BC Partners is Said to Be Halfway to $10 Billion Fund Record

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BC Partners has raised around half the target amount for its next flagship private equity fund, for which it is seeking a record 8.5 billion euros ($10 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

The London-based buyout firm has already gathered more than 4 billion euros for its 11th fund, hitting an initial fundraising milestone, according to the people. It has stuck to its target during the coronavirus pandemic and aims to finish collecting investor capital next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

BC has already put some of the money to work since it began raising the pool late last year. In July, the firm announced one of the year’s biggest private equity buyouts of a listed European company, agreeing to take Italy’s IMA Industria Macchine Automatiche SpA private in a deal valuing the machinery maker at about 2.9 billion euros.

A representative for BC couldn’t immediately comment.

Private equity firms have continued to find deals amid the coronavirus pandemic, announcing $418 billion of investments since the start of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. BC is currently helping to finance a 3 billion-pound ($3.9 billion) hostile bid from its portfolio company, Canadian security firm GardaWorld, for U.K.-listed competitor G4S Plc.

The buyout industry also continues to collect record amounts of cash from investors, with CVC Capital Partners completing a 21.3 billion-euro fundraising over the summer. Nordic Capital recently raised 6.1 billion euros for its biggest-ever fund.

Still, some of BC’s portfolio companies have struggled as Covid-19 began roiling the economy. It previously owned U.K. restaurant operator Cote, which was taken over by Partners Group Holding AG in September after being hit by government lockdown measures. BC lost control of Irish travel software firm CarTrawler to rival private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners in May.

In a recent survey of more than 200 private equity firms, researchers Paul Gompers, Steven Kaplan and Vladimir Mukharlyamov found that 10% of portfolio companies are “very negatively affected” and a further 40% “moderately negatively affected” by the viral outbreak. In their paper, published this month, the academics also found that private equity firms expect fund performance to be weaker as a result of the pandemic.

BC, founded in 1986 by Otto van der Wyck and John Burgess, was a pioneer in European leveraged buyouts and previously raised some of the biggest funds on the continent. The firm has also expanded into credit and real estate investing. It’s seeking to turn a new page after some troubled acquisitions from its eighth fund, including satellite operator Intelsat SA, hurt its reputation among investors.

Bloomberg News