Barclays Private Equity, the private equity arm of Barclays Bank, has shaken off concerns that the UK mid-market is still vulnerable to the credit crunch by raising €2.4bn for its third Europe-focused fund.
Barclays Private Equity European Fund III is a significant step up from its predecessor, which raised €1.65bn in 2005. Tom Lamb, co-head of Barclays Private Equity, said that the entire sum was raised by existing investors, including a €650m contribution from debt arm Barclays Capital.
Lamb added that Fund III could have been larger, saying: “We had the opportunity to significantly exceed this level, but we believe that this is the optimum size for our strategy of pan-European mid-market investing.”
BPE’s fundraising shows the level of confidence remaining in the UK mid-market. PPM Capital, Prudential’s yet-to-spin-out captive private equity arm, is expected to reach the halfway mark for its €1bn first external fundraising by year-end, while Bridgepoint is understood to be targeting a 45% increase on its vintage 2005 €2.5bn third fund by currently marketing a €4bn fourth vehicle.