NETHERLANDS - AlpInvest Partners, the private equity for manager APG and PGGM Investments, seeks to build on its positive return last year by pursuing opportunities in the secondary and distressed debt markets in 2010.

"We are optimistic about the outlook for our investment activities, as it will be possible to capture opportunities, going forward at a low point in the cycle, in conjunction with slowly improving debt markets," AlpInvest's annual report said.

AlpInvest - one of the world's largest institutional investors in private equity - generated a 9.2% return on its investments in 2009 on behalf of its two key sponsors, APG and PGGM, which in turn manage the assets of the two largest pension funds in the Netherlands.

The performance figure for 2009 was equal to that of 2008, but significantly less than its performance in 2007 when it generated 15.6%.

Officials stressed that they could not provide a concrete estimate of the 2010 results yet, "given the current market uncertainties".

Following new investment commitments of €1.8bn - of which €1.6bn is for a fund of funds - the firm noted that "fundraising has been exceptionally slow, whilst Alpinvest and all related funds are experiencing the same slow investment environment".

In 2009, APG awarded AlpInvest with a €5.3bn mandate, to be invested in co-funding and secondary investment opportunities over three years. The private equity manager raised a total of €7.3bn during the previous year.

AlpInvest is fully owned by APG, the €240bn asset manager of the civil service scheme ABP, and PGGM, the €86bn asset manager of the healthcare pension fund PFZW.

Since its creation in 1999, over €44bn of funds have been committed to the private equity manager.

AlpInvest manages the mandated funds from offices in Amsterdam, New York and Hong Kong, as well as London from where it has been managing its mezzanine activities since 2008.