EQT closes 5th fund at e2bn

Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners has closed its fifth fund, EQT Northern Europe, at e2 billion. EQT Northern Europe is a mid market fund that will invest in 10 to 12 buyouts of at least o100 million in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. This closing brings the total capital managed by EQT to approximately e3.2 billion.

EQT, which launched this latest fund a year ago, originally sought to raise o1.5 billion, a target that was achieved with an initial closing in November 2000. Interest in the fund was so great that EQT had to scale back investors to stay within the fund’s second self imposed size limit.

EQT Northern Europe extends the investment scope of EQT’s last fund, EQT Scandinavia II. This fund has fully invested the e623.5 million that it raised in 1998. The firm’s Munich office, its only office outside the Nordic region, will oversee EQT’s first investments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. EQT expects to announce the first investments from the new fund before the end of the current quarter.

Approximately 80 per cent of investors in Scandinavia II have reinvested in the new fund, providing 60 per cent of the fund’s capital. Investor AB, which assisted in the creation of EQT in 1994, provided nearly a third of the total raised. Excluding this commitment, EQT Northern Europe raised 25 per cent of its capital from family groups and endowments, 25 per cent from insurance companies and 24 per cent from pension funds.

Banks and fund-of-funds also contributed.

In terms of geography, 50 per cent of the commitments are from within the Nordic region, 20 per cent from other European countries and 30 per cent from the US and the rest of the world. Merrill Lynch served as financial advisor and exclusive placement agent.

The investment committee of EQT Northern Europe is Claes Dahlbck (chairman), Harald Einsmann, Massimo Rossi, Horst Thaler and Jacob Wallenberg.