Equistone Partners Europe Limited, the mid-market private equity investor, has announced the successful final closing of Equistone Partners Europe Fund VI (“EPEF VI”) at its hard cap with total capital commitments of €2.8bn.
The fundraising was completed within four months of its launch in early November 2017.
EPEF VI will invest in European buyouts valued between €50m and €500m, targeting well-positioned businesses in Western Europe with high-calibre management teams and strong growth potential. The fund attracted commitments from an enhanced base of 56 major institutional investors across Western Europe and the Nordic region (accounting for 56% of capital raised), North America (28%), and the rest of the world (16%), including pension funds, funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies.
With existing investors in prior Equistone funds providing c.75% of the capital and the total number of investors growing almost 30% on its previous fund, Equistone has accommodated heightened demand while maintaining its long-standing commitment to rightsizing its funds relative to the market opportunity.
Equistone has backed a number of northern businesses over the years, including Manchester-based independent travel company Travel Counsellors (Oct 2014), Liverpool financial services firm Wealth at Work (Aug 2015), managed service provider Apogee (August 2016) and Hull-based holiday home manufacturer Willerby (June 2017).
More recently, in January 2018, the firm completed the £163m sale of Concept Life Sciences, a Manchester-headquartered provider of integrated drug discovery, development, analytical testing, and environmental consulting services to Spectris plc.
Steve O’Hare, senior partner at Equistone, said: “The launch of this new fund follows a busy 12 months for Equistone, deploying over €400m of new capital and returning over €950m through successful exits. This trend has also been true of the Northern team, which has recently been strengthened through the addition of Seb Leusch. Having been established in the North for over 25 years, we will continue to target the same size deals with businesses that are looking for their next phase of organic and acquisitive growth.”