France-based PAI Partners, one of the largest European private equity investors, has closed PAI Europe IV on €2.675 billion ($3.5 billion).
Launched last September with a €2 billion target, the fund attracted interest in
PAI will invest the fund in medium-sized and large Western European leveraged buyouts that are at least €300 million in size. Preferred sectors are consumer goods and services businesses as well as general industrial concerns.
With offices in Paris, London, Madrid and Milan, PAI is owned by 11 partners and has a total of 38 investment professionals.
The firm’s previous fund closed in July 2002 on €1.8 billion, shortly after PAI spun out of French bank BNP Paribas to become an independent entity. The group, run by chairman and CEO Amaury-Daniel de Seze, was established as a captive investor in 1994.
PAI’s success on the fundraising trail is further evidence that large Europe-facing LBO funds are currently considered hot properties by institutional investors participating in the private equity asset class.
On the back of a major push into international M&A markets, the industry is experiencing an unprecedented fundraising boom. Leading European groups CVC Capital Partners, BC Partners, Apax Partners and Bridgepoint are currently preparing to complete raising new multi-billion euro vehicles. US-headquartered firms KKR and Advent International are also marketing new European funds.
Earlier this year, The Carlyle Group closed its latest European effort on €1.7 billion, while Barclays Private Equity and Doughty Hanson came in on €1.65 billion and €1.6 billion respectively. GSC Capital Partners, the principal investment arm of Goldman Sachs, recently closed a $8.5 billion global co-investment vehicle, the largest private equity fund ever raised.