Candover raises E3.5bn

Candover has reached a final closing of the Candover 2005 Fund with total commitments of €3.5bn exceeding its original target of €3bn. The 2005 Fund, which was raised in just over six months, has received commitments from 106 investor groups worldwide, including Candover Investments plc, which has invested a total of €500m. Eighty per cent of commitments have come from existing investors including CalPERS, Canada Pension Plan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, HarbourVest, Princeton University and funds controlled by Standard Life. Candover has also seen strong support from new investor groups such as Temasek, Partners Group, SPF Beheer and Massachusetts PRIM.

The 2005 Fund will follow a similar investment strategy to Candover’s 2001 Fund. It will seek to invest in mid-to-large buyouts across Europe, with a particular emphasis on the UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia and Spain. Since it was founded in 1980, Candover has invested in over 125 buyouts with an aggregate value of more than €25bn. Nearly 90% of these have been realised, resulting in an IRR of 33% over 25 years.

Placement agents for the 2005 Fund were Benedetto, Gartland & Company, Inc, for North America, Konomi, Inc. for Japan and UBS AG for Rest of World. Legal advisors were SJ Berwin LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Candover has raised eight previous funds and the closing of the 2005 Fund brings the aggregate total of funds raised to date to €8.7bn. The investment period of the €2.7bn Candover 2001 Fund was terminated following the funding of Gala’s acquisition of Coral Eurobet in October 2005. The 2001 Fund has made 16 investments and has had a number of full and partial exits, including the sale of Swissport, the IPO of Aspen and the recapitalisations of Gala, Springer, Vetco and KDG. Together these have returned more than €1.25bn.