Former Danske team gets back on track with Saga VIII

The Copenhagen fund of funds hit the hard cap on its most recent fund, after the previous vehicle closed €100m under target.

Saga Private Equity, the spinout of Danske Private Equity, hit the hard cap on its second independent effort after the first closed under target.

The Copenhagen-based fund of funds held a final close on €720 million for Saga VIII, according to a press release. The fund will invest in micro-, small- and mid-market buyout funds in North America and Europe, as well as co-investments and secondaries opportunistically.

The eighth programme has already made commitments to seven funds and has made five co-investments, which makes up nearly 60 percent of the fund’s total expected deployment, according to the release. Details of the investments were not disclosed.

The first fund following the spinout, 2019-vintage Saga VII, closed €600 million under a €700 million target. The firm held six closings throughout the fundraise.

The majority of the limited partners in that fund are insurance companies and pension funds in Europe, partner Jesper Knutsson said at the time, including PensionDanmark. Foundations and family offices in Europe and North America also contributed capital to the vehicle.

Danske Private Equity’s six previous funds – the latest of which is the €700 million, 2015-vintage Danske Private Equity Partners VI – are under Saga’s management, Knutsson said. All have been fully deployed.

John Danielsen, the founder of Danske Private Equity, left the Danish fund of funds along with senior partner Peter Thellufsen in 2017, as previously reported by PEI. Following their departures, the bank planned to integrate the PE unit with Danske Bank Asset Management, according to a statement at the time. PensionDanmark and PKA AIP Private Funds were investors in Danske PE’s funds, according to PEI data.

Carmela Mendoza contributed to this report.