LONDON Jan 14 French private equity firm PAI
Partners has raised nearly half of its planned 3 billion euro
($4.1 billion) buyout fund after 10 months on the road, a source
familiar with the matter said.
It is PAI's first fundraising since a boardroom struggle in
2009 pushed out top management in favour of Lionel Zinsou, the
former Rothschild banker who currently heads the buyout firm.
Zinsou has said he will step down in 2015, designating Chief
Investment Officer Michel Paris as his successor.
PAI, which told an investor meeting in Paris on Tuesday it
had secured a first tranche of 1.4 billion euros for its sixth
fund, has benefited from a recovery in demand from U.S. and
other international investors for exposure to Europe, where PAI
focuses its investments, the source said.
On average, existing PAI investors have increased their
allocation to the new fund by around 30 percent compared with
previous funds, the source said.
After several tough years, buyout houses are now finding it
easier to fundraise, with rising valuations and an improved flow
of sales of portfolio firms helping to boost demand from
yield-hungry investors at a time of record low interest rates.
Private equity funds closed globally last year raised $431
billion, according to data from research firm Prequin, up 13
percent on 2012 and marking the highest amount of capital
secured in any year since the financial crisis.
Last month Nordic Capital raised 3.5 billion euros for its
latest buyout fund, while in November Carlyle said it had
attracted $13 billion for its U.S. private equity fund, $3
billion more than its target.
PAI has made four new investments in the last 12 months,
including buying UK-based R&R Ice Cream from fellow private
equity firm Oaktree Capital. It has also been busy on the exit
front, selling a 9 percent stake in IT services firm Atos
It expects to begin investing the new fund shortly, the