France’s Apax hits €1.2bn target for 10th flagship fund

The final closing of Apax France X is likely to be slightly delayed due to the covid-19 crisis.

French mid-market firm Apax Partners SAS has reached the €1.2 billion target for its 10th flagship offering, Private Equity International has learned.

The firm, which is yet to hold a final close for the vehicle, held a first closing on approximately €900 million in October, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Apax began raising capital for Apax France X, which has a hard-cap of €1.4 billion, in September, according to PEI data.

The time the fund takes to reach its hard-cap is expected to be slightly delayed due to the coronavirus crisis, the source added.

Capital raised for the vehicle will back small and mid-cap companies in Europe focused on technology, media and telecom; consumer; healthcare and services. Its predecessor fund, the 2016-vintage Fund IX, raised €1 billion against a €750 million target.

Apax informed its LPs about Fund X’s progress at its annual general meeting last Wednesday via webcast. It is understood that about 70 percent of LPs attended, including all of those who are on the firm’s board of advisors.

Apax Partners SAS used to be the French affiliate of London-based Apax Partners, but since 2006 have been separate and independent PE firms.

France’s Apax is among several private equity and venture capital firms that have had to carry out their annual meetings by webcast in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

London-based Apax held its annual meeting in March over webcast, according to a source familiar with the matter. Seattle-based VC firm Madrona Venture Group will livestream its annual meeting on Tuesday while the Hustle Fund, which invests in North America and in South-East Asia, moved its LP meeting in April to a virtual event.

Adapting amid covid-19

Speaking to PEI about how the firm was faring amid the covid-19 crisis last week, chief executive Eddie Misrahi noted that the firm’s investment in digital technology and software in recent years has helped to make remote working as smooth as possible for all its employees. The whole firm is operational and working from home, he said.

He added that the Apax team has set up a daily contact point for its staff, in which all team members have to send daily updates on the status of their health. Managers have also organised virtual coffee meetings every day with their teams to keep in contact.

Misrahi declined to comment on Apax France X’s fundraising progress.

For its portfolio companies, he noted that contact with the chief executives is almost daily as France adapts to life on coronavirus lockdown.

“First of all, we are clearly asking them to focus on cash. Second, we have asked them to draw on every credit line that was included in the financing package. That has been done in every company and obviously we are watching potential breaches of covenant based on that because activity for some companies will go suffer.”