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Apax closes Israel fund at $500m hard cap – exclusive

The mid-market buyout fund, initially targeting $300m, will invest in companies either based in Israel or with a significant Israeli connection.

Apax Partners has held a final close on its latest Israel-focused buyout fund, AMI Opportunities, at its $500 million hard cap, Private Equity International has learnt.

AMI will target mid-market companies either based in Israel or with a significant Israeli connection. The vehicle will focus primarily on buyouts and control transactions, although it has the capacity to make minority equity investments and debt investments. It will focus on four sectors: tech and telco, services, healthcare, and consumer.

The fund had an initial target of $300 million, and around half of the committed capital came from Israeli investors.

AMI has already made two investments, backing business sector caterer Schulz Catering and Zap Group, a consumer internet business in Israel which runs the largest digital yellow pages and the largest online price comparison site.

Apax was set to hold a $250 million first close on the fund in November 2014, as reported by PEI. The first close was understood to include a GP commitment of $40 million.

Apax’s local Israel team has been operating in the region since 1994. The firm hasn’t had an Israel-focused fund since it raised a $102.5 million vehicle in 1999 and a $40.1 million in 1994, PEI reported previously.

In the first half of 2015 Apax realised investments totalling around $7 billion, surpassing its 2014 record of $5.8 billion. Its exits include the sale of a 90 percent stake held with Permira in UK fashion retailer New Look, which was acquired by South Africa-based investment company Brait in a deal valuing the company at £1.9 billion (€2.6 billion; $3 billion), and the sale of French IT consulting group iGate, which generated a return of 4x for Apax.

Apax is preparing to raise its ninth European buyout fund and will seek to raise €7.5 billion, according to reports.