Swedish Apax office to become independent

Apax Partners is downgrading its resources in Sweden as part of its efforts to ‘rebalance’ its existing resources.

Apax Partners will change its contractual relationship with its Swedish office as it seeks to “rebalance existing resources”, according to a firm spokesman.

From April, Stockholm-based investment professionals Lars Johansson and Simon Lindfors will operate independently from the Swedish capital, continuing to source deals for Apax and to provide advice, though on a part-time basis.

“This is an internal matter based on the most appropriate use of our resources. It is nothing to do with what is going on in the markets in general,” the spokesman said. He noted that Apax is overweighted in Europe in terms of staff and has recently made a greater push into Asia. The firm opened an eight investor-strong office in China last year.

Apax achieved a 10 times return on one of its Swedish investments two years ago, when it sold healthcare business Mölnlycke for €2.85 billion. It had owned the business for just 18 months.

While several private equity firms have closed offices recently – including The Carlyle Group, Sun Capital Partners, Cerberus Capital Management and HgCapital – the rationale has been market-related and attributed to cost-cutting. Beleaguered UK buyout group Candover recently told its nascent teams in Eastern Europe and Asia to raise funds independently or face closure.