| LONDON/NEW YORK
LONDON/NEW YORK Dec 20 Apax Partners LLP has
told its private equity investors it will stop fundraising for
its latest buyout fund in March and may not reach its initial 9
billion euro ($11.9 billion) fundraising target, a person
familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The London-based private equity firm has been trying to
address investors concerns over fund performance as well as
staff turnover, after Reuters reported in June that more than
half of its senior dealmakers left over the last five years.
Just nine months ago, the firm had told its investors its
latest fund, Apax VIII, had raised 4.3 billion euros in the
largest first fundraising close -- the formal commitment of
investors -- of any fund since the 2008 financial crisis.
Apax then told its investors to expect another fundraising
close sometime between October and November, another source
familiar with the matter said. By then investors started to
scrutinize the firm more closely, including the departure of the
co-head of its healthcare team in September.
An Apax spokesman declined to comment.
The firm's previous buyout fund, the 11.2 billion euro Apax
Europe VII launched in 2007, was marked at just 1.1 times its
investment cost and yielded a 3.28 percent net internal rate of
return as of June 30, 2012, according to data on the website of
the Washington State Investment Board, an Apax investor.
To be sure, fundraising within the wider private equity
industry remains challenging as investors become more selective
and cherry pick among fund managers. KKR & Co LP and
Providence Equity Partners Inc are among the firms that have
taken longer than expected to complete fundraising.
But some of Apax's European peers with a global focus have
done well of late. Advent International Corp amassed 8.5 billion
euros in November, exceeding its 7 billion euro target.
CVC Capital Partners Ltd is targeting to raise about 10
billion euros for deals at the beginning of next year, people
familiar with the situation have previously said, while Permira
Advisers LP is trying to raise a 6.5 billion euro
Apollo Global Management LLC said last month it was
beginning fundraising for its next large buyout fund with a
target of $12 billion, less than its previous private equity
fund yet still one of the largest buyout funds in the market.
Apax is set to suffer a high-profile defeat when it hands
over British medical courier Marken to lenders this week, losing
600 million pounds ($976 million) of the investment it made in
the company three years ago, people close to the process told
Reuters on Tuesday.
The Financial Times first reported on the status of Apax's