Doughty Hanson relaunches with plan for new €1bn fund

The firm – now DH Private Equity Partners – has returned €5bn to investors since 2012 and has a new partnership structure in place.

Doughty Hanson has re-branded as DH Private Equity Partners and is targeting the second half of this year to launch a new fund of up to €1 billion in size, a source told Private Equity International. The fund will be the firm’s first in ten years.

The upper mid-market investor abandoned plans to raise a €2 billion fund in 2015 during a period of uncertainty following the death of co-founder Nigel Doughty in 2012. The firm had “not really returned enough cash to investors” when it went to market in 2015 for its sixth fund, the source said, and since then has returned €2 billion, on top of the €3 billion returned between 2012 and 2015.

Placement agents MVision will helm the fundraising efforts, the source said, and the terms of the fund will demonstrate that it wants to focus on rewards for performance, not assets under management. The firm will target Northern Europe-based companies with enterprise values between €200 million and €600 million.

“The-re-brand is a natural progression and a return to the firm’s roots,” a spokesman for DH told PEI. “It’s a much broader partnership now, they are not going to be doing venture or property, and the focus is once again going to be northern Europe.” The spokesman said the firm has closed all of its offices outside of London to underscore its renewed focus. He declined to comment about DH fundraising.

“Since the beginning of 2015, we have returned nearly €2 billion to investors, focused the business purely on private equity and restructured the firm around an aligned team, led by myself. It makes sense therefore to rebrand the firm for the future in a way that reflects the changes but preserves the strong heritage of the business,” Dick Hanson, senior partner at DH Private Equity Partners said.

At the time of Doughty’s death in 2012 he and fellow co-founder Dick Hanson were the firm’s sole owners. The firm now has ten partners according to its website. Last year the firm’s former chief executive Stephen Marquardt joined Coller Capital to lead its investor relations.

DH has four remaining portfolio companies including corporate compliance outsourcer TMF and oil and gas services provider Asco, both of which are held by the firm’s fifth fund, a €3 billion vehicle which it closed in 2007.