Exclusive: EQT sets €6.75bn hard-cap for Fund VII

Investor demand for the firm’s latest vehicle is more than €11bn

EQT, a Northern Europe-focused firm, has agreed to put a €6.75 billion hard-cap on its latest fund, PEI has learnt.

EQT VII, which came to market in January targeting €5.25 billion, is significantly oversubscribed with demand reaching more than €11 billion, investor sources told Private Equity International.

EQT informed LPs this week that the increased fund size is supported by the deal flow seen across EQT VII’s investment regions and is consistent with the fund’s strategy and target returns, it is understood. The hard-cap implies a 12 percent increase in fund size compared to EQT VI’s deployment rate when excluding co-investments.

EQT declined to comment on fundraising.

Instead of deploying the vehicle over the standard five year period, EQT will be able to invest the fund in six years, the sources added.

It is expected the fund will officially close during the summer.

EQT’s Fund VII will have a similar strategy to EQT VI, a 2011-vintage which closed on its €4.75 billion hard-cap, having initially targeted €4.25 billion. The fund will target the Nordic region and German-speaking Europe. The investment size will typically range between €100 million and €600 million.

EQT VII will be the first buyout fund raised by EQT after Thomas von Koch, who has been with the firm since inception, succeeded Conni Jonsson as a managing partner in March 2014. The firm has raised 17 funds totaling approximately €22 billion since inception in 1994. The average gross money multiple on sold deals from EQT’s buyout activities over the last 20 years is 3x, EQT told PEI last year.

Last year, EQT used its EQT Fund VI to acquire Bureau Van Dijk, a Belgian provider of business intelligence, which was formerly owned by Charterhouse Capital Partners. It also invested in Evidensia, a Scandinavian veterinarian services provider, Sportradar, a provider of live sports information and services, Qinterra, an oil & gas industry service provider, and Færch Plast, one of Scandinavia’s largest producers of thermoformed plastic trays for different foods, including fresh meat, cold foods & snacks.