PAI V raises €5.4bn for fund five

Paris-headquartered PAI Partners has closed its fifth fund, PAI Europe V, on €5.4bn, making it the largest private equity fund ever raised in Continental Europe.

Over 130 investors are participating in the fund from 23 different 23 different countries, 63% of funds coming from Europe, 26% from North America and 11% from Asia and the Middle East. Returning investors represent over 70% of the LP base on the new offering.

It is double the size of PAI Europe IV which closed on €2.7bn in April 2005. PAI V will not deviate from the firm’s existing investment strategy of acquiring market-leading businesses in Europe operating in the services, capital goods and consumer good sectors, with an enterprise value of at least €500m.

Dominique Mégret, chairman & CEO of PAI, said: “We are extremely pleased with the strong support we have received from our existing investors and the significant number of new investors who placed their confidence in PAI. We will continue to leverage our sector expertise to invest in companies that are clear leaders in their markets with a view to creating strategic value and delivering strong returns to our investors”.

PAI becomes the latest big name firm to close a large fund this year. So far in 2008 Warburg Pincus has closed a US$15bn global fund, Advent International closed on US$10.4bn at the beginning of April, just after Apax Partners closed on €11bn. Blackstone is said to be looking for US$20bn for its latest global fund.