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Darwin Private Equity Comes Up Short

Darwin Private Equity has closed its maiden fund on £217m. The closing of the fund follows a first close in March 2007 on £50m after a commitment from cornerstone investor RIT Capital Partners.

Darwin had originally announced a target of £250m for the vehicle.

However, having secured commitments from a range of diverse blue-chip investors including AIG Investments, Goldman Sachs, LGT Capital Partners, OXIP, Pantheon Ventures and RIT for its first fund in what is a difficult fundraising environment, it is likely Darwin will not be too disappointment with not hitting its target.

At the same time as announcing the close of the fund, Darwin also revealed it had expanded its investment team to eight with the appointment of Katie Beck. Beck had previously worked at buyout house Doughty Hanson.

Darwin completed its first investment in December 2007, paying £75m for Maximuscle, the sports nutrition company. The firm will focus on acquiring UK businesses with enterprise values of between £10m and £100m.

 Source: Thomson Merger News