aCVC rewrites European record

CVC Capital Partners has raised Europe’s largest private equity fund to date, with the first and final close on a €6bn vehicle from a broad range of international institutional investors and high net worth individuals. CVC European Equity Partners IV will invest in a diverse range of companies across Europe, with CVC continuing its focus on longer-term investments.

“The significant demand from both existing limited partners as well as new investors reflects solid investor confidence, as well as the increasing recognition of private equity as an asset class,” said Michael Smith, chairman of CVC. “The continuing challenge will be to identify attractive deals early on.”

CVC has raised more than US$18bn from fundraising rounds in Europe and Asia. Of that total, some US$15.5bn was raised in Europe and US$2.7bn was committed from Asia. “We are pleased to report that all funds raised by CVC to date have achieved top quartile performance,” Smith said.

Recent European deals include the US$1.8bn purchase of Ruhrgas Industries, the acquisition of 22% of Post Danmark, the US$700m purchase of Mivisa and the €825m acquisition of Leaf from CSM. Exits are headed by the recent sale of Kwik-Fit to Speedy I, a company controlled by PAI Partners.

CVC is the latest of the big European and international buyout firms to hold a closing. Early last month, Apax closed its fourth fund at €4.3bn. The fund rapidly reached a first close at €3bn and has already made investment of up to €1bn.

BC Partners, meanwhile, raised more than €5.8bn in less than six months. The result was driven by increases in commitments from investors in the firm’s previous seven funds. This accounted for 90% of total capital. Investors likely to have committed to the fund include California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), Harbourvest, Partners Group, Alpinvest and Pantheon.

Elsewhere, Blackstone is targeting a US$11bn fundraising, which would set a global record in the private equity industry. At that size, the fund would raise more than the US$8bn to US$10bn target that the firm had provisionally hoped to meet when it consulted investors earlier in the year.