PAI Partners’ latest flagship fund reached its final close with €7.1 billion ($7.6 billion) in total capital commitments, beating its fundraising target and surpassing its predecessor fund, PAI Europe VII, which closed with €5.1 billion ($5.5 billion) in 2018.
The Paris-based private equity firm focuses on the industrials, healthcare, business services and food/consumer sectors in Europe and North America. The approach is resonating, as PAI Partners VIII saw a re-up rate of about 90%, in addition to drawing more than €2 billion ($2.1 billion) in capital from public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions and family offices.
“This successful final close for PAI Partners VIII, at a size 40% larger than its predecessor in a challenging environment, reaffirms the confidence investors have in PAI’s Real Economy strategy and our ability to perform consistently through the cycle,” said PAI Managing Partner Richard Howell.
Fund VIII is consistent with PAI’s investment strategy of partnering with ambitious management teams to transform businesses into high-performing strategic global assets. The fund has already deployed about 35% of its total capital with seven investments to date, including European infrastructure service provider Infra Group; North American pet food co-manufacturer Alphia; ECF Group, a provider of equipment for the healthcare and hospitality industries in Europe; NovaTaste, a global provider of ingredients and solutions for the gastronomy industry; pan-European local and regional leisure parks operator Looping Group; and Azets Group, an accounting and tax services provider in the U.K., Ireland and the Nordics.
PAI is among a handful of French firms — including Ardian, Tikehau Capital and Antin Infrastructure Partners — steadily growing their footprint in the global alternative assets arena. PAI had €15 billion ($18 billion) in assets under management when it agreed to buy Tropicana, Naked and other juice brands from PepsiCo in August 2021. PAI now claims €26 billion ($28 billion) in AUM and over €33 billion ($35 billion) in total capital raised.
“We are excited about the investments we have made thus far and look forward to identifying further opportunities that align with our strategy,” said Howell.