Chequers Capital, the French private equity firm that spun out of Charterhouse’s French buyout team in 2001, has held a final close of Chequers Capital XV on €600 million ($762 million).
Denis Metzger, chairman and chief executive of Chequers Capital, said that marketing began for Chequers Capital XV in January with an original target of €500 million. The fund is the second Chequers Capital has launched since setting up as an independent firm.
Despite Fund XV being double the size of its predecessor, Metzger said that the firm will continue its strategy of acquiring majority control positions in French companies with between €30 million and €300 million enterprise value, typically investing between €15 million and €75 million of equity: “We believe that to be strong in the mid-cap market in France, you have to be able to invest up to €100 million on some deals in order to catch the €300 million enterprise value companies. Therefore, a fund size of €300 million was too small.”
Returning investors included funds of funds Access Capital, CAAM CI, Commonfund, HarbourVest, LGT Capital Partners and Pantheon; and banks HSBC-Nobel, JPMorgan and Lombard Odier Darier Hensch.
New limited partners included Citigroup and pension funds Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management, Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System and Queensland Investment Corporation.
An unnamed Asian government entity and and a Japanese insurance company also made an allocation to the new fund.
Pension funds were responsible for 40 percent of the capital raised, with 33 percent from funds of funds, 23 percent from insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions and 4 percent from family offices and high net worth individuals. Regionally, European investors contributed half of the fund, the US over a third and the rest of the world 15 percent.
MVision Private Equity Advisers acted as global placement agent for both the new fund and its predecessor. SJ Berwin and Ropes & Gray provided legal advice.
Chequers Capital was formed in 2001 following HSBC’s acquisition of Credit Comercial de France in 2000. Based in Paris, the firm has 10 investment professionals.