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New private equity fund targets EU family businesses

PAI Partners, one of the oldest private equity firms in Europe, is targeting family-owned companies for its new €5.4 billion fund. The fund, PAI Europe V, closed yesterday and is the largest private equity fund ever raised in continental Europe.

"We think there are thousands of important family-owned companies in France, Spain, Italy and Germany, which will need to change hands for all sorts of reasons in the coming years," said Dominique Mégret, chairman and CEO of PAI, without mentioning any companies by name.

The France-based organisation focuses on European companies worth between €500 million and €3 billion in the services, capital goods and consumer goods sectors. It generally makes controlling equity investments in leveraged buy-outs. The company believes this approach provides a competitive advantage throughout each phase of the investment process.

"We will continue to leverage our sector expertise to invest in companies that are clear leaders in their markets with a view to creating strategic value and delivering strong returns to our investors," continued Mégret.

PAI has its origins in Paribas Affaires Industrielles, the investment arm of merchant bank Paribas which merged with BNP in 1999.

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