Apax targets €6bn final close for Fund VIII within weeks


euro 7_sqApax Partners is reportedly eyeing a €6bn final close for its latest private equity fund by the end of the month according to Dow Jones.

The London-headquartered firm is nearing the landmark following a tricky fundraise which has seen it slash its target from €9bn amid a 10 per cent cut in its investment staff.

A source told AltAssets in March that Apax’s sizeable 110-strong global investment team would drop to 90, while the firm would also let out two-fifths of its London office.

That news followed it shuttering its Milan base before Christmas and deciding to wind down its office in Spain.

Apax previously held a €4.3bn first close for the vehicle in March 2012 after just ten months on the road, heralding the largest first close held by a private equity firm since the financial crisis peaked in 2008.

But commitments subsequently began to dry up for the fund, with one source saying Apax had left it too late returning to the market following the successful close of its €11.2bn Fund VII in 2007.

The tricky financial climate since has been coupled with a pack of European buyout majors attempting to raise multibillion dollar funds, putting LP commitments at a premium.

Advent International held a hugely successful €8.2bn final close for its latest fund in November, BC Partners had already closed a €6.5bn fund in October 2011 and Cinven finished a €5bn fundraise last week.

Other funds struggling to hit their targets include Permira, which has scaled back from the €6.5bn it initially hoped to raise, and Nordic Capital, which was initially hoping to gather €4bn.

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