Warburg Pincus Up To Half of Target –

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus last month took home a first close on Warburg Pincus Equity VIII LP with $2.8 billion in committed funds – more than half of its $5 billion target.

Earlier this year, Warburg Pincus was reportedly considering Credit Suisse First Boston as a placement agent for the fund. Not surprisingly, the firm has reportedly retained instead. Merrill Lynch placed the firm’s two previous funds.

A Warburg Pincus press release said Fund VIII is expected to meet its target by the final close. Sources close to the firm told Buyouts in February that the first close was expected in early summer and a final close in the fall (Buyouts, February 19, p. 1).

The fund, which hit the market in March 2001, will invest in companies at all stages. In the past, the firm invested in a wide variety of industries including business services, communications, financial services, health care, information technology, media and natural resources.

The majority of the fund’s investments will target companies in the U.S., but Fund VIII will also consider opportunities in Europe and Asia.

Getting Out

Warburg also kept busy last month with the sale of Craegmoor Healthcare Group, a nursing home in the U.K. Warburg Pincus owned a majority stake in the company, which was sold to British private equity firm Legal & General Ventures for GBP220 million ($313.9 million).