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Macfarlanes has won an instruction acting for Montagu Private Equity on the creation of its e2.5bn (£2.25bn) pan-European buyout fund.
Funds partners Stephen Sims and Bridget Barker led the fundraising for the Montagu IV fund, which is said to be substantially oversubscribed, with tax partner Mark Baldwin also acting on the deal.
Macfarlanes has acted for the private equity house on fund formation and buyout work since the early 1990s, with Barker and more recently Sims both acting as relationship partners. The City firm advised on its last fundraising, the e2.3bn Montagu III fund, in 2005.
Barker told The Lawyer that the deal, and the fact that it was oversubscribed, was a sign that the fund formation market may be showing signs of recovery.
“The market’s been difficult and there’s been a lot less liquidity over the past couple of years,” said Barker. “Because things have been slow on the deal side, [private equity houses] have taken longer to spend the money.
“But things have been picking up recently and investors are coming back. It was encouraging that a lot of investors from the previous fund came back in for this one.”
The fund will be used to invest in mid- to high-end deals worth e100m-e1bn.
Towards the end of last year the Macfarlanes funds team also advised on the establishment of buyout group Alchemy’s Special OpportunitiesFund, which targets distressed assets and other similar investments. Partner Stephen Robinson advised Alchemy.