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Baird in fundraising mode

Baird Capital Partners Europe, the UK affiliate of the US private equity firm, is braving the market by looking to raise around £125m, a source told Real Deals.

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Baird Capital Partners Europe, the UK affiliate of the US private equity firm, is braving the market by looking to raise around £125m (€149.5m), a source told Real Deals

The team, headed up by former BVCA chairman Simon Havers, last raised in 2005, collecting €204m. 

Since then it has invested in recruitment firms Nigel Wright and Aston Carter, oil and gas components group Gabbro Precision, door locks business Paddock and care home provider Choices. 

The UK team is said to have a strong track record but is keen to distance itself from former German affiliate Granville Baird, which has closed its doors since the firm last raised seven years ago. 

In December the firm raked in a 4x return from the sale of German bus air conditioning unit manufacturer Spheros in a sale to Deutsche Beteiligungs.

Successful exits from Aston Carter and Paddock will also help to win over investors, although it has not all been plain sailing. 

In August, Baird lost Choices after it was forced into administration amid a squeeze in the care sector after the UK government tightened spending, leading to the high-profile failure of Southern Cross. 

The source said he believes Baird has mandated placement agent Triago to assist with the fundraising. 

Triago founder Antoine Drean recently went on record to say that fundraising has corrected itself, with around $230bn picked up by funds globally in both 2010 and 2011. 

While this is a far cry from the $1.8trn corralled by funds in the boom of 2005 to 2008, it is commensurate with the $200bn raised in 2004, before the market escalated as cheap credit fuelled ever bigger leveraged buyouts. 

Despite fundraising falling back in line with pre-boom levels, it is estimated that some 1,800 funds around the world have their sights set on a combined $740bn, indicating that a huge portion will not be successful over the next two years.