PAI Partners - History


PAI's origins date back to Paribas Affaires Industrielles, the historical principal investment activity of Paribas, the pan-European merchant bank which merged with Banque Nationale de Paris in 1999. PAI was originally formed to manage the private equity investments of BNP Paribas. In 1993, Amaury de Seze joined Paribas Affaires Industrielles as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, PAI developed a strategy in private equity that capitalized on the team's familiarity with industrial sectors.

Paribas Affaires Industrielles led the €610 million buyout of Danone’s pasta and condiment unit in 1997, at that time the largest leveraged buyout ever completed in France. The following year, the firm finalized fundraising for its first third party investment fund, raising €650 million of investor commitments. PAI completed a full spinout from BNP in 2000 and the following year raised a new €1.8 billion private equity fund.

History of private equity
and venture capital

Early history
(Origins of modern private equity)

The 1980s
(LB The 1990s
(LBO bust and the VC bubble)

The 2000s
(Dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)

On May 6, 2008, PAI announced the final closing of its most recent private equity investment Fund, PAI Europe V, with €5.4 billion ($8.3 billion) of investor commitments. Prior to 1998, PAI invested exclusively on the balance sheet of BNP Paribas. PAI LBO Fund, established in 1998, was the first PAI investment vehicle managing third party capital.

In September 2009, PAI's CEO Dominique Megret was forced to step down in favor of Lionel Zinsou, who came from N.M. Rothschild. The move was described as a "coup d’etat" which has caused discord among both the firm's professionals and investors. In response, PAI has offered investors an opportunity to reduce the size of PAI Europe V, raised in 2007 and 2008, by almost 40%.

Read more about this topic:  PAI Partners

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