Stirling Square closes Fund III on €600m hard-cap

The European mid-market firm’s latest offering is significantly larger than its predecessor.

Stirling Square Capital Partners, a European firm focused on the mid-market, has held a final close on its third fund on its €600 million hard-cap, according to a statement from the firm.

The vehicle, which came to market in September 2014, held a first close in excess of €350 million in late 2014 and a second close above its initial target of €500 million in July 2015, as reported by Private Equity International.

The Stirling Square 14-strong team has made a general partner commitment to the vehicle of more than 7 percent of the total fund.

More than 60 percent of the fund’s total commitments come from investors in the firm’s second fund. The investor base includes pension funds, funds of funds, insurance companies, endowments, family offices and sovereign wealth funds spread across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

The fund’s predecessor, a 2008-vintage vehicle, closed on €375 million in March 2010. That fund includes a GP commitment of €28 million, representing roughly 7.5 percent of the total fund.

Fund III will “maintain the focus of prior Stirling Square funds”, investing across Europe in mid-market companies “offering transformational value creation potential”, according to the statement.

The vehicle has already acquired three portfolio companies: French holiday parks operator Siblu, which it acquired from Bridgepoint Development Capital, the small-cap arm of UK-based upper mid-market investor Bridgepoint; National Fostering Agency, which it acquired from Graphite Capital; and Vision Ophthalmology, in which it invested in January 2015.

The fund also has “a number of potential investments in the pipeline”, Stirling Square said.

Placement agent Rede Partners worked with Stirling Square on the fundraise, and Clifford Chance acted as legal, tax and regulatory advisor.