Private equity firm Apax Partners has raised E4bn at first closing of its Apax Europe V, a pan-European multi stage, multi sector, private equity fund. The company says that final closing will be capped at 10 per cent above this first closing.
Apax Europe V will invest in growth sectors in Europe and Israel at all stages of investment. E1.5bn of the new fund is allocated to investment in early stage companies.
Over 75 per cent of the funds raised came from existing investors in Apax Partners' funds worldwide. 50 per cent of investment has come from the US, 40 per cent from Europe and 10 per cent from Asia and the Middle East.
Sir Ronald Cohen, chairman of Apax Partners Ventures Holdings Ltd, declared that, in his view, current global market conditions will create opportunities for the venture capital industry. “Technological advances will continue. With IPO markets closed, venture capital will become the only source of equity for growth companies. If banks begin to tighten credit and the high yield debt markets remain difficult for high tech companies, then venture capital will be the only alternative.
“The growth of the venture capital industry in Europe over the past ten years and its current size now makes venture capital a significant alternative.”
Apax Partners expects that Apax Europe IV, its E1.8bn fund which was closed in March 1999, to be fully invested by the end of March 2001. With this new fund, the group has over E12bn under management around the world.
Apax Partners invests in companies across it describes as 6 chosen global growth sectors of: information technology; telecommunications; media; financial services; healthcare and retail/consumer products.