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Ferd raises Norway’s largest buyout fund

The Oslo-based private equity firm has held a final close on its second fund with just over €500m in commitments, more than twice the amount raised for its vintage-2005 debut fund.

Ferd Private Equity, a Norwegian buyout firm, has raised NOK4.25 billion (€501.4 million; $628 million) for its second fund, the largest fundraising for a Norwegian private equity firm, according to managing partner Gert Munthe.
 
Munthe said that Oslo-based Ferd Private Equity is now the largest private equity fund manager in the country, with NOK6.25 billion under management.
 
Marketing for Fund II began in May of this year with a target of NOK4 billion and a hard cap of NOK4.25 billion. An undisclosed amount was raised purely from Norwegian investors at a first closing in June.
 
Commitments from Norwegian financial institutions included Ferd, Orkla, Storebrand Livsforsikring, all of whom invested in Ferd Private Equity’s vintage-2005 NOK2 billion debut fund. Allocations also came from Vital and Aker Kvaerners Pension Fund.
 
Munthe said that the investor base was split between roughly 75 percent from Norwegian institutions and 25 percent from international investors, including Goldman Sachs, Standard Life, AGF and Third Swedish National Pension Fund, the latter also an investor in Fund I.
 
UBS was the placement agent for Fund II.
 
Fund I has made one exit to date, the sale of Lysaker, Norway-based health and nutrition product distributor Collett Pharma to Norwegian industrial group Orkla. Munthe declined to disclose the price, but said that the exit had deliver a threefold return on investment.
 
Fund II made its first investment in June, acquiring a 70 percent stake in Nille, a Norwegian discount chain and wholesaler, for an undisclosed sum. The fund typically makes equity investments of between NOK100 million and NOK850 million in Norwegian and Nordic companies.
 
Other Norwegian private equity firms to raise funds in 2006 include Norvestor Equity, which raised €167 million in May for Norvestor IV and  HitecVision, which closed its fourth fund with $300 million of commitments in June.