Ex-Barclays Buyout Arm Said to Seek $2.3 Billion for Europe Fund

Equistone Partners Europe, a private-equity group spinout from Barclays Plc, plans to seek about 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) for its second buyout fund since independence from the British bank, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The firm hired Lazard Ltd. to help raise the money, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Equistone raised 1.5 billion euros for its first independent fund in January 2013.

Owen Clarke, chief investment officer of the firm, led the management buyout of the private-equity group from Barclays in 2011. Over the past several years, banks have come under regulatory pressure to reduce private-equity assets to meet tougher capital requirements. Barclays recently hired an adviser to sell its natural resource focused private-equity unit, said three people with knowledge of the matter in July.

Spokeswomen for Equistone and Lazard declined to comment.

Equistone typically invests 25 million euros to 125 million euros in French, German and U.K. companies, according to the firm’s website. It focuses on buyouts valued at 50 million euros to 300 million euros. The other members of the investment committee are Michael Bork, Guillaume Jacqueau, Peter Hammermann and Rob Myers.

Equistone in July agreed to sell a 20 percent stake in French construction firm Spie batignolles to Ardian. It also sold PD&MS, a provider of engineering, procurement and construction services for the oil and gas industry, to private-equity firm Inflexion for a 2.9 times return, according to the website.

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