Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc., a leveraged buyout shop headquartered in Dallas, said it plans to open a private equity firm to invest in companies that provide products or services to minorities.

The new firm will make acquisitions and investments of $25 million to $100 million in medium-size companies and in real estate, particularly in depressed urban areas, according to Hicks Muse executives.

Such areas present opportunities that investors may not have thought about, said Thomas O. Hicks, chairman and chief executive officer.

Dallas' city manager, John Ware, resigned last week to become principal in charge of operations for the new enterprise.

"This is a chance to practice what I have been preaching for the last 20 years," said Mr. Ware, who counts capital raising for depressed areas of Dallas among the accomplishments of his five years as city manager.

The new firm will be based in Dallas. Hicks Muse also has offices in New York, St. Louis, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires.

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