French veteran Chequers closes Fund XVII on €1.1bn

The fund, which was twice oversubscribed, was raised in less than three months.  

 Chequers, a Paris-based private equity firm, has closed its Chequers Capital XVII fund at €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion), according to a statement from the firm.

The fund, which was targeting €1 billion, was two-times oversubscribed, according to the statement, and fundraising took less than three months. Investors include a mix of pension plans, sovereign wealth funds and funds of funds, with Europe and the United States dominating the geographical spread.

Like Chequers’ previous funds, the capital will be deployed in mid-market companies in continental Europe, with a particular focus on France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The fund typically makes investments of between €40 million and €120 million in companies with an enterprise value of between €80 million and €350 million. No funds have yet been deployed, according to a source close to the fundraising.

MVision was the placement agent for the fundraise and legal counsel was provided by Goodwin Procter.

Terms of the fund were not disclosed. According to documents from the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, seen by PEI around the time of Chequers’ last fund close in 2011, the firm targets an internal rate of return of 20 percent or greater and a 2.5x multiple of invested capital over a period of four to five years. Chequers GP contribution to that fund was between 1.2 percent and 2.75 percent, the documents revealed.

Its last fund, Fund XVI, closed in June 2011 above its €800 million target on €850 million, also after three months of fundraising. Investors include Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which committed $36 million, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, which committed $50 million and AP Fonden II, which made a SKr62 million commitment ($7 million; €6.35 million).

Chequers was established in 1972, making it one of France’s oldest private equity firms. It has offices in Paris and Munich, and a joint-venture in Milan.