Equistone closes Fund VI at €2.8bn hard cap

Steve O'Hare

Private equity specialist Equistone Partners Europe – the company behind a number of Northern businesses – has announced the final closing of its Equistone Partners Europe Fund VI (EPEF VI) at its hard cap with total commitments of €2.8bn.

EPEF VI will invest in European buyouts valued between €50m and €500m, targeting well-positioned businesses in Western Europe, including more companies in the North West and Yorkshire.

The fundraising was completed within four months of its launch in early November, 2017.

Equistone has already backed a number of northern businesses over the years, including Manchester-based independent travel company Travel Counsellors (Oct, 2014), Liverpool financial services firm Wealth at Work (Aug, 2015), managed service provider Apogee (August, 2016) and Hull-based holiday home manufacturer Willerby (June, 2017).

More recently, in January 2018, the firm completed the £163m sale of Concept Life Sciences, a Manchester-headquartered provider of integrated drug discovery, development, analytical testing, and environmental consulting services to Spectris plc.

The fund attracted commitments from an enhanced base of 56 major institutional investors across Western Europe and the Nordic region (accounting for 56% of capital raised), North America (28%), and the rest of the world (16%), including pension funds, funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies.

Senior partner at Equistone Steve O’Hare said: “The launch of this new fund follows a busy 12 months for Equistone, deploying over €400m of new capital and returning over €950m through successful exits.

“This trend has also been true of the Northern team, which has recently been strengthened through the addition of Seb Leusch.

“Having been established in the North for over 25 years, we will continue to target the same size deals with businesses that are looking for their next phase of organic and acquisitive growth.”

Evercore Private Funds Group advised Equistone on the fundraising and Clifford Chance acted as fund formation, tax, and regulatory counsel.

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