Doughty Hanson Drops Plans to Raise $2.1 Billion Fund

Doughty Hanson, one of Europe’s oldest private-equity firms, abandoned plans to raise a 2 billion-euro ($2.1 billion) pool for buyouts after discussions with existing backers.

Doughty Hanson will instead focus on the eight companies already owned by its fourth and fifth funds, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday. Doughty had expected to hold a first close -- the point at which it would have secured a percentage of the capital for the pool -- in June.

Doughty Hanson offered its investors the option to sell their holdings in the fourth and fifth funds in a deal valued at 1 billion euros as it sought to raise the new pool, people with knowledge of the matter said in January. The firm underwent a reorganization in 2012 following the death of co-founder Nigel Doughty and decided not to raise new pools of capital for its real estate and venture capital units to focus on private equity.

“We have reflected on several years of discussions with existing investors and, while today’s announcement is disappointing for those investors that have committed to the current fundraising efforts, it preempts further prolonged uncertainty,” Doughty Hanson Chief Executive Officer Stephen Marquardt said.

The company started in 1985 as a unit of Standard Chartered Plc and was spun out by Doughty and Richard Hanson a decade later. Firms it owns include carpet maker Balta Industries and fiber-optic company Eurofiber, according to the statement.

“We will now enter into a period of review with our employees and investors to explore the possibility of another fund in the future,” Marquardt said.

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