European private equity firm BC Partners is close to raising almost 3 billion euros ($4.15 billion) for its ninth fund, Reuters reported. The firm is expected to hold a first close of the fund in the next week. The firm has been targeting a total of about 5.9 billion euros, in keeping with its eighth fund raised in 2005, Reuters said.
(Reuters) – Buyout firm BC Partners is close to raising almost 3 billion euros ($4.15 billion) towards its latest buyout fund, people familiar with the matter said, setting the scene for a wave of new fundraisings expected to come this year.
BC Partners is expecting to hold a first close on its ninth buyout fund in the next week — the point after which it can start investing money raised — on close to 3 billion euros, the people said.
As one of the first major European buyout houses to attempt to raise new capital since the credit crisis, BC Partners has been seen by many in the industry as a bellwether for the fundraising market.
The firm, which owns Fitness First gyms and Turkish supermarket Migros, is expecting to mark a second close in June and a final close on the fund towards the end of the year, the people said.
The firm has been targeting a total of about 5.9 billion euros, in keeping with its eighth fund raised in 2005.
The fundraising market has become tougher and the time taken to raise capital has grown longer as investors have reined in the amount they put into the asset class, reducing both the number of firms they invest with and how much they put with their preferred managers.
A number of other private equity firms, including Cinven and Sweden’s EQT, are seen raising new multi-billion dollar funds in 2011. Apax could also be back for a new fund of as much as 11 billion euros by the end of year, people familiar with the situation have said.
BC Partners declined to comment. ($1=.7238 Euro) (Additional reporting by Philipp Halstrick; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)