Equistone IV holds €1.5bn final close

Forty-two LPs committed to the European mid-market firm’s latest fund, closed roughly one year after its spin-out from Barclays.

Equistone Partners Europe has closed Fund IV – its first independent vehicle since spinning out from Barclays – on its €1.5 billion target. 

Formerly known as Barclays Private Equity, the group rebranded in November 2011 as Equistone, holding a  €500 million first close at the time. In March 2012 it held a subsequent close on €1 billion.

Forty-two limited partners have committed to Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV (EPEF IV), 70 percent of whom were returning investors, according to a statement. It did not disclose specific investors. Previously investors have included Allianz, Aviva, Bregal Investments, LGT Capital Partners, SL Capital Partners and University of Texas Investment Management Co

Just over half of the LPs were from Europe (53 percent), while 16 percent were from North America and 31 percent the rest of the world, the statement noted. EPEF IV was placed by Lazard, while Clifford Chance advised on fund formation.

The fund will employ the same strategy as predecessors, investing in European buyouts valued from €50 million to €300 million. 

That strategy has been paying off lately for Equistone: last year the firm sealed six exits, including the €1 billion sale of travel payment services company Global Blue to Silver Lake Partners and Partners Group, and the €700 million sale of clothing brand Jack Wolfskin to The Blackstone Group. Following the Global Blue sale in May last year, Equistone’s Fund III – a €2.45 billion, 2007-vintage vehicle – had exited eight of its 38 investments and returned about 60 percent of invested capital to its limited partners. 

Guillaume Jacqueau, Equistone managing partner, said in the statement the firm’s fundraising success was “testament to the team’s successful investment track record”. 

Last year Equistone made seven new investments in companies including tour operator Audley Travel and EuroAvionics, a helicopter navigation systems provider.