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Apax Said to Plan End to Fundraising for Latest LBO Fund

Apax Partners LLP, the private-equity firm headed by Martin Halusa, plans to end its fundraising effort in March after almost two years of seeking money in a crowded market, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The private-equity firm, which is seeking 9 billion euros ($11.9 billion) for Apax VIII, has so far raised about 5 billion euros, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The fund began raising money in May 2011 and held an initial closing in March at 4.3 billion euros.

Todd Fogarty, a spokesman at Kekst & Co., declined to comment on behalf of Apax.

Apax is among a number of private-equity firms facing headwinds as investors have less money to commit to buyout funds. KKR & Co. had gathered about $700 million for its latest North American fund since February, bringing the total to $6.2 billion, the firm said in October. Providence Equity Partners Inc., which is seeking as much as $6 billion, told investors in a meeting in October that it expects to close the fund at $5 billion.

The amount sought by Apax for its latest fund is less than the 11.2 billion euros the prior fund gathered in 2007. That fund was producing a 1.1 times multiple and 3.28 percent net internal rate of return as of June 30, according to performance data from the Washington State Investment Board.

The news about the expected final close was reported yesterday by the Financial Times.

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