PAI Partners

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PAI Partners
Private Ownership
Industry Private Equity
Founded 1998; 19 years ago (1998)
Headquarters Paris, France
Products Private equity funds
Total assets €13.1 billion[1]
Number of employees

PAI Partners is a major European private equity house and is the leading private equity investor in the French market. It is one of the oldest firms in the sector with its origins dating back to Paribas Affaires Industrielles, the historical principal investment activity of Paribas, which started operations in 1872. The firm is characterised by its industrial approach to ownership combined with its sector based organisation. PAI provides portfolio companies with the financial and strategic support required to pursue their development and enhance strategic value creation.

PAI manages €8.3 billion of dedicated buyout funds. Since 1994, PAI has completed 61 LBO transactions in 11 European countries, representing over €41 billion in transaction value. PAI has 60 agents from 10 countries and teams in Paris, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan Munich, Stockholm and New York City.


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 Sèze joined Paribas Affaires Industrielles as chairman and chief executive officer.[2] 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,[3] 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.

PAI LBO Fund, established in 1998, was the first PAI investment vehicle managing third party capital. Prior to 1998, PAI invested exclusively on the balance sheet of BNP Paribas.

In September 2009, PAI's CEO Dominique Megret stepped down in favor of Lionel Zinsou, who came from N.M. Rothschild. In response, PAI has offered investors an opportunity to reduce the size of PAI Europe V, raised in 2007 and 2008, by almost 40%.[4] In 2015 Michel Paris became CEO after Lionel Zinsou stepped down to become prime minister in Benin[5]

In March 2015, PAI raised its fifth LBO fund, PAI Europe VI, reaching €3.3 billion, above the initial target of €3 billion.[6]

Investment funds[edit]

Since 1998, PAI has raised four investment funds:

  • PAI LBO Fund, 1998 - €650 million
  • PAI Europe III, 2001 - €1.8 billion
  • PAI Europe IV, 2005 - €2.7 billion
  • PAI Europe V, 2008 - €2.7 billion[7]
  • PAI Europe VI, 2015 - €3.3 billion[8]


Historically, PAI managed Paribas's stakes in large food and consumer goods companies across Europe: Royal Canin (European leader in dry pet food), Diana Ingredients (natural food ingredients), Evialis (animal feed), Saupiquet (ready meals), LDC (premium poultry), Navidul (cured ham - Spain), SOS Arana (rice - Spain) and helped them consolidate their respective sector. PAI has completed a large number of leveraged buyouts of market leading European companies in recent years including several of the most significant in Europe. The most recent transactions in consumer goods and services, healthcare as well as general industrial companies are highlighted below:

PAI VI investments[edit]

PAI V investments[edit]

PAI IV investments[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]