Warburg raises US$15bn

US private equity giant Warburg Pincus has closed a US$15bn global fund.

As with the firm’s previous funds, its latest and tenth offering – WP X – has a focus on early-stage, growth and late-stage businesses across North America, Europe and Asia.

The closing comes after a stream of large funds closed in recent months, despite the economic difficult hitting private equity deal flow. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts raised US$17.6bn at the end of last year and Advent International closed a US$10.4bn at the beginning of April, just after Apax Partners closed an €11bn fund.

Blackstone is reported to be marketing a new US$20bn global fund, with UK firm CVC Capital Partners also rumoured to be raising a new fund.

WP X benefited from existing investors significantly increasing their commitments. Investors include public and private pension funds, endowments and global financial institutions including the Washington State Investment Board and GE Asset Management. The fund also attracted numerous first-time investors, including the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Joseph P. Landy, co-president of Warburg, said: “We are gratified that limited partners continue to be attracted to our unique model – to invest across domains, geography and across company stage of life out of a single, global fund. We have a time-tested approach – growth investing in growth-oriented regions. This is a particularly attractive investment strategy in the current environment.”

Warburg, which opened its London office in 1987, now has more than US$35bn of assets under management. Its core target industries are financial services, healthcare, industrial, technology, media and telecommunications, energy, consumer and retail and real estate.

Since it was founded, the firm has 12 private equity funds that have invested more than US$29bn in approximately 600 companies in more than 30 countries. Warburg currently has an active portfolio of more than 100 companies. The firm has 59 managing directors and more than 160 professionals across the globe, with over 40% of Warburg Pincus’ investments and professionals outside the US.

The firm’s most recent activity in Europe saw it sell Loyalty Management Group (LMG), a UK loyalty marketing company which owns and operates the Nectar programme as well as owning the trade mark for Air Miles International Trading (AMIT). Warburg Pincus originally invested in LMG in July 2002, and sold it to Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Aeroplan, Canada’s leading loyalty marketing company, for £368m.