EQT to launch Fund VIII in September – exclusive

The investment firm is yet to set a hard-cap for its latest buyout vehicle, Private Equity International has learned.

EQT, the Nordic region's biggest private equity firm by assets, will return to market in September with its latest flagship buyout fund, Private Equity International has learned.

The Stockholm-headquartered firm will begin fundraising next month, according to three investor sources familiar with the matter. EQT is yet to determine the vehicle's hard-cap and is understood to be targeting €8 billion, with one investor familiar with the firm's funds saying it will seek as much as €9 billion.

If the firm hits its target for Fund VIII it will be the fifth biggest euro-denominated private equity fund ever raised. Only CVC Capital Partners and Apax Partners have raised biggest vehicles, PEI data show.

EQT raised €6.75 billion for its previous flagship buyout fund, a 2015-vintage that attracted commitments from LPs including Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Norinchukin Bank and State General Reserve Fund of Oman, according to PEI data. Fund VII has made 12 investments, the most recent being specialist mortgage provider BlueStep Bank, which it announced in July.

Fund VII has not made any exits, according to EQT's website. It delivered a 1.1x return multiple as of 31 March, according to an investor source.

The firm's €4.8 billion 2011-vintage EQT VI delivered a gross multiple on invested capital of 2x and net internal rate of return of 15 percent as of 31 March, the same source said.

Private Equity News first wrote that EQT was planning to launch Fund VIII this year.

EQT joins 25 other Nordic-headquartered managers seeking a combined $6.85 billion for private equity, according to PEI data. Funds in market include Nordic Capital's ninth buyout fund targeting €3.5 billion, Litorina Kapital which is seeking almost $400 million for its fifth fund and Denmark's Maj Invest Equity which is seeking DKr 1.9 billion ($308 million; €255 million) for its Maj Invest Equity V.

EQT has around €37 billion in raised capital and 24 funds across private capital, real assets and credit strategies, according to its website.

The firm declined to comment.

– Toby Mitchenall contributed to this report.

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