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LBO France eyes new €1bn fund after LP top-up rebuttal

16 May 2013

france_flag_170sqLBO France, one of the country’s oldest private equity firms, is reportedly targeting €1bn for a new fundraise after investors refused to top up its last fully-invested vehicle.

The firm had considered collecting an extra €350m for its White Knight VII fund, which has expended all of the €851m it raised in 2008 according to the FT.

People with knowledge of the plans told the newspaper investors were given the option to sell part of their assets in the fund to new LPs, with the fund period being extended by two years.

They added that the Paris-based firm scrapped the idea after speaking with its main investors. It would have required backing from two-thirds of its LPs.

LBO’s last fund was returning a 40 per cent cumulative gain at the start of 2013, the FT added.

The firm’s mid-market White Knight vehicle has focused on companies with enterprise values of €100m to €2.5bn. It also runs small cap, real estate and debt vehicles.

It has invested in 87 companies for a total enterprise value of €16bn since it was founded in 1985.

The firm is reportedly attempting to exit its investment Maisons du Monde, a home decoration and furniture retailer that is expected to fetch at least €700m.

LBO and co-owner Apax have mandated Lazard and Messier Maris to handle the sale process according to Reuters.

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