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Apax Partners calls time on marketing €9bn buyout fund

20 Dec 2012

Apax Partners is reported to have called time on marketing its eighth buyout fund after taking the decision that its €9bn target is too high.

The fund has since amassed an additional €700m, the report added.

The firm is understood to have set a soft March deadline for commitments from investors, partly in an effort to pressure cash-constrained and undecided investors to commit, the report said.

“Getting investors to commit and actually sign the documents is very challenging these days, and it’s a way to apply some pressure,” Jeremie Le Febvre, founder of private equity consultant TBG Capital, told the Financial Times.

“But the message is also: our job is to do deals and actively manage a portfolio of companies. Let’s refocus on what we’re supposed to do, even if it means raising a smaller fund,” he added.

Apax follows in the footsteps of other large global buyout firms that have scaled back their fund targets amid an increasingly challenging fundraising environment.

US-based Providence recently scaled back its $6bn target for its latest fund to $5bn, while Sweden-based Nordic Capital is planning to cut the target for its latest buyout fund by 25 per cent from €4bn to €3bn with a €3.5bn hard cap following a slower than hoped for uptake from LPs.

Reports this week also confirmed Apax will hand embattled drug courier Marken over to its lenders this week following a failed attempt to sell the company, losing the £600m the firm first invested in the business three years ago.

Banks including Lloyds will take control of Marken through a so-called pre-pack administration process that is expected to take place by Friday, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

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