Bridgepoint Said to Seek Up To $5.5 Billion for European Buyouts

Private-equity firm Bridgepoint expects to seek as much as 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) for its next buyout pool as European deals show signs of picking up.

The London-based firm told some investors it may start marketing its fifth fund in April, according to two people briefed on the plans. Bridgepoint anticipates collecting 3.5 billion euros to 4 billion euros, less than the 4.8 billion euros its prior fund gathered in 2008, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private.

At 4 billion euros, the latest vehicle would still be among the largest in Europe raised this year in a competitive fundraising environment as investors cut relationships to a smaller group of private-equity firms. Cinven Partners LLP, CVC Capital Partners Ltd., Nordic Capital and Apax Partners LLP all raised multibillion euro funds in 2013.

There are no finalized plans about the size or timing of our next fund “until we finish investing our current fund,” said James Murray, a spokesman for Bridgepoint.

Bridgepoint typically makes equity investments of 75 million euros to 400 million euros in companies capitalized between 200 million euros to 1 billion euros, according to the firm’s website. It invests across sectors including business services, consumer, financial services, health care, manufacturing and industrials and media and technology.

Private-equity deals in Europe stood at $11 billion this year as of yesterday, compared with $9.8 billion in the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bridgepoint Acquisitions

Bridgepoint agreed in December to acquire Cambridge Education Group Ltd., a provider of courses for students looking to attend universities in the U.S. and Europe, for 185 million pounds ($308 million). The firm in October purchased polish biscuit manufacturer Dr. Gerard from private-equity firm LBO France.

The firm’s prior fund, Bridgepoint Europe IV LP, was generating a 1.25 times multiple and a 10 percent internal rate of return as of Sept. 30, according to performance data by the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board.

Bridgepoint’s buyout team is made up of more than 80 investment professionals that invest out of local offices in Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai, Stockholm and Warsaw, the website shows.

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