Permira closes mega fund

Permira has closed the largest fund raising in Europe to date in just six months. Its latest offering Permira Europe III exceeded its original target of €4.5bn with total commitments including those from Permira reaching a record €5.076bn.

Charles Sherwood, partner at Permira, who co-ordinated the fund raising said: “This has been our largest and most rapid fund raising and we are naturally delighted. But we all know that the key to this business is not raising money, it’s generating returns for investors.”

Permira Europe III attracted over 130 investors. Half of these came from Europe, 38% from North America and 12% from the rest of the world. The largest single investor group was pension funds, which contributed 40%. Investors in Permira’s previous funds continued to show their support contributing €3.6bn to the total. Permira also attracted 77 new investors to the fund.

Permira’s biggest investor Schroder Ventures International Investment Trust (SVIIT) has committed €400m to the fund – see evcj September 2003, page 2. SVIIT has also made a further indirect contribution through P123, a fund-of-funds investing solely in Permira funds, which was launched earlier this year. P123 has committed €450m to Permira Europe III.

Blair Thompson of international law firm SJ Berwin, which advised on the fund raising, said: “The complexities of such a large private equity fund which operates across so many jurisdictions are quite daunting and to be able to close the fund in such a short time frame is a fairly remarkable achievement, both from a commercial and legal perspective.

Like its predecessors, Permira Europe III will focus on European businesses making equity commitments of between €50m and €500m. Preferred sectors include business services, chemicals, consumer, industrial products and services and technology.