European private equity firm PAI raises €7.1 bn

European private equity firm PAI Partners has announced the successful final close of its latest flagship fund, PAI Partners VIII.

PAI said Fund VIII surpassed its fundraising target, securing €7.1 billion in total capital commitments “highlighting the strong investor confidence in PAI’s investment strategy of transforming businesses into high performing strategic global assets in Europe and North America within the Real Economy.”

The fund is 40% larger in size than its predecessor PAI Europe VII, which closed at €5.1 billion in 2018.

“The fund received strong support from leading public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions and family offices, with growth in commitments from every region,” said PAI.

“With a re-up rate of c. 90% and over €2 billion of capital sourced from new investors, PAI’s approach has continued to resonate with existing investors and the wider market.

“PAI remains steadfast in its commitment to executing its investment strategy, leveraging its industry networks and deep sector expertise to build sustainable European and global leaders.

“PAI invests behind thematics within traditional industry sectors that are at the heart of economic activity and that are underpinned by solid fundamentals and sustainable growth horizons.

“Fund VIII has already deployed c. 35% of its total capital with seven investments to date, including ECG / Vacanceselect, NovaTaste, the Looping Group, ECF Group, Azets Group, Infra Group and Alphia, Inc.”

Richard Howell, a managing partner at PAI, said: “This successful final close for PAI Partners VIII, at a size 40% larger than its predecessor in a challenging environment, reaffirms the confidence investors have in PAI’s Real Economy strategy and our ability to perform consistently through the cycle.

“We are grateful for the strong support from both existing and the many new investors that joined the Fund, who share our vision for creating value in traditional industries.

“We are excited about the investments we have made thus far and look forward to identifying further opportunities that align with our strategy.”

PAI Partners has €26 billion of assets under management and, since 1994, has completed over 100 investments in 12 countries and realised €23 billion in proceeds from 58 exits.