CVC secures €25bn for industry’s biggest-ever buyout fund

CVC Capital Partners IX, which is yet to hold its final close, is already larger than Blackstone's $26.2bn record haul in 2019.

CVC Capital Partners, the third-biggest Europe-based private equity firm according to the PEI 300, is on track to raise what would be the largest-ever private equity fund, defying the market’s choppy waters.

The Luxembourg-headquartered firm has secured at least €25 billion in commitments for CVC Capital Partners IX, according to three sources familiar with the fundraise.

Allowing for currency conversions, the vehicle edges ahead of Blackstone Capital Partners VIII, the largest private equity fund raised so far, which closed in 2019 on $26.2 billion, according to PEI data.

CVC IX, which launched last year, according to PEI data, could surpass its €25 billion target, the sources said. It is unclear when the fund will hold its final close. CVC could hold a one-and-done close on the vehicle, one of the sources said, with PEI data showing the vehicle has not yet held a close.

The buyout giant collected €22 billion for the vehicle’s predecessor, CVC Capital Partners VIII, in 2020 after around six months in market. At that time, the fund was the second-largest private equity fund ever in US dollars on an annual average exchange rate, PEI reported at the time.

CVC ranked 15th in this year’s PEI 300, raising $41.75 billion across the preceding five-year period.

A spokesperson for CVC declined to comment on fundraising.

CVC’s ability to accumulate commitments for Fund IX that total its target is an impressive feat in today’s market. Market participants told affiliate title Private Equity International in April that one-and-done closes will be a rarity in this environment.

“This year, we are not seeing many one-and-done closes, but funds can still ultimately be oversubscribed,” Janet Brooks, partner at placement firm Monument Group said at the time. “Most fundraising timetables are considerably extended and funds are having multiple closings before they reach their targets or hard-caps.”

The development comes as CVC plots to go public, with reports that either Amsterdam or London could play host to the firm’s initial public offering as early as this year.

Some of CVC’s listed peers have been managing expectations with their latest raises, with some executives of publicly listed firms indicating on recent earnings calls they are not sure, or do not expect their funds to reach targets in aggregate.

Blackstone, which raised the current largest-ever private equity fund, is targeting “a vehicle of substantially similar size as the prior fund” for Blackstone Capital Partners IX, president and chief operating officer Jonathan Gray said on the firm’s first quarter earnings call in April.

– Adam Le contributed to this story.