Apax Partners raising record €11.17bn fund

Global buyout firm Apax Partners’ latest fund is likely to be the largest-ever European fund as the firm abandons its venture capital past.

Apax Partners is fundraising for what may be the largest-ever European fund, at €11.17 billion ($15 billion). It has also confirmed Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive, will remain chairman of Apax’s advisory board.

Apax had previously been aiming to raise between €8.5-10 billion for its seventh fund but according to an investor it will make a formal request to LPs to revise the figure to €11 billion. Partners at Apax will also make additional contributions of €165 million, lifting the expected total to €11.17 billion, meaning the fund is expected to be €70 million higher than UK buyout firm Permira’s record-breaking €11.1 billion fund raised earlier this year.

A document released to investors also confirmed Lord Browne would remain as chairman of Apax’s top advisory board. The peer resigned from both Goldman Sachs and BP earlier this month after an admission that he had lied to the high court about his private life. 

With the fund Apax has moved away from its venture capital past to focus solely on buyouts. However, after its first close of the fund in March, the firm emphasised that its focus on global buyouts in the upper mid-market range as well as into the biggest buyouts was still different to that of its competitors.

Earlier this month, Apax bought Thomson Learning’s higher education assets in partnership with OMERS Capital Partners for $7.75 billion (€5.75 billion). It also sold 21 hospital properties from its portfolio company Swedish healthcare provider Capio for £686 million (€1 billion, $1.35 billion).

Apax declined to comment.