Barclays closes European Fund

Barclays Private Equity has closed its most recent offering at €1.25 billion, just over its original target of €1.2 billion. While Barclays Private Equity has been investing client money since 1987 this is its first formal fund raising since 1989.

The group has received commitments of €600 million from 24 blue chip investors from Europe and the US. This will be invested alongside Barclays’ commitment of over €500 million and €100 million from existing client Parallel Ventures. Investors in the fund include Allianz Private Equity Partners, Citigroup Private Equity, NIB Capital Private Equity, Pantheon Ventures, Robeco and Standard Life Investments.

Graeme White, head of Barclays Private Equity, said: “Despite a difficult fund raising climate we are delighted to have exceeded our target for our final close. We have found that our focus on management buyouts and the spread of risk across a large number of deals in different sectors and countries attracted investors.”

Barclays Private Equity’s strategy is to focus on mid-market buyouts with an enterprise value of up to €400 million. The plan is to invest in up to 60 companies across Europe over the next three to four years. Barclays Private Equity invests in all sectors with a particular focus on financial services, healthcare, IT services, support services and travel and leisure sectors.

In spite of the collapse in M&A activity, 2002 has been a good year for Barclays Private Equity with eight successful realisations. These include most recently the sale of Momentum to Aegon UK and the sale of International Life Leisure Limited to Cedant. Other exits during the year have included the €105 million sale of The Doctors Healthcare Group to Sonic Healthcare, the €580 million sale of Go Fly to easyJet and the €112 million sale of TV Travel Group to USA Networks, the majority shareholder in Expedia in the UK. The group has also completed its first realisation in Germany with the sale of Nici.