CapVis Equity Partners is approaching its first close of more than €300 million for its fourth fund, according to sources close to the matter.
The firm is understood to have come to market in February this year. CapVis IV has a target of €600 million with a €750 million hard-cap, one source told Private Equity International.
Specific timing for the first close was unknown, but the source said it would be “in the summer”.
CapVis, which invests in mid-sized companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, declined to comment on fundraising.
Fund IV has the same target as its predecessor fund, CapVis III, a 2008 vintage. Some investments from Fund III include natural clothing provider Hessnatur, medical company Ondal Group, and Bartec, which CapVis sold together with Partners Group to Charterhouse in July last year, netting the firm’s a return of more than 3x.
Despite volatility in the euro zone, Germany remains an attractive bet in LP’s eyes. In April, Deutsche Private Equity reached its €350 million hard-cap. In August last year, Deutsche Beteiligungs reached its hard-cap of €700 million in just four months. A month prior to that, ECM Equity Capital Management (ECM) held a final closing for its Germany Equity Partners IV fund. The fund reached its hard-cap of €230 million, surpassing its target of €200 million.
While regulatory pressures have driven German banks and insurers to reduce their commitment to private equity, more North American capital is coming into German funds, Mark Nicolson, a partner at SL Capital Partners, told PEI in a German roundtable last month.
Since the country is the second-largest exporter in the world, it means “buying into Germany is really buying into a powerhouse economy”, he said. “This coupled with near-to-full employment and consistently low wage inflation has meant that Germany has and will continue to be the engine room for European growth. These factors contribute to Germany being one of the most attractive private equity markets to be in,” he said.