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Equistone closes Fund V on €2bn

The pan-European firm held a first and final close on its hard-cap after just six months in market

Pan-European private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe has held a first and final close on its fifth buyout fund at its hard-cap of €2 billion after just six months in market, according to a statement from the firm.

Equistone Partners Europe Fund V came to market in October 2014 with an initial target of €1.75 billion. Investors in the fund include pension funds, funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies.

Commitments came from 43 institutional investors, with 47 percent of the fund made up of European capital, 29 percent from North America, and 24 percent from Asia and the Gulf. Around 80 percent of the committed capital came from existing investors in prior Equistone funds, the firm said.

The capital raised includes a €75 million commitment from the Public School Employees’ Retirement System of Pennsylvania, Private Equity International reported previously.

Equistone declined to disclose the size of its GP commitment.

Fund V will follow a similar strategy to its predecessors, investing in European buyouts valued at between €50 million and €300 million, the firm said.

This is the firm’s second independent vehicle since spinning out from Barclays and rebranding as Equistone in November 2011. Its first independent fund, Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV, closed on its €1.5 billion target in January 2013, PEI reported at the time. Fund IV is approximately 85 percent drawn down, and made its 25th investment in February, acquiring a majority stake in German motorcycle apparel, equipment and accessories retailer POLO Motorrad und Sportswear GmbH.

Since January 2014 Equistone has completed nine investments and 10 realisations. These include the sale of a majority holding in A-Plan Insurance to HgCapital in a deal valuing the business at around £300 million (€470 million; €378 million), which generated a return for Equistone of 2.8x, and the acquisition of a majority stake in French multi-specialist insurance broker Finaxy Group in April last year.