US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman closes $8.8bn fund, makes management reshuffle


San Francisco private equity firm Hellman & Friedman has closed its latest fund, Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners VII (HFCP VII), on $8.8bn. The close, which is the largest in the firm’s history, brings Hellman’s total committed capital raised to $25bn since its first partnership in 1987.

The firm will continue its long term investment strategy of large-scale equity investments of between $300m and $1.2bn, primarily in the US and Europe.

Hellman chairman Brian Powers said, “We are very pleased to announce the closing of our seventh fund, especially in this very challenging fundraising market. We are grateful for the continued support of our longstanding limited partners, who have once again entrusted us to manage their capital. We are also pleased to welcome a number of new partners to the fund with whom we look forward to building long-term relationships.”

The firm has also reshuffled its management, with Phillip Hammarskjold named as CEO and Patrick Healy as deputy CEO. Ex-CEO Brian Powers is to become chairman in place of Warren Hellman, who has stepped down to become founder. All four are to remain on the firm’s investment committee.

New CEO Hammarskjold is director of AlixPartners, Catalina Marketing Corporation and Emdeon Business Services and formerly a director of numerous portfolio companies including Digitas, Doubleclick and Goodman Global. Deputy CEO Healy is to head the firm’s London office and European activities, and is director of the Nielsen Company, Gartmore Investment Management, Gaztransport et Technigaz and Mondrian Investment Partners. Previous investments include Formula One Holdings, Digitas and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Hammarskjold said, “We believe our philosophy of investing in support of outstanding management teams in strong business franchises with defensible market positions has served us well, particularly in these challenging economic times. Our focused strategy and differentiated approach to the business has allowed us to spend time on the things that matter most – helping to build great companies and earn attractive returns for our limited partners.”

Founded in 1984, Hellman is a LBO investor, with 45 investment professionals in San Francisco, New York and London.

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