F1 owner CVC Capital Partners in talks over £9bn fund

Buyout group is ready to raise cash, despite hard times for the private-equity sector

The private-equity owner of Formula One and Legoland Parks has started talks with potential investors for an ¤11bn (£8.9bn) buyout fund, one of the biggest since the financial crisis started.

CVC Capital Partners, which in 1990 was spun-out of a Citicorp vehicle that propelled the careers of City bigwigs John Botts and Jon Moulton, is said to have started "soft marketing" for the long-touted fund. This is when buyout barons talk to investors about the potential shape, size and returns of a fund ahead of formally asking for the cash.

A structured process is expected to start in the New Year, in what private-equity insiders believe is a crucial test of an industry that has been badly hit by both the financial crisis and a regulatory clampdown by the European Union. CVC's last fund in 2008 raised about ¤10.8bn, short of its ¤12.1bn target, but the firm's co-founders hope to raise marginally more this time.

However, big-name rivals have been struggling to raise their own funds. New Look and Ancestry.com owner Permira launched a ¤6.5bn fund last year, but is so fed up with waiting that it has slapped down a February deadline for investors to commit to "first close".

This is the point when private equity can start spending the money, which in Permira's case would be when it has raised the first ¤2bn. Private Equity News said last week that the deadline came after agreeing a seven-month extension for its previous fund in June, as it had not yet spent all of its money.

However, a private-equity fundraising specialist said: "There's a very good chance that CVC will make that number. CVC and Permira are chalk and cheese: CVC probably provides private-equity investors in funds of that size with the best returns in Europe."

CVC, which also owns Brit Insurance and gym chain Virgin Active, will see co-founder and chairman Michael Smith stand down in January just as the latest fundraising kicks off. That leaves three remaining founders – Rolly van Rappard, Steve Koltes and Donald Mackenzie – to run the company.

The four men founded CVC as a unit of Citicorp out of London in 1981. Mr Botts and Mr Moulton were managing directors that same decade, but went on to found boutique investment firm Botts & Co and private-equity rival Alchemy respectively.

CVC is also looking east, having sold a 10 per cent stake in itself to sovereign-wealth funds from Kuwait, Hong Kong and Singapore earlier this year.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing