Equistone Partners Europe closes Fund V at €2bn hard cap

Equistone Partners Europe closes Fund V at €2bn hard cap

16 Apr 2015

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 V (“EPEF V”) with total capital commitments of €2bn. The Equistone team will also make a commitment to EPEF V alongside the institutional investors. The fundraising has been completed just six months after being launched in early October 2014 and has exceeded its initial target of €1.75bn, closing at its hard cap of €2bn.

Consistent with previous Equistone funds, EPEF V will continue to invest in European buyouts valued between €50m and €300m, targeting well-positioned businesses with strong growth prospects. EPEF V attracted substantial commitments from a wide range of major institutional investors including pension funds, fund of funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurance companies. Commitments came from 43 institutional investors in Europe, North America and the rest of the world. Of the €2bn commitments raised, approximately 80% came from existing investors in prior Equistone funds with the proportion of capital raised from North America increasing to 29%. Capital from Europe accounted for 47% of the Fund with Asia and the Gulf contributing 24% of commitments.

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone, commented:

“This fund close is another key milestone in the continued development of Equistone and its appeal to investors is testament to the strong returns generated from previous Equistone funds as well as the successful first three years of investing Fund IV.  We pride ourselves on identifying companies with strong growth potential and high calibre management teams, working in close partnership to build market leading businesses. We remain excited about the opportunities within the European mid-market and the ability of our experienced team to take advantage of these.”

Christiian Marriott, Partner and head of fundraising, said:

“We are hugely proud to have achieved such a strong level of support from our existing investors, who showed faith in us in 2011 when we raised our first fund under independent ownership.  Equally, it has been very encouraging that we have been able to attract commitments from a number of high calibre new relationships from across the world.”

The fundraise follows an active period for Equistone in which it has successfully completed 9 investments and 10 realisations since January 2014 across the UK, France and Germany with key highlights including:

New investments

  • The acquisition of a majority stake in Finaxy Group, a leading multi-specialist insurance broker in France (April 2014).
  • The acquisition of a majority stake in Travel Counsellors, the UK pioneer of travel agents working from home (October 2014).
  • The acquisition of a majority stake in POLO Motorrad und Sportswear GmbH, a leading German multichannel retailer of motorcycle apparel, equipment and accessories (February 2015).

Exited investments

  • The sale of oil and gas services company PD&MS to Inflexion (July 2014).
  • The sale of its stake in Spie Batignolles, one of the leading unlisted players in the French construction market to Ardian (July 2014).
  • The sale of its stake in A-Plan Insurance, a leading UK high street insurance broker to HgCapital for an undisclosed sum (April 2015).

Lazard advised Equistone on the fundraising and Clifford Chance acted as fund formation, tax and regulatory counsel.  

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