Exclusive: Stirling Square holds first close in excess of €350m

The European mid-market firm is aiming to collect €500m for its latest fund

Stirling Square Capital Partners, a European firm focused on the mid-market, has held a first close on its third fund, PEI has learnt.

The fund, which officially came to market last year, held a first close just before Christmas in excess of €350 million, according to a source 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 spring of this 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.