PAI Partners closes new $7.6 billion fund, surpassing target

By Anousha Sakoui

LONDON (Reuters) – French buyout group PAI Partners said it had raised 7.1 billion euros ($7.59 billion) for its latest fund, surpassing its target despite difficulties in drawing new money by private equity groups.

The fund will be invested in companies in Europe and North America, and is about 40 percent larger than the predecessor fund (PAI Europe VII), which closed at 5.1 billion euros in 2018, the company said.

“This successful final close for PAI Partners VIII, at a

size 40% larger than its predecessor in a challenging environment, reaffirms the confidence investors

have in PAI’s Real Economy strategy and our ability to perform consistently through the cycle,” said Richard Howell, a Managing Partner at PAI in a statement Monday.

Fundraising conditions have been difficult for buyout groups given rising interest rates.

Challenging macroeconomic conditions and geopolitical concerns are weighing on expected returns in Europe and assets under management in the region are expected to grow at a slower rate, according to data provider Preqin. European assets under management are forecast to grow 8.4 percent by 2028, down from 12.2 percent in 2016 to 2022.

PAI, which has 26 billion euros under management, said this new Fund VIII has already deployed around 35 percent of its total capital with seven investments to date, including in the Looping Group, ECF Group, Azets Group, Infra Group and Alphia Inc.

($1 = 0.9357 euros)

(Reporting by Anousha Sakoui; editing by David Evans)