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Ex-Apax Executive Said to Start Own Private-Equity Firm

Ian Jones, a former partner at London-based Apax Partners LLP, is seeking to start his own private-equity firm, according to two people with knowledge of his plans.

Jones, 53, has held preliminary talks with investors about creating an energy-focused buyout fund, which could raise as much as 200 million euros ($275 million), said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. No final decision on the fund or the size of its investment team has been reached, and Jones may elect to pursue other opportunities, the people said.

The new company will look at all energy-related opportunities in Europe excluding the oil and gas industry, said the people. Jones is the second former partner to start his own firm this year following the decision by Oriol Pinya, the former head of the Spanish office and co-head of Apax’s global retail and consumer team, to co-found Abac Capital in February.

A representative for Apax declined to comment. Jones couldn’t be reached by telephone.

Jones, who joined Apax in 1997 and originally focused on health-care deals, was one of several partners to leave Apax last year as the firm closed its offices in Spain and Italy and reduced its number of professionals by about 10 percent.

Apax last June raised 5.8 billion euros for its eighth buyout fund, missing its 9 billion-euro target. Private-equity firms pool money from pension plans and endowments, seeking to buy companies within six years -- the investment period -- then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years.

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