* Closes 5th fund after hitting 5 bln euro target
* Plans to invest 800 mln euros to 1 bln euros this year
By Arno Schuetze and Kylie MacLellan
FRANKFURT/LONDON, March 14 Private equity firm
Cinven said it would make three to four acquisitions in Europe
this year after raising 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) for a
buyout fund, reaching its target in a tough market for
Cinven is likely to invest 800 million to 1
billion euros in equity in 2013, in line with normal annual
investment plans, partner Bruno Schick said in an interview.
The largest private equity firm with a purely European
focus, Cinven buys into sectors including healthcare; business,
consumer and financial services; industrials and technology;
media and telecoms.
Its announcement confirmed a Reuters report on Wednesday
that it had reached 5 billion euros for its fifth fund
, although that is less than the 6.5 billion
euros it pulled in for its fourth fund in 2006.
"We are very happy to have reached the target," Cinven
Managing Partner Hugh Langmuir, who has been with the firm since
1991, told Reuters. "The fundraising market has been the most
challenging I can remember."
Since the financial crisis, big institutional investors have
been putting less money into private equity and becoming pickier
about the firms they do back. Many private equity firms have had
to scale back fundraising plans, in contrast to the pre-crisis
boom years when they easily beat their targets.
Cinven's London-based rivals Apax and Permira are struggling
to reach their fundraising goals, for example, while Nordic
Capital cut its target to 3 billion euros from an initial 4
billion late last year.
Private equity funds in Europe raised nearly $52 billion in
2012 compared with an annual average of more than $100 billion
during the 2006-2008 boom, according to Thomson Reuters data, as
the euro zone debt crisis put the brakes on fundraising.
Private equity firms use their funds to buy businesses
aiming to sell them later at a profit.
Cinven said 14 percent of its Fifth European Buyout Fund has
already been spent, following investments last year including in
healthcare firms Mercury Pharma and Amdipharm.
The fund's share of investors, or limited partners (LPs),
from the Americas amounted to about 50 percent, topping the 42
percent in its fourth fund. The fifth fund also included more
commitments from sovereign wealth funds.
"Despite the tough macroeconomic environment in Europe,
people have backed our ability to find good companies in Europe
and grow them," said Langmuir. "We are busy, we think the
pipeline is reasonably robust. We are looking at a number of
opportunities across the European continent."
On average, Cinven's 82 transactions over the last 25 years
have generated an annualised return of 41 percent, partner
Schick said. "The targeted returns have not changed," he added.
Since the start of 2011, the company has returned 5 billion
euros to investors, including proceeds from the sale of the
aviation business of Italy's Avio to General Electric and
the listing of Dutch cable operator Ziggo.