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PAI Partners closes sixth fund at 3.3 bln euros-Reuters

(Reuters) – Private equity fund PAI Partners has closed its sixth fund at 3.3 billion euros ($3.5 billion), more than originally planned, the European firm said on Friday.

The buyout house had set a target of 3 billion euros for PAI Europe VI, but a source told Reuters in January that it had since asked investors to raise that to 3.2 billion euros.

PAI has already started investing with the fund, the first to be raised since a 2009 boardroom struggle pushed out top management in favour of Lionel Zinsou, the former Rothschild banker who now heads the buyout firm.

Private equity groups have received an influx of capital in recent years from investors encouraged by some better than expected returns on deals made just before the financial crisis and who remain eager for yield in the struggle against low interest rates.

More than 70 percent of Western European-focused funds closed on or above target last year, according to data provider Preqin. Across the whole of 2014 a total of 251 European funds raised a combined $135 billion.

With a lack of deal flow pushing up prices of assets, PAI has focused on selling investments of late, making 10 exits since 2011 at an average return of 3.5 times initial investment.

Private equity firms generally target a return of 2-3 times their initial outlay.