UK-based private equity firm ECI Partners is reportedly targeting up to £500m for a new fund next year for what would become its biggest-ever vehicle.
ECI is already interviewing advisors to help raise the capital, with investment banks Evercore Partners and Lazard bidding for the job according to Bloomberg, which cited a person with knowledge of the matter.
The decision follows ECI netting an overall three times return from its seventh fund by making its 18th and final exit last year, selling healthcare outsourcer Harmoni to Bridgepoint-backed services group Care UK.
Sean Whelan told AltAssets the sale meant ECI VII, a £175m fund which began investing at the end of 2000, had an IRR of 45 per cent.
ECI closed its last fund, ECI 9, on £437m after just three months of fundraising, easily beating its £400m target.
A total of 27 investors and advisors backed the vehicle, with more than 90 per cent of the capital raised from existing investors in ECI funds.
That fund is about 70 per cent invested, Bloomberg added.
The firm tends to target businesses valued between £10m and £150m.
Ascribe was taken private by ECI from the AIM market in January 2009 in a £33m deal.
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