Bridgepoint reaches €4bn hard-cap for Fund V

The firm, which started to market the fund in May 2014, exceeded its €3bn target

Pan-European buyout firm Bridgepoint has collected €4 billion for its latest European mid-market buyout fund, Bridgepoint Europe V, according to a statement.

The oversubscribed fund, which came to market in May 2014, exceeded its original target of €3.5 billion.  

The fund “benefited from significant re-commitment of existing investors” with an average increase in commitment of more than 25 percent, Bridgepoint said. The firm attracted investors from the US, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia, and among the LPs in the fund will be the Washington State Investment Board which is allocating €225 million, PEI reported earlier. 

Bridgepoint Europe V will primarily focus on businesses in the €150 million to €600 million enterprise value range. It will concentrate on sectors and niches with strong structural growth drivers and companies benefiting from macro-economic recovery, as well as businesses suited to acquisition-led market consolidation, the firm said.

The committed capital includes a GP commitment of €100 million. “[That is] a large amount of money and a very serious commitment to the fund,” William Jackson told PEI earlier this month. “I think it’s absolutely critical to the industry that there is alignment.”

Bridgepoint has already put its new fund to work when it acquired Italian-themed casual dining restaurant group, Azzurri, which includes the ASK Italian and Zizzi brands for £250 million from Cinven last December.

While pricing remains high in the European market, Jackson still sees good investment opportunities. “In my 25-plus years in the industry I’ve never heard anyone say it’s cheap. Yes, there are full prices paid for things by the industry from time to time, I think there always have been full prices paid for things. But there’s still interesting well priced deals to do, and the job of a good private equity group is to have high quality origination, very clear thematic views on where they’re going to deploy capital, and then work hard to find value in which to invest.”

The firm’s prior fund, the €4.84 billion Bridgepoint Europe IV, is fully deployed, but has capital available for add-on acquisitions, PEI reported earlier. This vehicle secured a 12-month investment extension in 2013 after it became apparent it would not need to fund as many add-on acquisitions as planned.

Isobel Markham’s profile of William Jackson will appear in PEI’s April issue, out later this week.