Bridgepoint closes fourth European fund on €4.8bn

The London-headquartered mid-market investor has nearly doubled the size of its previous fund, garnering large re-ups from existing investors like CalPERS.

Bridgepoint Capital’s fourth European fund has closed on more than €4.8 billion, slightly shy of its €5 billion hard cap.

The firm’s investor relations team began formally marketing Bridgepoint Europe IV in October 2007, and the fund reached its €4 billion target in March.

Its limited partners include the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the Ohio School Employees’ Retirement System, the Washington State Investment Board and Japan’s Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance, according to sister data service

Despite the trend among institutional investors to reduce some commitment sizes in the face of shrinking assets and slowed distributions, Bridgepoint’s existing limited partners, on average, increased their commitment size by 55 percent, the firm said.

CalPERS, for example, said in March it would commit up to €300 million to Fund IV, an increase of more than 51 percent from its €198 million commitment to the firm’s third fund, which closed on €2.5 billion in 2006.

Bridgepoint Europe IV’s LP base is 54 percent North American and 33 percent European. Roughly 45 percent of its commitments came from public pensions, while 11 percent from fund of funds, 11 percent from corporate pension funds and 12 percent from insurance companies.

The fund will continue Bridgepoint’s strategy, which is to target firms with enterprise values ranging from €200 million to €1 billion in the consumer, media and tech, healthcare, business services, industrials and financial service sectors.

It will likely make 20 to 25 investments over its 10-year life but has yet to agree any deals.

The firm’s second fund is fully invested, its 14th and final deal having been the £345 million acquisition in February of UK sandwich chain Pret a Manger.