Apax to Announce First Close of Apax VIII at AGM

UK-headquartered buyout house Apax Partners will announce at its annual general meeting (AGM) today that it has reached a first close of 4.3 billion euros ($5.6 billion) for Apax VIII. The firm raised the capital within 10 months and is aiming for a final close of 9 billion euros, a fifth smaller than the firm’s last fund which raised 11.2 billion euros in 2007.

Commitments are global with 42% coming from North America, 23% from Europe, and the remainder from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Chinese, Singaporean and Australian sovereign wealth funds CIC, GIC and Future Fund, which own a tenth of Apax’s management company, have committed 900 million euros to the fund. Other investors include Washington State, Public Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan. Apax has also committed 470 million euros of its employees’ money to the fund.

Terms on the fund were not as favourable as some of the other European buyout houses in the market. Apax offered no earlybird discount, unlike rival BC Partners, which last month closed on its 6.5 billion euro European fund or Cinven, which also recently reached a first close at 3 billion euros on its fifth buyout fund.

Recent deals announced by the firm include the takeover of mobile operator Orange Suisse (1.5 billion euro) and the acquisition of wound care specialist Kinetic Concepts ($6.3 billion).