Qualium poised for final close on €520m

French private equity group Qualium Investissement is poised to hold a final close for its latest buyout fund on €520m after bowing to pressure from some LPs not to raise significantly more.

Paris-headquartered buyout group Qualium Investissement is to hold a final close for its latest fund in the next few days with €520 million raised, according to sources with knowledge of the process. 

The total exceeds the fund’s target of €500 million but is short of its unofficial hard cap, thought to be in the €550 million to €600 million range.

The fund was oversubscribed, according to a source with knowledge of the process, but Qualium declined to press on to the hard cap as some LPs expressed concern at the management team raising more capital than it was resourced to deploy.

Investors in the fund included influential French investor Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), which committed €250 million. CDC, of which Qualium is technically a subsidiary (with full operational autonomy) has been a cornerstone investor in the firm’s previous funds. Its backing is a boon to Qualium, aiding the firm in both sourcing deals and executing them, as CDC is, as one source put it, “familiar with pretty much every company in France”.

For the first time however, Qualium has sought to diversify its investor base beyond CDC and a small pool of 'friends and family' investors. Other investors in Qualium Investissment Fund VI include pension funds, high net worth individuals, family offices, banks and insurers, according to a source.

Qualium launched the fundraising in January last year, and held a first close on about €450 million last summer. Triago acted as placement agent for the fundraising.

Qualium has delivered an average return of 2.9x since 1998, with an annual internal rate of return of 35 percent, according to a source with knowledge of the firm’s funds.