EXCLUSIVE Warburg Pincus seeks $16 billion for private equity fund -sources

The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City
The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

Sept 16 (Reuters) - Warburg Pincus LLC is seeking to raise $16 billion from investors for its latest flagship global private equity fund, its biggest ever, according to people familiar with the matter.

The New York-based firm is in the early stages of raising Warburg Pincus Global Growth 14, and prospective investors are already looking to make commitments to the fund, said the sources, who requested anonymity because the matter is confidential.

A spokesperson for Warburg Pincus declined to comment.

The new fund is poised to surpass in size Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, a $15.1 billion private equity fund the firm launched in 2007 that had been its largest fund to date. Its Warburg Pincus Global Growth fund raised $15 billion in 2018 and had generated a net internal rate of return (IRR) of 24.5% as of the end of June, one of the sources said.

Prior funds, the $13.4 billion Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII and the $11.2 billion Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI, had an IRR of 21.7% and 13.5%, respectively, one of the sources said.

Warburg Pincus joins other major private equity firms that are raising or have recently completed flagship fundraising.

In May, KKR & Co Inc (KKR.N) raised its biggest ever fund, collecting $18.5 billion for its flagship North America private equity fund. Bain Capital also amassed $11.8 billion for its flagship North America buyout fund in April.

Warburg Pincus is one of oldest private equity firms, having been founded in 1966. The firm has $64 billion in assets under management in technology, business services, real estate and healthcare spread across the Americas, Europe and Asia. In addition to engaging in leveraged buyouts, Warburg is a leading venture capital and growth equity investor.

Some of the firm's recent investments include Edelman financial engines, a California-based investment advisory firm; Airtel Africa, an African telecoms operator owned by India's Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS); and Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK).

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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Chibuike reports on mostly large U.S.-based private equity firms, including Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle, and Apollo. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, and holds master's degrees in journalism from New York University and Edinburgh Napier University. Contact: 332-999-6154