PAI raises €5.4bn for Continental Europe

PAI Partners, a large French buyout firm, has joined a raft of European private equity firms to defy the lack of activity in the LBO markets and raise a sizeable fund, corralling €5.4bn for its fifth buyout vehicle, the largest to be raised in Continental Europe to date.

PAI Europe V is double the size of its predecessor, which was raised just three years ago. It will continue PAI Partners’ strategy of targeting transactions in the services, capital goods and consumer goods sectors, with enterprise values of between €500m and several billion euros.

About 130 investors from 23 different countries committed capital to PAI Europe V, with 63% coming from Europe, 26% from North America and the balance from Asia and the Middle East. PAI Partners said that returning investors represented more than 70% of the capital for PAI Europe V.

PAI Partners is yet to complete a deal in 2008 but was recently linked with the sale of Swedish healthcare group Ambea alongside Doughty Hanson and Merrill Lynch’s private equity unit.