CVC nears €7bn first close

CVC, which is targeting up to €9bn for its sixth European Equity Partners fund, has offered LPs a first close discount.

CVC Capital Partners is set to hold a first close on its sixth fund on around €7 billion as early as the end of this month, or in early July, according to sources familiar with the fundraising. 

The fund, which is targeting up to €9 billion with no hard-cap, is likely to be oversubscribed, sources said. CVC declined to comment. 

The firm, based in London, offered limited partners who committed before the first close a 7.5 basis point discount on the management fee, according to a person who has seen the fund documents. 

CVC closed its fifth fund on about €11 billion in 2008, and its fourth fund on €6 billion in 2005. Fund V was generating a 9.2 percent internal rate of return and a 1.2x multiple as of 30 September, 2012, according to performance information from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Fund IV was producing a 16.8 percent IRR and a 1.7x multiple as of the same date, according to CalPERS information. 

Fund III, which closed on €4.65 billion in 2001, was generating a whopping 41.2 percent IRR and a 2.9x multiple, according to the CalPERS numbers. 

Last year, the firm hired senior managing director Rob Squire from Coller Capital as it bulked up its investor relations team ahead of the fundraising. CVC was expected to launch its fourth Asia fund this month targeting $3 billion, a source told Private Equity International in a prior interview. It's not clear if that fund has officially launched.

Late last year, the firm put a succession plan into place after its long-time chairman, Mike Smith, announced his retirement, to take effect in January. Smith had been with CVC since 1981. Smith was succeeded by Donald MacKenzie, Rolly van Rappard and Steve Koltes, who together act as co-chairmen of CVC. 

CVC was founded as the European arm of Citicorp Venture Capital, a captive private investment division within US-based bank Citi. The unit had several names over the years, including Citicorp Venture Capital, and the European arm eventually came to be known as CVC Equity Partners. 

It spun out in the 1990s to become one of Europe’s biggest buyout shops, having raised more than $50 billion across nine funds, including Asia- and infrastructure-specific vehicles.