Exclusive: Stirling Square eyes first close for third fund

The European mid-market firm has raised more than €300m towards its €500m target

Stirling Square Capital Partners, a European firm focused on the mid-market, is nearing a first close of just over €300 million for its third fund, PEI has learnt.

The fund, which officially came to market earlier this year, will hold the close around Christmas, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The vehicle is targeting €500 million and has a €600 million hard-cap. It has attracted commitments from both existing and new investors is expected to hold its final close in the first half of next year.

Last November, the firm hired Rede Partners to place the fund. Both Stirling and Rede declined to comment on fundraising.

Stirling’s latest fund will be larger than the firm’s second vehicle, a €375 million, 2010-vintage vehicle. That fund includes a general partner commitment of €28 million, representing roughly 7.5 percent of the total fund.

Stirling Square Capital Partners, which was founded in 2002, targets businesses with enterprise values of between €50 million and €500 million. It tends to take control investment positions in market-leading businesses that have potential for organic growth and further consolidation within the industry or opportunities international expansion.