PAI Partners Planning $3.81B Fund

PAI Partners is planning to raise a new 3 billion euro ($3.81 billion) buyout fund this year, Reuters reported. The new fund represents a potential comeback for the French buyout fund, which ousted its management 18 months ago and cut in half its fifth buyout fund, Reuters wrote. Meetings with investors will reportedly begin in March.

(Reuters) – French buyout firm PAI Partners said on Thursday it plans to raise a new 3 billion euro ($3.81 billion) buyout fund this year after a series of asset sales, including a stake in Danish food ingredients maker Chr. Hansen Holdings A/S this week.

A PAI spokesman confirmed the long-awaited plan to raise the fund, first disclosed by Chairman and Chief Executive Lionel Zinsou in interviews with French newspapers.

Fundraising meetings with investors are likely to start in March, a source close to the matter said.

The new fund represents a potential comeback for PAI, which had ousted its management 18 months ago and cut in half its fifth buyout fund.

“Nearly all of our investors have assured us of their support,” Zinsou told financial daily Les Echos.

Aside from the 560 million euro Hansen sale announced on Wednesday, PAI last year sold French engineering group Spie in a deal valuing it at 2.1 billion euros as well as British tyre seller Kwik Fit for 637 million pounds ($978 million).

Other sales included most of Italian retailer Gruppo Coin and a big stake in French dairy group Yoplait. ($1 = 0.7882 euros) ($1 = 0.6513 British pounds) (Reporting By Christian Plumb; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)