French private equity firms could find fundraising easier in the months to come thanks to Brexit-induced uncertainty in the UK market.

“No-one knows what the UK’s relationship will be with the EU, so there has been a slowdown [in investing in the UK] from some investors,” said Anne Feuillen of BFinance at an LP event yesterday organised by French private equity industry body AFIC. 

Agnès Nahum, chair of AFIC’s investor relations committee, said she expects Brexit to benefit French, German and Nordic firms’ fundraising campaigns.

Dominique Gaillard, head of direct funds at Ardian, told Real Deals last week that the firm’s recent close of a €4.5bn mid-cap fund was aided by the fact that some LPs are now hesitant to commit to UK-centric funds.

Fundraising in France is already on a roll, with the industry here having raised €11bn last year, according to AFIC figures, and now benefitting from a loosening of fund marketing regulation.

However, AFIC chair Olivier Millet commented that a smooth Brexit process is in the French private equity industry’s best interests. He said the body wanted a “strong negotiated solution” and had recently talked to the BVCA and “agreed on the necessity of a soft transition”.