Ebb & Flow

When Apax Partners merged its Apax Partners Inc. subsidiary with Saunders Karp & Megrue earlier this year, new biotech investments were not within the scope of the combined company, which is based in the U.S. But the European parent maintains that it hasn't left the space, and said its newly closed Apax Europe VI fund will include biotechs. However, only those with a short path to profits need apply for any of the a4.3 billion ($5.2 billion) it raised, which was a300 million more than it originally targeted. It will concentrate on late stage venture, growth capital and leveraged buyouts, and its areas of focus are IT, telecoms, retail/consumer, media, financial/business services and healthcare.

"On the new transaction front, we are mainly focused on identifying businesses that are on a clear path towards a sustainable profitable business model," partner Jeremy Reffin told Ebb & Flow. "The deals we are looking at generally cover the 'later venture' and growth capital stages of the VC/private equity marketplace, as well as more traditional leveraged buy-outs."

This is an extension of the strategy put in place at the closing of the a4.4 billion Apax Europe V fund in 2001.

"It was clear at that time that it was becoming increasingly challenging for the firm to maintain such a large focus on the venture scene," Reffin said. "We adopted a strategy that shifted the emphasis for new investments towards those

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