Apax to launch tech-focused growth fund with former TCV executive

  • Apax growth tech fund could target up to $1 bln
  • Firm still working out details
  • Could launch in Q1

Apax Partners, which is close to wrapping up a multibillion buyout fund, is also launching its first growth-oriented middle-market fund with an executive who recently joined from the tech world, according to three people with knowledge of the firm.

Apax could target $750 million to $1 billion for the debut fund, one source, a limited partner who has heard the pitch, said. Another source said the firm has not yet settled on a target. Two of the sources said the fund could launch in the first quarter.

The growth program will involve Dan O’Keefe, who in October rejoined Apax as a managing director from Technology Crossover Ventures, two sources said. O’Keefe focuses on growth-stage investments in consumer Internet, software and technology-enabled services.

Todd Fogarty, a spokesman for Apax, declined comment.

Apax, founded in the 1980s as a venture-capital shop, focuses on four sectors: tech and telecom, services, healthcare and consumer. Apax moved into buyouts in 1993, the firm’s website says.

Apax is in the market with its ninth buyout fund targeting as much as $9 billion, Bloomberg reported in July. The firm collected $7.9 billion at that time, Bloomberg said.

The firm raised $7.5 billion for Fund VIII in 2013. Fund VIII was generating a 1.2x total value multiple and a 15.87 percent net internal rate of return as of March 31, 2016, Washington State Investment Board performance information shows.

Flood of small funds

With a smaller-market fund, Apax is joining several other firms that have launched or have been creating related strategies over the past year.

Vista Equity Partners is launching a microcap fund to focus on enterprise software investment that could target up to $500 million, Buyouts has reportedThoma Bravo raised its debut middle-market fund, Discover Fund, on a bit more than $1 billion, the firm said in February.

And ABRY Partners is in the market with ABRY Heritage Partners, targeting $525 million for investments under $50 million in sectors like media and communications, information services and business services, Buyouts reported.

Clearlake Capital Group has been in the market seeking $500 million for its debut non-control structured debt and equity fund, and had raised more than $530 million as of August, Buyouts reported. Finally, Harvest Partners was targeting $400 million for its first non-control fund and had collected at least $244 million by January, Buyouts reported. It’s unclear whether that fund held a final close.

Action Item: Check out Apax’s Form ADV: https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/IAPDFirmSummary.aspx?ORG_PK=157110

A woman enters the offices of PE firm Apax in London on May 18, 2012. Photo courtesy Reuters/Chris Helgren