Duke Street pulls plug on £850m fund


British mid-market private equity firm Duke Street has shelved plans to raise an £850m fund, reflecting the increasingly low levels of enthusiasm for private equity as an asset class amongst investors.

The firm abandoned fundraising efforts for its seventh investment vehicle after experiencing a low level of demand from investors, deciding instead to set up ‘sidecar’ vehicles of up to €100m for one or two deals at a time, according to a source close to the situation.

The firm began fundraising for the vehicle last summer, but pulled the plug on the process after failing to hit its €250m first close.

The news will shadow the firm’s sale of British engineering group Deloro Stellite, which it sold to US trade buyer Kennametal earlier this month for €277m. Duke Street netted a 2.4 times return from the exit, after buying the company in 2006 for €175m.

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