First close for Advent Venture Partners' latest fund with commitments of £128 million

Advent Venture Partners, a leading European venture capital firm, announced today the first closing of its latest fund, Advent Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV), with total commitments of £128 million (US$250m, €188m) of which £110 million (US$214m, €160m) has been accepted at this closing. The balance can be accepted when the fund reaches £155 million.

Investors at this first closing come from across Europe and the US, with 75% of commitments from investors in previous Advent Venture Partners’ funds.  These include Access Capital Partners, the European Investment Fund, clients of Pantheon, and funds advised by Westport Private Equity.  New investors who have committed to the fund include Alpinvest Partners and Swiss Re.  The final closing target is £200 million.

The investment strategy of APEF IV will continue the existing strategy, which Advent has consistently followed since 1990, of investing in early and later stage opportunities in the Information & Communications Technology and Life Sciences sectors. The geographical focus of the fund will remain unchanged with investments primarily in the UK and other Western European markets and to a lesser extent, in the US in the life sciences sector.  Advent typically invests between £5 million and £15 million in any one company.

Commenting on the first close, Sir David Cooksey, Chairman of Advent Venture Partners, said: “We are delighted to have reached the first close with total commitments of £128 million.  2004 has proved to be a challenging fund raising environment for the venture capital sector.  We are particularly pleased to have the continued support of so many of our existing investors, as well as having the opportunity to welcome new investors.  We believe that now is a particularly good time to be investing in European based technology companies and that there are excellent opportunities to back experienced management teams at attractive valuations.”

Advent’s most recent fund, Advent Private Equity Fund III, which closed in February 2001, is now close to being fully committed with investments in 30 companies.