Apax merges US and European operations

In preparation for more transatlantic dealmaking, the UK private equity firm is to bring its US and European operations into one organisation.

Apax Partners, the UK-based private equity firm with offices in Europe, Asia and the United States, has announced plans to merge its European and US operations as part of a strategy to more closely align the firm’s transatlantic businesses.

Sir Ronald Cohen, chairman of Apax Partners in the UK, becomes chairman of Apax Partners Inc. US chairman Alan Patricof becomes vice chairman.

A spokesperson for Apax said that the decision to merge the firm’s transatlantic operations was not an attempt to lower operating costs, but a move designed to improve the firm’s performance. “Deals like the one to acquire Yell – and the subsequent purchase of McLeod Publishing – required a great deal of cooperation between the European and US teams. The merger will make such activity more straightforward.”

Apax chairman Sir Ronald Cohen said that he believed the move was a natural progression following in what he described as an increasingly internationalised marketplace for private equity.

The European and USA teams will continue to advise Apax Europe V (E4.4bn) and Apax Excelsior VI ($1.1bn) respectively and to monitor predecessor funds.

Apax targets investments across six focus areas, telecommunications, media, Information technology, healthcare, financial services and retail & consumer goods. The firm covers both early stage venture capital and large scale leveraged deals, with transaction amounts ranging from E3m to E2bn.