Charterhouse Preps Ninth Fund

Charterhouse Capital Partners, a London-based private equity house, is marketing a new buyout fund with a target of EUR 5bn (US$7.8bn).

The firm's previous fund, Charterhouse VIII, is believed to be more than 75% invested following recent acquisitions. Private equity firms are allowed to return to the fundraising trail once this point has been reached with a previous vehicle.

Charterhouse bought Tunstall Group, a provider of telecare systems for the elderly and infirm, from pan-European buyout firm Bridgepoint in a transaction totalling Gbp514m earlier this month. The same week, Charterhouse also bought Giles Group, a commercial insurance business, for an undisclosed sum. The two transactions amounted to at least Gbp550m, although one report suggests that the total could be up to Gbp700m.

Other investments from fund VIII include French shoe retailer Vivarte, bought from PAI Partners for EUR 3.5bn in mid-2007; ista, a German utilities group, purchased from CVC in 2006 for EUR 2.4bn; and Coral Eurobet, a UK bookmaker sold to Candover, Cinven and Permira-owned bingo operator Gala for Gbp2.18bn.

Bridgepoint is also understood to be out fundraising, with a target of approximately EUR 5bn. CVC Capital Partners, which focuses on much larger buyouts, is believed to have plans to break the record for a European fundraising, with a target of more than EUR 12bn.