Charterhouse slashes a third off Fund IX

The London-based private equity firm has cut its latest fund target from €6bn to €4bn as investor caution impacts on the fundraising environment.

Charterhouse Capital Partners has slashed its €6 billion fundraising target for its ninth fund to €4 billion, according to sources.

Charterhouse Capital Partners IX held a first close on €3.6 billion around October 2008, according to media reports. The fund’s investors include the San Francisco Employees Retirement System, which committed €25 million, and the Washington State Investment Board, which committed $300 million.

Charterhouse is not the first private equity firm to slash a mega fund target. The Blackstone Group, TPG and Madison Dearborn have cut fund targets in recent months and today news surfaced of the suspension of investment of Candover Partners’ 2008 fund, as it engages in crisis talks with its limited partners.

Charterhouse is currently investing the €4 billion Charterhouse Capital Partners VIII, which closed in March 2006.

Commenting on the fundraising market in general, John Gripton, a managing director of fund of funds Capital Dynamics, said: “In some cases [investor commitments] fund raising is being pushed back into 2010 and some investors are struggling to make new commitments in the short term due to over allocation to private equity. There are instances where circumstances have overtaken them and investors are finding it difficult to honour existing commitments. However, I think that it is important when considering re-evaluated fund targets to consider that funds raised will actually go further in today's market as pricing falls.”

Charterhouse was unavailable for comment at press time.