EQT seals fifth exit as final close nears

European buyout firm EQT has agreed its fifth exit of the year, selling a Finnish technology business for €195m. The deal comes as the firm prepares a final close for its latest €4.75bn buyout fund.

EQT has agreed the sale of VTI Technologies to Japan-listed group Murata Manufacturing for €195 million (20 billion yen; $261 million) according to a statement, offloading a business that it has managed for nine years.

The size of EQT’s return on the investment could not be determined. An EQT spokesman was unavailable for comment.

The deal is EQT’s fifth exit this year, after the disposals of CaridianBCT, Kabel BW, Cimbria and Securitas Direct. The firm's disposals this year amount to more than €6 billion and have come at an opportune time for the firm as it looks to conclude fundraising for its latest buyout vehicle.

EQT acquired VTI in mid-2002 using capital from EQT III, its €2 billion 2001-vintage fund.

The firm said it had helped to increase VTI’s sales by 75 percent during its period of ownership, having invested heavily in research and development.

EQT is close to wrapping up fundraising for its latest buyout fund, EQT VI, which is expected to meet its hard-cap of €4.75 billion soon. Aided by the fund placement team at UBS, EQT held an interim close on more than €4 billion earlier this year after less than a year in the market, despite a difficult fundraising environment.

It has garnered commitments from LPs including the Teachers’ Retirement System for the State of Illinois, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and San Diego County Employees’ Retirement Association, according to Private Equity International’s data provider Private Equity Connect.