Private Equity Fund investment performance in the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 was strong, with valuations in underlying investments increasing by 3.9% and 25.4%, respectively. Full year appreciation of these fund investments was driven primarily by our public company investments, which increased 65% in 2012.
During the quarter, fundraising activity included $71 million in capital raised for transportation and infrastructure investments in our WWTAI Fund. Subsequent to year end, we raised an additional $221 million of capital, bringing total capital raised to date for WWTAI to $372 million. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the Private Equity segment raised over $1.1 billion of capital and distributed over $1.0 billion of capital back to investors. Fundraising activity in 2012 was highlighted by the nearly $600 million launch of our MSR Opportunities Funds, as well as $435 million of permanent equity capital raised for Newcastle Investment Corp. (NYSE: NCT). NCT raised an additional $764 million of permanent equity capital in the first two months of 2013, bringing total permanent equity capital raised by NCT in the last 12 months to $1.2 billion.
In January 2013, NCT announced plans to spin off all of its investments in MSRs and certain other residential assets into a new publicly traded real estate investment trust, New Residential Investment Corp. (“New Residential”). New Residential will be externally managed by an affiliate of Fortress and will primarily target opportunistic investments in MSRs, RMBS, servicing advances, non-performing loans and other real estate related investments.
Also in January 2013, SeaCube Container Leasing announced an agreement to sell 100% of its outstanding shares for $23.00 per common share. SeaCube (NYSE: BOX) is the container leasing subsidiary of Seacastle Inc., an intermodal equipment leasing operator Fortress formed in 2007. At the time of the announcement, Fortress Funds owned 8.4 million SeaCube common shares in Fund III, Fund III Co, Fund IV and Fund IV Co.
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