CVC tops European large LBO manager wish list

CVC, Apax and EQT occupied the top spots, while a London-based private equity giant dropped out of Setter Capital's 2015 Q2 rankings.

CVC Capital Partners has retained its position as the most in demand European large leveraged buyout manager on the secondaries market, according to advisory firm Setter Capital.

Apax Partners and EQT Partners were ranked second and third.

The 2015 second quarter 20 Most Sought-After European Large LBO Managers on the Secondary Market report, which examined various fund types across different geographies, ranked the most desirable general partners whose most recent funds were larger than $2 billion. The report was based on funds recently priced by Setter Capital.

BC Partners and Cinven were also ranked in the top five. Charterhouse Capital Partners CCP (UK) fell to sixth place, after being ranked third a year earlier. 3i’s European buyout funds slipped out of the ranking this year, while Terra Firma Capital Partners joined the list at 20th place. KKR Europe retained its ranking at 15th.

The average price paid for stakes in the top 20 funds was 97.74 percent of net asset value (NAV), and these funds had an average internal rate of return (IRR) of 16.64 percent.

The average size of the funds was $2.68 billion, according to the report.

The main difference between managers who made the top 20 list and those who did not was the age of the firm. Managers in high demand had on average raised seven funds, while managers who fell outside the top 20 had raised two on average.

Here are the 10 most sought-after European large buyout fund families:

  • CVC Europe
  • Apax Europe
  • EQT (Flagship LBO Funds)
  • BC Partners
  • Cinven
  • Charterhouse Capital Partners CCP (UK)
  • Nordic Capital
  • Altor
  • PAI Europe
  • Permira

In June, Setter Capital released its most sought-after US large LBO managers ranking, with Blackstone, Apollo and Bain Capital topping the list.

Toronto-based Setter Capital bases its research on the Setter Liquidity Ratings which rates fund families as Excellent, Very Good, Good and Unrated, depending on how much in demand and how saleable they are on the secondaries market. The ratings are largely determined by the collective shortlists of the more than 1,300 buyers Setter Capital covers, which are often posted on its SecondaryLink platform.