BC Partners raises €4bn

LONDON-based private equity house BC Partners has raised €4bn (£3.4bn) towards a buyout fund, as it builds one of the largest cash stockpiles since the financial crisis.

Investors in the firm were told yesterday that it had reached a point where it could start to use the funds.

The amount exceeds the €3bn BC Partners had expected to raise by this point. It is aiming to build a €6bn fund by the end of this year.

Seen as a bellweather for the private equity industry due to its longevity, the firm’s fundraising will be closely watched by houses in the US and elsewhere looking to drum up investor interest.

Private equity firms have struggled to raise capital since the financial crisis, as investors have reduced the number of companies they invest with and how much they put with their preferred managers. Last year, firms raised $225bn (£139bn) globally, the lowest amount since 2004. In 2007, prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, private equity houses raised almost $700bn worldwide, according to data provider Preqin.

BC Partners won’t use its war chest to go on a spending spree just yet, as it still has enough capital to do at least one more deal from the €5.9bn fund it raised in 2005.