Finland’s eQ holds final close on latest secondaries fund

The firm's eQ PE SF III targets portfolios and GP-led deals in the Northern European mid-market.

Helsinki-headquartered investment manager eQ Asset Management has held the final close on its third dedicated secondaries fund.

The firm has raised €155 million for eQ PE SF III, surpassing the €135 million raised for its 2018-vintage successor, according to a statement. It said in April that the fund was targeting €150 million and was set for a June close.

“Historically, vintages that follow market corrections have delivered outsized returns,” said the firm’s head of private equity Staffan Jafs. “In the secondary market, we expect an increase in sellers coming to market over the coming quarters, causing a shift in balance from [a] sellers’ to [a] buyers’ market.”

According to a source familiar with eQ’s investment thesis, the firm’s secondaries funds acquire limited partnership stakes and back GP-led processes in the Northern European mid-market. Its secondaries operation is led by investment manager Mika Hakola.

The firm also held a €190 million final close on eQ PE XII North, a fund of funds focused on Northern European growth-stage companies. One third of the fund can be invested in secondaries, the statement noted.

Secondaries Investor previously reported that eQ had raised its debut secondaries fund, the €137.5 million eQ PE SF, in 2017 specifically to acquire a portfolio of 17 fully invested European mid-market buyout funds from Access Capital Partners.

The firm has €8 billion in assets under management, 40.3 percent of which is in alternatives, according to Secondaries Investor data.