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Orix Seeds Private-Equity Fund Focusing on Life Sciences Firms

Orix USA Asset Management is providing $150 million in seed capital to two Fortress Investment Group LLC alumni for a private-equity fund focusing on health-care and life sciences companies.

The fund, run by New York-based New Health Capital Partners LLC, will invest in senior secured loans, majority equity stakes and other forms of structured financing, Orix said today in a statement.

Richard Baxter and Aron Dantzig, who founded New Health Capital last year, were most recently co-heads of Fortress’s health-care group, investing more than $1 billion since 2005. In exchange for the investment, Orix will take an undisclosed stake in the management company, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the fund is private.

“Partnering with Aron and Rich and their team gives Orix USA Asset Management a unique opportunity to invest in the health-care and life sciences sectors and further highlights our commitment to the global asset-management industry,” Michael Blum, president and chief executive, said in the statement.

Orix USA Asset Management, a unit of Tokyo-based Orix Corp., was formed last year after Orix bought most of Mariner Investment Group LLC, a hedge fund based in Harrison, New York.

Orix plans to make more investments, which may include everything from allocating capital to an existing fund in exchange for a share of its fee revenue to buying a majority stake in a money-management firm, Blum said in a telephone interview.

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