Stirling Square private equity closes third funding round at €600m as private equity funds reach record highs

Madeline Ratcliffe
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Private equity funds together hold a record a $488bn (Source: Getty)

Private equity firm Stirling Square Capital Partners, whose portfolio includes the UK’s National Fostering Agency, has closed its third fund after raising €600m (£447m).

Stirling Square’s second fund in 2010 raised €375m, and 60 per cent of the third fund’s investors were involved in the last fund.

The firm was founded in 2002, and specialises in European companies worth between €50m and €500m.

Stefano Bonfiglio, managing partner at Stirling Square said: “We are delighted to retain such a large number of our existing investors, some of whom have been investing with Stirling Square for over ten years.”

Stirling is not alone in its funding success. In 2015, $550bn (£378bn) was raised in “private capital” investment, which includes private equity and debt funds, and private real estate, infrastructure and natural resources investments, according to data from Preqin.

It is the third consecutive year fundraising has exceeded half a trillion dollars. As of the start of 2016, there were a record 1,630 private equity funds in the market, with a combined $488bn to spend.

Despite this, Preqin data showed that the actual rate of fundraising fell last year after a bumper 2014. 687 funds closed, raising $287bn down from $339bn.

Christopher Elvin, head of private equity products at Preqin, said:

2015 has presented a slower-paced private equity fundraising market, as firms struggled to maintain the level of new investor commitments from 2014. [But] fundraising looks set to remain healthy going into 2016, with both the number of funds on the road and their total capital targets approaching record levels. However, fund managers may find investor appetite starting to wane if their capital does not start being put to work in the coming year.

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