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Exclusive: CVC seeks up to 20 billion euros for new buyout fund - sources

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - CVC Capital Partners Ltd is looking to raise up to 20 billion euros ($22 billion) for its latest flagship buyout fund, in what would be the private equity firm’s biggest pool of capital amassed to date, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The fund, CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII, will seek to invest in businesses mostly in Europe and North America. The size of the fund could end up between 17 billion euros and 20 billion euros, depending on investor appetite, the sources said.

The persons asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. CVC declined to comment.

Major buyout firms such as CVC have been raising bigger and bigger funds from institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds and corporate and public pensions, as demand for so-called alternative investments not directly correlated to stocks and bonds grows.

Last year, Blackstone Group Inc BX.N, the world's largest alternative asset manager, raised $26 billion for its eighth flagship buyout fund, while Vista Equity Partners Management LLC closed its seventh technology buyout fund after raising $16 billion from investors.

CVC’s latest fund is expected to be the largest-ever fund raised in Europe, surpassing the firm’s most recent fund that raised 16.4 billion euros in 2017.

In that fund, CVC Capital Fund VII, the firm secured 46% of commitments from investors in North America, 23% from Europe, 17% from Asia Pacific, and 11% from the Middle East, according to its website.

The fund before that, the 10.5 billion-euro CVC Capital Partners VI, was worth 1.4 times the value of its initial investor commitments as of the end of June 2019, according to the website of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). By comparison, the entire CalPERS private equity portfolio was worth 1.5 times its cost as of the end of June.

CVC has about $82 billion in assets under management. Its portfolio companies include SheerID, a Portland, Oregon-based identity marketing firm, and London-based online payments company Paysafe. CVC also owns a stake in Premier Rugby Limited, which manages the top English rugby championship, and Petco, a leading retailer of pet food in North America.

In addition to its private equity business, CVC also has a credit platform, CVC Credit Partners, which has about $26 billion in assets under management.

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Matthew Lewis