Better Capital’s purchase of City Link dominated various financial news sources over recent weeks, drawing attention to the UK’s private equity industry. According to Preqin’s Fund Manager Profiles database, there are 573 private equity fund managers based in the UK, nearly 100 more than detailed in a previous blog in July 2013. Over the last 10 years, these managers have raised €311bn in aggregate capital commitments, approximately €40bn more than had been raised a year and a half ago.
The firm that has raised the largest amount of capital over the last decade is CVC Capital Partners, as shown in the table above. It has collected €39bn in total capital commitments, representing over 12% of all capital collected by UK-based private equity fund managers in the last 10 years. Just last year it finished raising CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific IV, which collected $3.5bn. The firm also has two further funds currently on the road: CVC Strategic Opportunities Fund, a buyout vehicle that pursues less risky transactions than those struck by its mainstream buyout vehicle, and CVC Capital Partners Growth Investor, which seeks to make growth equity and buyout investments in middle-market, growth-oriented companies operating in the software and technology-enabled business services sectors.
The firm that has collected the second largest amount of capital over the last 10 years is Apax Partners. The firm has raised €22bn and very recently completed fundraising for AMI Investment Platform, which pursues middle-market investment opportunities in buyouts, primarily in Israel. In general, the firm tends to invest in companies across its four chosen global growth sectors: technology & telecoms, retail & consumer, healthcare and financial and business services.
In terms of location, it is unsurprising to see that London houses the majority of firms, with 461 private equity fund managers in the UK based in the capital. Manchester comes second, home to 10 firms, followed by Edinburgh (7), Cambridge (6), Oxford (6) and Newcastle (5).
Going into 2015 there are concerns for UK-based fund managers: interest rates remain low, with few investment opportunities and a challenging economic environment in parts of Europe. However, there are some positives. According to Preqin’s Funds in Market online service, private equity firms headquartered in the UK are currently looking to raise €69bn from 160 funds. This is higher than the €65bn that was being targeted at this time last year.