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PAI holds €1.4bn first close

The Paris-based firm aims to raise €3bn for its sixth buyout fund.

PAI Partners has held a first close on €1.4 billion for its PAI Europe VI, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The firm officially started marketing the fund 10 months ago. It is unknown what the fund’s target is, but the vehicle has a €3 billion hard-cap, according to the source.

PAI declined to comment on fundraising.

PAI’s Fund VI’s has a “diverse and international investor base, including US investors”, the source said. It is understood that existing investors are increasing their allocation by 30 percent on average. It is unclear how many investors have so far re-upped.

The firm aims to raise a similar amount as its prior fund, PAI Europe V, a €2.7 billion 2008-vintage. That fund is fully invested, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division. PAI completed its first exit from Fund V through the partial sale of its stake in Atos last November.

Since 2011, PAI has returned over €5bn to investors, representing a 3.7x return and a 34 percent IRR. Among the divestments are French dairy group Yoplait, which generated a 10x return and Compagnie Européenne de Prévoyance (CEP), a French loan insurance brokerage business, which netted PAI a 16x return, the source added.

Recent investments include Italian designer Marcolin, IPH, a French industrial supplies distribution business, airfield ground lighting company ADB Airfield Solutions and ice cream manufacturer R&R Ice Cream.