Candover raises EURO2.7 billion

Candover has achieved a final close on its 2001 fund at o2.7 billion, exceeding its o2.5 billion target. The fund has attracted over 100 investors groups worldwide.

Colin Buffin, joint managing director, says the successful closing of the fund is a clear indication that there are still funds available for private equity firms with a proven track record. He said: “We are delighted to have closed the fund in excess of our target in difficult market conditions. As well as welcoming back a large number of existing investors, we are also welcoming on board over 60 new investors to the 2001 Fund.”

Investors in the fund include the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harbourvest, Swiss Re and funds managed by UBS AG, Pantheon and Standard Life.

Candover opened a Paris office in 2001 and has recently hired Kurt Kinzius to establish a German office in Dusseldorf. The new fund will invest in large European buyouts and it is expected that up to 50 per cent of the fund will be invested in continental transactions, with a particular emphasis on France, Germany and Benelux.

The fund is considerably larger than its predecessor, reflecting the number and size of investment opportunities Candover is seeing both in the UK and on the continent, said Marek Gumienny, joint managing director.

“The next 12 months should be a productive period for buyout investing, and with our team of 20 deal makers, a growing European network and a sizeable fund to put to work, we expect to be kept busy,” he said.

Placing agents for the Candover 2001 fund were UBS Warburg for Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific and Benedetto, Gartland and Company for North America. Clifford Chance provided legal advice.

The fund has already committed to two transactions totalling over o1 billion. In February, it backed the o393 million acquisition of Swissport, a global ground handling business from Swissair Group. In May, the firm announced it would back the formation of Wellington Re, aiming to be one of the largest independent reinsurance companies in the UK market.

Candover’s previous GBP850 million fund is fully invested in 15 companies, and has already achieved five exits including the sale of PII to GE Power Systems, Regional Independent Media to Johnston Press and Diamant Boart to Electrolux. Candover also listed portfolio company Detica on the London Stock Exchange in April.