Polaris reaches €275m first close

The Danish firm has attracted commitments from several European funds of funds as it seeks to raise €350m for its third Denmark- and Sweden-focused mid-market fund.

Danish mid-market buyout firm Polaris Private Equity has garnered €275 million for the first close of its third private equity fund. This is the first time the firm has attracted significant interest from international limited partners as well as domestic Danish institutions, it said.

Among the international investors that have committed to the fund are Finnish fund of funds manager Pohjola Private Equity Funds and the private equity investment arm of Alliance Trust, a FTSE-100 company and the largest listed investment trust in the UK.

French funds of funds, ACG Private Equity and Parvilla, have both committed, as has Swiss group Euro Private Equity. Existing Danish Investors, including conglomerate AP Moller Maersk, Danske Bank and fund of funds ATP Private Equity Partners have re-upped.

Acanthus Advisers is acting as placement agent for the fundraising, which began in October 2008. The fund is targeting €350 million in commitments.

Jan Johan Kühl, managing partner of Polaris, said there has been a general shift in LP sentiment towards the mid-market, as investors can see viable dealflow and available financing.

Polaris’ previous funds raised €180 million and €270 million in 1999 and 2005, respectively. Fund III will follow the same strategy as its predecessors: backing mid-market buyouts of businesses with revenues between €25 million and €200 million in Denmark and Southern Sweden.