Ardian raises €4.5bn for European mid-caps

The firm raised Ardian LBO Fund VI in four months – its fastest ever fundraising.

After just four months on the road, Ardian has closed its latest mid-market buyout fund on its €4.5 billion hard-cap, the Paris-based investment firm said on Wednesday.

The announcement marks the first and final close for Ardian LBO Fund VI, which includes a total of €500 million raised for co-investment opportunities.

The fund’s predecessor, raised in 2013, was €2.8 billion.

In June, the firm closed its latest small-cap fund, Ardian Expansion Fund IV, on €1 billion, just two years after closing its predecessor fund, which was half the size. Adding together both funds, Ardian now has €5.5 billion to be deployed in the mid and small-cap space, making the firm one of the largest investment platforms in that bracket, Ardian said.

Philippe Poletti, member of the executive committee and head of the Ardian Mid Cap Buyout team, credited the swift fundraising to the firm’s track record in helping portfolio companies expand internationally.

“This fundraising success demonstrates the value our investors have seen in our approach of using transformational strategies to help ambitious companies accelerate their international growth,” he said in a statement.

Fund VI will be invested in established European companies with an enterprise value of between €175m to €1.5bn. Around 85 percent of the fund will be invested in two main areas: the firm’s core markets of France, Italy, and Germany, as well as in Benelux, Austria, and Switzerland. The mid cap team will also consider investment opportunities in the UK and Spain, where Ardian has offices.

The fund drew a diversified base of investors, with a “significant proportion” of existing investors choosing to re-up, Ardian said. More than two thirds of LBO Fund V investors reinvested in the latest fund, committing 112 percent of the amount raised in the previous generation.