History

The development of Apax Partners

The history of Apax Partners is interwoven with the development of the private equity asset class in Europe and the US. Throughout its 40 year history, the firm has successfully raised and advised 31 funds which have invested across all investment stages, and through several economic cycles. 

The firm was born as a venture capital business and in its early years, during the 1980s and early 1990s, pioneered venture investing in Europe and in the US. This is when the firm started to specialise in specific sectors and to focus on driving growth in portfolio companies. This is also the period when country funds were raised (UK, Germany, US, Israel). 

From 1993, Apax started to invest in buy-outs and raised 'balanced funds' with a growing portion of buy-outs over venture capital. At the same time, country teams were being merged and regional rather than domestic funds were raised. By 2001, when Apax Europe V was raised, 78% of the capital raised for that fund was invested in buy-outs. 

In the ensuing period, Apax moved away from investing in venture capital to focus on pure-play leveraged buyouts but retained its strong focus on sector expertise, growth, and the operational rather than financial backgrounds of its investment professionals.  This sector-focused strategy has served the firm well and has been endorsed by investors, with buyout funds raised of €21.9bn ($28.5bn) since 2005, including the first fully global fund, Apax VIII, in 2012. 

At the same time, the firm has expanded geographically, opening offices in China in 2005 and 2008, India in 2006 and Brazil in late 2013. 

Apax’s key competitive advantage today is based on the firm’s deep sector and sub-sector knowledge, combined with its extensive global reach and local knowledge, driven by regional offices around the world.  This unique sector expertise and global footprint enables Apax to help its portfolio companies develop and grow in an ever-globalizing marketplace, and to assist with expansion into international markets through organic or M&A-driven activity.



1980s

$25.53m

1981  Excelsior Fund

The US firm raises its first fund

£10.15m

1981  Venture Capital Fund

The UK firm raises its first fund

1989  Spain

Madrid office opens

1990s

1990  Germany

Munich office opens

1994  Israel

Tel Aviv office opens

€1.8bn

1999  European fund raised

The firm raises its first pan-European fund, having integrated the management companies of its European and Israeli offices

2000s

$1.1bn

2000  Excelsior VI

Apax raises $1.1bn fund

€4.4bn

2001  Apax Europe V

The largest European private equity fund at the time

2002  Apax Partners LLP

European and US operating companies merge to become Apax Partners LLP

2004  Succession

Martin Halusa elected CEO to succeed founder Sir Ronald Cohen

2005  China

Hong Kong office opens

€4.3bn

2006  Apax Europe VI

Apax Partners raise €4.3bn for Apax Europe VI

2006  India

India office opens

$856m

2006  US VII

Apax raises $856mn US fund

€11.2bn

2007  Apax Europe VII

The largest ever European private equity fund

2008  China

Shanghai office opens

2010s

€5.8bn

2012  Apax VIII

Apax raises Apax VIII, its first global fund

2013  Brazil

Brazil office opens

2014  Succession

Andrew Sillitoe and Mitch Truwit elected Co-CEOs, succeeding Martin Halusa, who became Chairman