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.
The US firm raises its first fund
Venture Capital Fund
The UK firm raises its first fund
Madrid office opens
Munich office opens
Tel Aviv office opens
European fund raised
The firm raises its first pan-European fund, having integrated
the management companies of its European and Israeli offices
Apax raises $1.1bn fund
Apax Europe V
The largest European private equity fund at the time
Apax Partners LLP
European and US operating companies merge to become Apax
Martin Halusa elected CEO to succeed founder Sir Ronald
Hong Kong office opens
Apax Europe VI
Apax Partners raise €4.3bn for Apax Europe VI
India office opens
Apax raises $856mn US fund
Apax Europe VII
The largest ever European private equity fund
Shanghai office opens
Apax raises Apax VIII, its first global fund
Brazil office opens
Andrew Sillitoe and Mitch Truwit elected Co-CEOs, succeeding Martin Halusa, who became Chairman