CVC nears finish line as buyout firms tap cash

Michael Bow
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FORMULA One owner CVC Capital Partners is gearing up for a first close on its sixth European buyout fund within the next month amid a flurry of fundraising closes at Europe’s top private equity houses.

CVC, based in London, is thought to be putting the finishing touches to the first close of its European Equity Partners VI buyout fund after raising about €7bn (£5.95bn) from investors. An announcement is expected in early July, two sources have told City A.M. CVC declined to comment.

The group, which owns and co-owns a clutch of well-known companies including Virgin Active, Alton Towers and AA, is thought be aiming for about €8.9bn in total for the new fund, its sixth flagship fund since launching its first in 1996.

It comes hot on the heels of the final close of Apax’s $7.5bn (£4.9bn) buyout fund, 15 months after the fund’s first close in March 2012.

Apax, along with CVC, form a clutch of large European private houses completing the first wave of fundraisers since the ravages of the financial crisis. London-based Cinven held a final close on its €5.3bn fifth European fund a fortnight ago while Permira had a first close of €2.2bn for its fifth fund in April.