Vitruvian Said to Near $1.1 Billion for European Fund

Vitruvian Partners LLP, a U.K. private-equity firm, plans to secure at least 700 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in the first phase of fundraising for its latest Northern European fund, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Vitruvian Investment Partnership II, which started marketing in the second quarter of this year with an 800 million-pound goal and 1 billion-pound limit, will probably conclude the first round of fundraising in about a week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks with investors are private.

At a time that investors are cutting down on their relationships, 31 buyout funds finished fundraising in the third quarter of 2013 globally, securing $27.9 billion, down from the $57.5 billion in the previous quarter, according to London-based data provider Preqin Ltd. The average time a firm spends raising a fund is now 18.4 months, compared with 17.8 months in 2012 and 11.3 months in 2006, Preqin said.

Park Hill Group LLC, the placement agent arm of New York-based Blackstone Group LP, is helping raise the money. Officials at Park Hill and London-based Vitruvian declined to comment on fundraising.

The firm’s new fund will have the same strategy as a prior vehicle, making middle-market growth and buyout investments in Northern Europe. That earlier fund, Vitruvian Investment Partnership, gathered 925 million euros in 2008.

Vitruvian typically invests 15 million euros to 150 million euros in companies with enterprise values of 50 million euros to 500 million euros, according to its website. The firm prefers less capital-intensive industries such as media, information technology, telecommunications, financial services, business services, health care and leisure, the website shows.

The firm in July purchased the energy division of Cinven Partners LLP-backed EnServe Group Ltd. The unit, called Inenco Group Ltd., provides energy and risk-management services to EnServe clients.

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