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Advent closes on $17.5B for ninth fund

Advent International has hit the $17.5 billion hard cap for its ninth flagship fund, setting a new mark for the largest vehicle in the firm’s history.

Advent International has hit a $17.5 billion hard cap for its ninth flagship fund, surpassing a $16 billion target and topping a $13 billion predecessor from 2016 to close the largest vehicle in the firm’s history.

The behemoth is the largest fund raised by any private equity firm so far this year by a long shot, besting a $12.6 billion effort from Thoma Bravo that closed in January. It might not hold that title for long, considering Blackstone is raising a new vehicle that close on $25 billion later this year.

Either way, though, the vehicle firmly establishes Advent—which maintains headquarters in both Boston and London—in the upper echelon of private equity fundraisers. It’s tied for the fifth largest buyout fund raised in the US since the start of 2010, per the PitchBook Platform, and the largest this decade for any US firm that’s not publicly traded.

Advent’s new pool of capital falls in line with broader fundraising trends in private equity, as there are plenty of other signs that 2019 is shaping up to be a promising year for huge funds. During 1Q, vehicles worth $1 billion or more made up a larger share of all US PE fundraising than in any year this decade, and the average size of a buyout fund shot up to nearly $1.7 billion, per PitchBook’s 1Q 2019 US PE Breakdown.

The fund, which Advent says it raised in about six months, will maintain the firm’s current strategy of pursuing deals across five industries of expertise: business & financial services, healthcare, industrial, retail & consumer, and technology, media & telecom. In February, Advent announced it would be focusing more on the tech sector, bringing on Bryan Taylor as a managing director to lead its tech investment team and to help open a new office in the Bay Area.

The fund will also continue Advent’s existing strategy of targeting a variety of deal types, including buyouts, growth investments, public-to-private acquisitions and corporate carveouts. The firm has already lined up at least one major carveout this year, agreeing to purchase German chemicals company Evonik Industries for €3 billion (about $3.4 billion). It will deploy the new fund primarily across North America and Europe, with select deals in the traditionally riskier regions of Asia and Latin America. Advent also operates a separate fund family focused on Latin America. It closed its sixth fund in the region on $2.1 billion in 2014 and is now reportedly prepping a follow-up.

In many ways, it makes sense that Advent would stick to its guns: It claims that more than 90% of the new vehicle’s commitments came from LPs who also put cash into prior Advent funds, a seeming sign of approval for the sectors and deal types the firm is pursuing.

It’s like my Dad used to say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Featured image via MarioGuti/E+/Getty Images

Want more on massive PE vehicles? Check out a recent PitchBook analyst note on mega-fund strategies.

  • graham-linley.jpg
    Written by Graham Linley
    Graham Linley used to write about M&A, private equity, and a sprinkling of VC.

    As a homegrown Californian and UCLA alumni, Graham loves the sun, which he misses very dearly. He also enjoys video games, fiction books and binge-watching only the best of TV shows. He also loves to have a good laugh with good friends.
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