the public in the past two years, and their stock prices have performed well during the market rally. Apollo shares have doubled in price in the past year, while Carlyle shares rose about 30 percent.
Including profit distributions, CalPERS likely will more than triple its initial $175 million investment in Carlyle, which came in 2001, according to calculations by Reuters.
After the sale, "Carlyle will continue to manage a significant amount of limited partnership investments for CalPERS," Carlyle said in a prepared statement.
Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.