Hellman & Friedman hauls in $24.4bn for its biggest ever fund

The firm not only exceeded the original target for its 10th flagship vehicle, but also its hard-cap by $2.4bn.

Hellman & Friedman has held a final close on the largest private equity vehicle of the year after only six months on the fundraising trail.

The San Francisco-headquartered firm – 37th in the PEI 300 ranking – amassed $24.4 billion for Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners X, in what was a significantly oversubscribed fundraise, according to a statement from the firm.

Fund X had an initial target of $20 billion and a hard-cap of $22 billion for institutional capital, said a source with knowledge of the fundraise.

The $2.4 billion that was above the fund’s hard-cap came from the firm itself, which committed $1.8 billion and is the largest investor in the fund, according to the statement. The remaining $600 million was contributed by friends and family of the firm, the source said.

Hellman & Friedman began raising capital in January 2021 and held its institutional close on $22 billion in May.

It received a $1 billion commitment from California Public Employees’ Retirement System, $150 million from Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association  and $125 million from Indiana Public Retirement System, according to PEI data. Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and Cathay Life Insurance also committed $75 million and $50 million, respectively.

Fund X is 53 percent larger than its 2018-vintage, which closed on $16 billion.

The firm invests in one pool of capital and has a single strategy of making large-scale equity investments in companies in growth-oriented sectors including software, healthcare, financial services and business services, insurance and insurance services, as well as consumer and retail. Ticket sizes range between $400 million and $4 billion in developed markets, according to US pension fund documents.

The firm’s recent investments include healthcare supplies manufacturer Medline – a tie-up it did with Blackstone and Carlyle Group in a deal valued over $30 billion; home décor superstore At Home Group; and vehicle glass business Belron.

According to the source, the firm has found – from its experience with Funds  VII, VIII and IX – that the bigger the investment size, the less competition in that market segment.

While deployment was a key question LPs raised during the fundraising process last year, its “single strategy focus and strong track record meant it continued to average up in fund size without compromising business quality and without facing stronger competition”, the source said.

Hellman & Friedman’s Fund X is the latest in a string of mega-funds to have thrived on the road at a time when less-established players suffered. Mega-raises this year include the $18.5 billion KKR North America Fund XIII, the $16 billion Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund XI and the €15.6 billion EQT IX.