Apax Partners has begun fund raising for its sixth fund, Apax Europe VI, with an expected target of up to E4.5bn. Apax does not yet have a timetable in place for closings but the admission it has begun issuing fund raising documents is expected to be the starting pistol in the race for capital as a number of private equity firms are expected to start raising money over the next 12 months.
The E4.4bn Apax V fund closed in 2001 and is approximately 60% invested, with the group aiming for 80% before 2005. At the end of February, the fund had returned just under E1bn. Recent exits include the flotations of Yell, the British yellow pages company, and Aziumt, an Italian investment management group.