Sweden's Altor closes fourth buyout fund at 2 bln euro target

STOCKHOLM, July 3 Thu Jul 3, 2014 6:03am EDT

STOCKHOLM, July 3 (Reuters) - Swedis private equity firm Altor said on Thursday it had raised 2 billion euros ($2.73 billion) for its fourth buyout fund, the same amount it raised for a fund in 2008.

Altor, which counts U.S. universities Harvard and Princeton among its investors, said in a statement it raised the money in less than three months.

In Europe as a whole, fundraising by private equity firms remains challenging in a weak economic climate. It took Permira almost three years to complete its fundraising for its latest fund.

Altor's new fund will be domiciled in Sweden, whereas its previous funds have been based on Jersey.

The decision to put the new fund in Sweden comes against a backdrop of a heated debate over private equity profits from tax-funded public service sectors such as education and healthcare ahead of general elections in September.

The fact that the major Swedish private equity firms have all based their funds on Britain's Channel Islands, has sometimes led to accusations of tax evasion in local media.

"We want to get away from discussions about tax planning and myths about tax havens," Altor founder Harald Mix said.

"We want to spend our time developing companies together with successful local entrepreneurs and management teams." ($1 = 0.7331 Euros) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; editing by Niklas Pollard)