Third parties commit E600m to Barclays fund

The UK bank has exceeded its original target for the fund, raising E1.25bn for European mid-market buyouts.

Barclays Private Equity, the mid-market buyout operation owned by the UK bank, has held a final close of its first non-captive fund since 1989, raising E1.25bn.


The fund has received commitments from many top name investors in the US and Europe, including Schroder Fund of Funds, Citigroup Private Equity, Standard Life Investments, NIB Capital, Pantheon Ventures, Robeco, shaPE Capital, Allianz Private Equity Partners and funds advised by Morley Fund Management. Barclays itself contributed E545m to the fund, and UK fund of funds Parallel Ventures, which has had a close relationship with BPE since the mid 1990s, committed E100m.


The decision to raise funds from third parties has been a major success for Barclays. BPE held a first closing on total commitments of more than E1bn in May, with commitments in excess of E400m from third parties, having hoped to secure around E250m from external investors at that time.


BPE plans to focus on mid-market buyouts with an enterprise value of up to E400m, investing in up to 60 companies across Europe over the next three to four years. Although the fund’s primary areas for investment will be financial services, healthcare, IT services, support services and travel and leisure, although the firm has not ruled out investments in other sectors.


Barclays has been active both in terms of investments and realisations in 2002. 'Despite the collapse in M&A activity, 2002 has been one of Barclays Private Equity's most successful years in relation to exits with eight successful realisations,” said Graeme White, head of Barclays Private Equity. The firm partnered 3i in the acquisition, and subsequent sale, of Go! to EasyJet for E580m in April.


Recent deals investments include a E55m MBO at UK care home operator Caretech, the E75m buyout of COSi in the UK, the E16m MBO of CER in Italy, the E73m buyout of Eau Ecarlate in France and the Minimax transaction in Germany.


Barclays was advised on the fundraising by SJ Berwin and Doug Miller at International Private Equity, the placement agent.