BC Partners To Court SWF Investors

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity firm BC Partners BCPRT.UL will target wealthy sovereign funds when its next 6 billion-euro ($8 billion) fund hits the road in the second half of the year, the firm’s managing partner said.

BC Partners hopes that middle eastern, far eastern and possibly Australian investors will support the fund, the first to be raised among Europe’s large private equity firms since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“We have spoken to Asian sovereign wealth funds. We currently have very few non-European and non-North American limited partners,” Charlie Bott told the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Fund summit on Tuesday, using the industry term for investors.

Some cash-strapped pension funds and endowments have reined back their investments in private equity, forcing firms to cast their nets further and wider for new commitements.

“We recognize that a number of limited partners that made large commitments in the last three years may not have the wherewithal to make the same level of commitment this time,” Bott said.

“I’m almost certain we’ll have more investors in our next fund.”

Sovereign wealth funds have money at their disposal and want to invest in private equity, but they also want special terms and innovative structures and BC Partners will consider special structures for new investors as appropriate, Bott said.

“We will be talking to investors and ascertaining feedback in the first half of the year. I suspect we will be seen as a bellwether,” he said.

($1=.7395 euros)

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)