Equistone closes first independent fund at €1.5bn target

Equistone closes first independent fund at €1.5bn target

21 Jan 2013

Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces the successful final closing of Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV (“EPEF IV”) with total capital commitments of €1.5bn. The fundraising has been achieved just over one year on from the Equistone team’s spin-out from Barclays PLC. EPEF IV will continue to invest in buyouts valued between €50m and €300m, targeting strong businesses with excellent growth prospects.

EPEF IV attracted substantial commitments from a diverse range of major institutional investors including pension funds, fund of funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurance companies. Commitments came from 42 institutional investors in Europe (53%), North America (16%) and the rest of the world (31%). Of the total €1.5bn commitments raised approximately 70% came from existing investors in prior Equistone funds.

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe, commented:

“This achievement is testament to the team’s successful investment track record in identifying and partnering with strong management teams to achieve impressive returns for our investors and long term growth. I am delighted that many of our longstanding investors have increased their commitments since our last fund and that we have received commitments from several new, international investors.”

Rob Myers, Managing Director (UK) of Equistone Partners Europe, added:

“The successful final closing of our first fully independent fund is a key milestone for Equistone. This achievement reflects an impressive track record and real strength and depth across the entire team, which underpins the franchise that we have developed in the UK, France and Germany. This has been evidenced by the seven new investments made during 2012 and a number of highly successful realisations.”

2012 was an active year for Equistone, with seven successful investments and six successful exits completed across the UK, France and Germany.

Investments already completed from EPEF IV include:

  • The acquisition of Unither Pharmaceuticals, a global player in the manufacture of dosage for European pharmaceutical laboratories, and generic products in October 2011;
  • The acquisition of bespoke travel specialist Audley Travel from its owners in March 2012;
  • The acquisition of an 84% stake in EuroAvionics, a world-leading manufacturer of civil certified avionics systems for helicopters and airplanes in July 2012.

Exits completed from previous funds in 2012 included:

  • The sale of Global Blue, provider of tax-free shopping solutions, to Silver Lake and Partners Group for €1bn in May 2012;
  • The sale of Kermel, the leading European manufacturer of meta-aramid fibre for protective clothing and industrial applications to Qualium Investissement in July 2012;
  • The sale of Ratioform, a leading supplier of packaging solutions to TAKKT AG for approximately €210m in June 2012.

Lazard acted as placement agent to EPEF IV and Clifford Chance acted as fund formation counsel.

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