European buyout specialist Cinven has announced today that its third fund has reached a final closing at E4.3bn. The fund received commitments from over 100 international institutions and significantly exceeded the E3.5bn target total for the fund.
Cinven’s previous fund, now fully invested, raised E2.4bn in 1998. A spokesperson for the firm said the increased size of the current fund reflected the growing opportunities for buyouts across Europe.
Cinven has now completed nine E1bn-plus buyouts in Europe from its three buyout funds. The first deal from this new fund was the E925m buyout of Klöckner Pentaplast, completed in December 2001, followed by the E3.2bn deal to buy the Unique Pub Company, one of the UK’s largest pub groups from Nomura in March this year. This month the firm announced the E1.2bn purchase of Vivendi’s publishing businesses alongside Apax and Carlyle Group.
Andrew Joy, director of Cinven, said he was delighted with the fundraising given the difficult market conditions. “The large number of new international institutions committing to the third fund is particularly satisfying, given the recent environment in which it has not been easy to raise funds for private equity investment.” He added that, despite the firm’s participation in a large number of E1bn-plus deals, he believed the European E500m-E1bn bracket offered the most potential for investment.
Just over 50 per cent of the fund's commitments came from European institutions, with the remainder coming largely from the US. Merrill Lynch acted as placement agent and Ashurst Morris Crisp provided legal advice for the fund.