CBPE fund reaches £300m

CBPE Capital, the mid-market spin-out from Close Brothers, has received £300m in commitments for its eighth UK mid-market private equity fund.

CBPE VIII held its first closing on £270m and subsequently received an additional £30m. The fund is expected to reach a final close at the end of the year on a similar level to the £360m closing of its predecessor fund, CBPE VII.

The latest fund began fundraising in September 2008 and received commitments from 17 institutions for its first closing. It has eleven portfolio investments and will target investments in businesses with an enterprise value of up to £150m.

Managing partner at CBPE, John Snook said: “This is a very pleasing result considering the state of the market. We have proven that we can invest in difficult times in the past and we’re keen to get the new fund to work as quickly as possible.”

CBPE, which has around €1bn under management, spun out from its UK investment banking parent Close Brothers Group in December 2008.

Its eighth fund is the second mid-market vehicle to close, or reach an initial closing, in the UK this year. Back in January, ECI Partners closed is ninth fund on £430m, beating its target of £400m and surpassing the £225m raised for ECI 8 in April 2005.

The UK has seen just one LBO firm close a fund this year – Charterhouse Capital Partners, which closed its fund on €4bn; €2bn under target.

Global private equity fund raising is at its lowest level since 2003 according to Preqin, with just US$45.9bn raised in Q1 of the year.